Policy Making and Social Welfare

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Policy Making and Social Welfare

  1. 1. Public Policy Process
  2. 2. • Problem Recognition – identification of an issue that disturbs the people and leads them to call for governmental intervention
  3. 3. • Agenda Setting – government recognition that a problem is worthy of consideration for governmental intervention
  4. 4. • Policy formulation – identification of alternative approaches to addressing the problems placed on government’s agenda.
  5. 5. • Policy adoption – the formal selection of public policies through legislative, executive, judicial, and bureaucratic means
  6. 6. • Budgeting – the allocation of resources to provide for the proper implementation of public policies
  7. 7. • Policy implementation – the actual administration or application of public policies to their targets
  8. 8. • Policy evaluation – the determination of a policy’s accomplishments, consequences, or shortcomings
  9. 9. Policy Process• Problem Recognition and Definition – Public policy is NOT the answer for ALL disturbing problems – Hurricanes no, consequences of hurricanes yes
  10. 10. Policy Process• Agenda Setting – problem must be brought to the attention of public officials – agenda – set of issues to be discussed or given attention – systemic agenda – all issues within jurisdiction of governments – governmental agenda – issues that will receive active and serious attention
  11. 11. Policy Process• Policy Formulation – policy formulation – crafting appropriate courses of action to resolve public problems – Involves both political (what should be done) and technical (what will be done) aspects
  12. 12. Policy Process• Policy Adoption – policy adoption – the approval of a policy proposal by the people with the requisite authority, such as a legislature
  13. 13. Policy Process• Budgeting – most policies require money to be carried out – policies can be killed by inadequate funding or lack of funding
  14. 14. Policy Process• Policy Implementation – policy implementation – the process of carrying out public policy through governmental agencies and the courts. – Authoritative techniques – people must be directed or restrained by government. Product safety, broadcast obscenity, food & health. – Incentive techniques – encourage people to act in their own best interest by offering payoffs or financial inducements. Tax deductions, credits, subsidies, sanctions by high taxes (tobacco, pollution).
  15. 15. Policy Process• Policy Implementation (cont.) • Capacity techniques – provide information, education, training. Assumes people lack the capacity. Job training, interest rate information, nutrition information. • Hortatory techniques [hawr-tuh-tawr-ee]– appeal to people’s better instincts. Just Say No. Don’t Be a Litter Bug. Don’t Mess with Texas. Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.
  16. 16. Policy Process• Policy Evaluation – policy evaluation – the process of determining whether a course of action is achieving its intended goals.
  17. 17. Social Welfare Policy
  18. 18. Social Welfare• The Origins of Social Welfare – as society became more urban and industrial, people became less self- sufficient. Great Depression reinforced idea that hard work alone did not guarantee economic security.
  19. 19. Origins of Social Welfare • Income Security – Social Security Act – 1935 law that established • old age insurance (Social Security) • assistance for the needy, children, and others, and • unemployment insurance.
  20. 20. Origins of Social Welfare • Health Care – public health programs – increased life expectancy from 47 in 1900 to 78 in 2008. – expanding health care coverage – Medicare and Medicaid (1965)
  21. 21. Social Welfare• Non-Means Based Programs – benefits are provided regardless of income (or “means”) of recipients
  22. 22. Non-Means Based Programs• Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance – Social security not a pension fund. – “This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” New York Times March 15, 2010
  23. 23. Non-Means Based Programs• Unemployment Insurance – About ½ of people unemployed receive benefits – Current unemployment rate 8.8% or 13.5 million people (April 1)
  24. 24. Social Welfare• Means-Tested Programs – recipients’ incomes (means) must fall below a certain level• 2011 FPL (Family of four): $22,350
  25. 25. Means Tested Programs • Supplemental Security Income – needy aged, blind, disabled
  26. 26. Means Tested Programs• Family and Child Support – dependent children without fathers – AFDC  TANF
  27. 27. Means Tested Programs • Food Stamp Program – originally designed to increase demand for farm products – average recipient receives $95/month
  28. 28. Social Welfare• The Effectiveness of Income Security Programs – entitlement program – those who meet the criteria are “entitled” to receive benefits – funds must be provided every year unless the law is changed
  29. 29. Health Care Policy• Rising cost of health care – people living longer, need more care – more expensive tests and treatments – expansion of private health insurance (people can afford more) – higher quality, higher labor costs – U.S. focuses on cure, not prevention (prevention is cheaper)
  30. 30. Health Care Policy• Medicare – medical care for the elderly – will be stressed by the aging of the population
  31. 31. Health Care Policy• Medicaid – medical care for the poor – available to SSI and TANF recipients – 58 million people, $204 billion (2008) – states set eligibility
  32. 32. Economic Policy
  33. 33. Economic Policy• The Nineteenth Century – Very little regulation (steamboat inspection, trade with American Indians) – Post-Civil War industrialization brought need for more regulation – Interstate Commerce Act 1887 to regulate railroads – Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1890 to prohibit monopolies
  34. 34. Economic Policy• The Progressive Era – middle class support for bringing corporate power under the control of government. Regulation, consumer protection. Transition from laissez-faire to the interventionist state.
  35. 35. The Progressive Era• Financial Reforms – protect consumers in banking (FDIC) – control abuses in the stock market (SEC)
  36. 36. The Progressive Era• Agriculture and Labor – protection of unions (National Labor Relations Act) – Fair Labor Standards Act 1938 – shorter work week, minimum wage, no child labor
  37. 37. The Progressive Era• Industry Regulations – Communications (FCC), commercial aviation (Civil Aeronautics Board), trucking (Motor Carrier Act)
  38. 38. Economic and Social Regulations• economic regulation – government regulation of business practices, industry rates, routes, or areas serviced by particular industries.• social regulation – quality and safety of products, conditions under which they are produced. Quality of life.
  39. 39. Deregulation• deregulation – reduction in market controls in favor of market-based competition.• Regulations affected competition, costs. Economic deregulation continues, social regulation remains
  40. 40. Economic Policy• Stabilizing the Economy – we desire economic growth, rising national income, high employment and steady prices. We don’t want inflation or recession.
  41. 41. Monetary Policy Controlling the Money Supply• monetary policy – manage money supply and influence interest rates• Board of Governors – makes economic decisions• reserve requirements – portion of deposits that must be retained• discount rate – interest rate for banks to borrow from Fed• open market operations – buy/sell government securities
  42. 42. Fiscal Policy Taxing and Spending• fiscal policy – deliberate taxing and spending to maintain economic stability

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