Upgrade to remove ads
Exam 2 study guide PA 480
Terms in this set (64)
Public (or policy) problem
A situation that a portion of the population believes in unacceptable and believes that the government should address.
What defines a problem?
Scope and duration are key, as are immediacy and intensity. If a problem isn't
immediately tangible and fixable, there is no sense in the government putting
time and effort into it. Perspective is also important, and political factors play
a huge role in public perspective of an issue.
Types of Agendas
Systemic— "Public" or "discussion" set of problems
Institutional— Problems being taken up by the government
"Action" agenda. Getting on this agenda is key.
How issues get on the
agenda and agenda actors
refer to diagram on study guide
These items have to be there (budget bills, reauthorization)
Congress, interest groups, executive branch officials,
see diagram below Pg. 1
must focus on the problems that gain the most attention
Interest groups seek equilibrium and react accordingly if threatened (The Book Definition: "Interests groups seek to maintain themselves in a state of reasonable equilibrium and if anything threatens this condition, they react accordingly.")
crises, major incidents, war, natural disasters, protests, etc. These are events that put into perspective the seriousness of a situation
Public Opinion and Attitudes
Saliency— How important a problem is seen as being
Intensity— How strongly views about the problem are held
Who are the key stakeholders for food safety and distracted driving? How do positions differ?
Policy Formulation (next section)
What is Policy formulation?
The crafting of specific proposals for dealing with a problem. NOT the same as policy formation, which is the total process of creating, adopting, and implementing a policy (the policy process).
Who participates in it?
Governmental agencies, Presidential organizations, legislatures, and interest groups (play a larger role in formulation at the state level, not so much impact at a federal level) . Since formulation is a change to a problem of a policy that was already addressed, the formulation process is mainly in control by groups that are directly involved in the policy process. This is because they can jump start the policy process directly to an institutional agenda if the already implemented policy seems to have little impact.
Policy tools Regulate
Licensing, inspection, enforcement of standards and restrictions
Lowers cost of making or consuming things → loans, direct payments, tax credits, price supports
Limits on certain activities or access to scarce resources
Taxes to discourage certain activities; spending money on specific programs (e.g., defense, education, roads
Have private sector provide some government services, or products to government.
Transferring certain government services to private sector. (prisons)
Taxes or fees to encourage or discourage certain
behaviors or activities ( Emission taxes, "sin-tax").
Charging for specific government services (access to public parks).
Provides information to the public.
Create Public Trusts
Government holds public property (land) on behalf of the public.
Government carries out or supports research and development.
How are policy alternatives developed? (E.g. brainstorming, examining what others have tried) *
DO NOT need to know the three E's
-Examining previous policies and analyzing how well they worked
-Consulting experts within the government and outside the government
-Reviewing studies/ research
-Looking at similar problems where a particular solution was used
-The challenge of thinking outside the box
Types of feasibility (political, social, etc...)
-Administrative feasibility (including financial cost and personnel)
-Political feasibility (legislature)
-Social acceptability (public)
Health Care *
See CQ Researcher article, NE J. of Medicine articles
What is the general nature of the problem? (E.g. millions without coverage, rising healthcare costs, etc...) *
DO NOT need to identify proximate and root causes
1. soaring costs
a. medical costs greatly exceed inflation
b. highest per capita health costs among developed nations
c. This is most definitely a public problem
2. millions not covered
a. 45 million americans without health insurance
ii. mainly low-income segments, youth
b. is this a public problem? E.g. burden on rest of society
i. This is also a public problem
3.more people may lose coverage
a. most private insurance purchased via employers
i. loss of job can eliminate coverage
ii. insurance is a major business cost
iii. smaller businesses try to cut, eliminate coverage as costs rise
b. rising costs may prompt individuals to drop coverage
c. This is a public problem
Three policy alternatives discussed in class (know how they're all different from each other as well as the political and social feasibility of each option)
-Government provides health insurance coverage for all
— paid for by taxes
— health care provided by private sector
—government would negotiate with providers
— model used by many industrial nations
— not currently under active consideration
A. most/all citizens required to obtain coverage
— addressing the "pooling risk" problem
B. private insurance still major player...
— ...but government regulation to force broader coverage:
— less denial for pre- existing conditions
— fewer caps on catastrophic illness coverage
C. government also offers a "public option" plan
— federal government would operate a health
— would aid low-income segments
— would induce greater insurance competition
Obama's final proposal (Obamacare)
A. announced late Feb 2010
B. all citizens required to have insurance
— or face yearly financial penalty
— "individual mandate"
C. a new insurance exchange
— enables low-income, unemployed to gain access to
private sector insurance plans
— will pool resources of these population groups insurance companies compete
D. a new board to prevent unwarranted insurance premium hikes
— would work with states
— A California focusing event?
