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PSCI 231 (5)
Chapter 1

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Political Science
PSCI 231
Brent Needham

Chapter 1Objectives and OverviewNormative Approach to Policy Analysis Government policy should seek to promote public interest and focuses on what policy should be Any normative rationale for policy must be based on one of the following 4 categories of objectives which are widely accepted as legitimate objectsgoals of government attention 1 Economic Efficiency Pursuit of economic efficiency corresponds to trying to make per capita benefits from the consumption of GS as high as possible This is very important in economic scarcity and poverty See chapter 2 for more details 2 Macroeconomic stabilization and growth one of the most serious problems of marketbased economies is that they are prone to cyclical swings in business activity and employment After the recession people saw cyclical fluctuations and employment opportunities as important objectives of government policy Objectives of macroeconomic policy is to smooth the business cycle to keep unemployment rates low and stable inflation rate low and stable and to assist in promoting economic growth 3 Fairness equity Seeks to make the overall economic size as large as possible Fairness or equity is concerned mainly with the distribution of economics among different claimants Example In Canada we have a system of taxation and social welfare that taxes the well off and give to the poor Fairnessin Canada equal healthcare for core medical services laws to prevent discrimination etc 4 Other social objectives Do not directly relate to economic efficiency Objectives other than the above 3 that governments pursue promoting national unity or certain values Positive Approach to Policy Analysis Focuses on objectives behaviour and interaction of individuals and groups who influence policy decisions It examines the reasons why policy takes the form it does Important influences on policy voting special interest groups public sector managers elected politicians etc See chapter 5 for more detailsThe Major Policy Areas Policies that specifically or primarily target businessesInternational trade policy dont target specific firms but broadly affect the business environmentEnvironmental policyCompetition policyPrice and Entry regulationPublic enterprise and Crown companies directed toward specific firms and industriesMacroeconomic stabilization policy and the public debt dont target specific firms but broadly affect the business environment Example of governmental influence on the private sector Air Canada the Airline industry and Public Policy Government owned corporation or a crown corporationpublic enterprise that started in 1937 Thus any profits or lossesliabilities were reverted to the government and corporate decisions flights and prices were determined by government policy 19841987 the government deregulated the airline industry allowing for competition among airlines This made it hard for airlines to operate profitably CIA and Air Canada merged in 2000labour law policy affected this After 911 Air Canada went bankrupt and the bankruptcy policy protected them and helped the restructure labour contracts and debt to emerge from bankruptcy in 2004 Today the safety regulations continue to affect it
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