8 28 13 Notes

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15 Mar 2019
POLI 2070
What is public policy?
Why is studying public policy important?
o Policies affect us daily
o Stats from text
1 in 3 dollars of total nat’l product is gov’t revenue
1 in 6 employed persons work for gov’t
89.5k separate gov’ts exist in U.S.
Subject matter is more complex & technical
o Understanding policy & its impact becomes more important as issues become
more complex & technical & as gov’t actions become more likely to directly
impact population in some way
Definition of public policy
o “the sum of gov’t activities, whether pursued directly or through agents, as
those activities have an influence on the lives of citizens” (p.4 of text)
o Levels of policy:
Policy choices decisions made by politicians and public servants that
use public power to affect the lives of citizens
Policy outputs choices put into action
Policy impacts effects of prior 2 policy levels on citizenry
Things to remember
o U.S. is a federal system
Federal systems may have difficulty in operating w/ other systems
Each system may have different agendas
Each system must interact w/ population in different ways
o Not all policies are implemented by gov’t employees or may rely on lower
levels of gov’t for implementation or private organizations or citizens
o Concentrate on effects more than intention when reading text
Instruments of public policy
o Several that can be used & choice depends on:
Political considerations
Who is designing the policy & what are their past experiences
Nat’l or organizational tradition
o Law
Not avail. to private actors
Make decrees & back them up w/ legitimacy that being the gov’t
Monitoring & enforcement may be crucial to effectiveness
Used to produce rights, regulate economic & social conditions
Can create burdens as well as benefits
o Services
Services directly to the population
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