E. prevents insurance company abuses
— denial for pre-existing conditions
— dropping those with major illnesses
F. those with existing insurance do not have to change everything
G. reduce medicare costs
What is policy adoption?
-The formal decision to select or reject a policy proposals OR to adopt new proposals or modify existing.
Who is responsible for adopting policy? Which parts of the government?
Done by government officials (Legislature, executive order, court rulings)
What is the relationship between policy adoption and legitimacy? (E.g. making policy binding)
-Legitimization gives policy the weight of public authority.
*Note: government's overall legitimacy vs. legitimacy of specific policy
-Authority, process vs. content of policy
Policy Decision- Making *
Read Brownstein Article
Two basic theories of decision making in Anderson, as well as pros and cons of both
Maximize attainment of goals (personal or organizational) by comparing benefits and costs of all options.
-problems rarely clearly defined
-unrealistic intellectual demands on decision makers (not unitary decision)
-lack of time and resources necessary to evaluate the alternatives
-question of whose values
Making small and limited changes to existing policies, can result in fundamental changes in public policy. It is easier to do and reach agreements.
-too conservative -- focused on existing orders and the elites
-doesn't allow for crisis situations
-focus on past discourages searching for new alternatives
What are the decision criteria? (E.g. values, party affiliation, public opinion, etc...
-Decision making can be either individual or collective
-Based on Values:
-Delegate vs. Trustee vs. Politico
-agencies have constituencies comprised of interest groups
-Best predictor to how members of Congress will vote
-Decisions of federal judges
-Shapes general boundaries & direction of public policy
-Can be permissive
defer to others who are more experienced (judges, party leaders, committee chairs)
What is the problem of "public interest"?
No universal definition (elaborate)— Difficulty arises when asked to define the public interest because of questions such as; Is it the interest of the majority? How do we determine what the majority really wants? Is it the interest of consumers, who are a rather large group? Is it what people would want if they "thought clearly and acted rationally"?
Some define public interest as the result of political struggle over policy issues but many political scientist would argue there is no universally accepted definition.
What constitutes the public interest? (Three approaches)
1. Policy rich areas in conflict of among group interests such as agriculture, labor relations, energy and transportation.
2. Shared interests based on characteristic of public needs such as clean air, education, world peace and avoidance of inflation.
3. The need for organizations and procedures to represent and balance issues, to resolve issues, to effect compromise in public policy formation, and to carry public policy into effect.
The public interest is very diverse and can be sought out in various ways, although there is not precise set of guidelines to inform the action of decision makers. Attention is directed more towards universal interests, unorganized interests and unarticulated interests that otherwise may be ignored in both development and evaluation of policy.
What are the decision-making styles?
A. Bargaining -Most common style, when 2 or more parties in power adjust goals in order to formulate an acceptable (but not necessarily ideal) course of action. Is explicit & implicit.
B. Command -The ability of those in superior positions of power to make decisions that are binding to those people below them
C. Persuasion -To convince others that your position is correct by constructing logical arguments using Marshall facts. Showmanship can help.
D. Simplified Hill process -In practice of all 3 styles run together.
What does compromise require?
(There are three common forms of bargaining, logrolling, side payments and compromise. )
A way of gaining support from those who are indifferent or have little interest. Ex: Appropriations bill for rivers-and-harbors legislation, which funds various river, harbor and flood control projects.
Rewards are offered to prospective supporters or coalition members who are not directly related to the decision at hand but value them for many reasons. Ex: Legislative leaders may use committee assignments, allocation of office space, campaign assistance and support for members' "pet" bills as a means of securing their support for legislation.
Typically involves explicit bargaining and is normally centered on a single issue. Bargainers regard half a loaf id better than none and consequently adjust their differences, each giving up something to form an agreement.
Missouri compromise of 1820 - Temporarily settled the conflict of slavery between the North and the South into Louisiana territory. Decided that slavery would no longer be permitted except in the area North of latitude 36 30'.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 - resolved compromises between those who favored a stronger legislation versus a weaker legislation.
What are the challenges of getting Congress to agree on policy proposals? (E.g. decentralization or power, increased partisanship, external pressures—to include media) *
Exam WILL NOT focus on executive branch decision making
Decentralization of power:
-Political parties in Congress are weak
i. there are limited sanctions on members
-Geographic constituencies, elections
-Increasingly large staffs
-Many opportunities for interest groups
-Republican and Democrat ensure party loyalty on key procedurals by using substantive votes.
-increased "party-line" voting (especially in Senate)
i. can increase difficulty in moving policy proposals forward
A. impact of media
i. Rise of 24/7 news and the internet creates complication
a.Certain stations speak about a certain political view point
b. inaccurate media
B. A faster "news cycle" and thus need for policy maker calculation
i. re: public opinion
ii. Power of blogs and twitter
iii. Greater temptation to "score points"
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...
Public Affairs Exam 1
V181 exam 1 Study Guide
Public Policy Midterm 1