The public policy is the government’s attempt to address the public issues and institute the legal procedures, laws, regulations, decisions, and actions that are pertinent to the people’s problems. The public policy can address various issues, such as crime, health, foreign policies, education, and social welfare. While public policies are most common in the US, several other countries, for instance, the UK also implement them. The creation of the public policy is a process that basically follows three steps: setting of the agendas, policy formulation, and implementation. These policies can also be made by religious or political leaders for the benefit of their followers.
The Process of Making Public Policy
When making the public policies, there are three things that are involved in the process. That is a problem, player, and policy. The problem is usually the issue to address; the player is the people or the group that influences the formation of a plan to solve the problem. The policy is the final course of action that is decided upon by the government. Commonly, the public are the people who create awareness to the government concerning the existence of a problem though protests, media, phone calls or even representatives. The issues are introduced in the government meetings where the process of making new policies starts.
The three rationalised steps of making a public policy are taken into consideration. In the agenda setting stage, government agencies and officials meet to discuss the problem. In the second stage of option formulation, various alternative solutions are considered when making the final decision about the best policy. The decided policies are finally implemented during the last stage, and in most cases, the decision are open for interpretation by other non-governmental societies. The facts implied in this model is that the needs of the society as the main players have to be accorded enough priority in the policy making process. The work of implementing future institutions for governance solely belongs to the public policy, public opinion, and representatives of the people in the government. Corporations are also becoming part of the future of any society. As a result of the rapid ascendance of corporate societies to the highest levels of power, their influence on governance is increasingly becoming important. Today, we face a moment in history where the gap in national governance is continuously increasing based on the economic ability and needs of individuals and groups (Lynch, 1995).
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However, those who are in the front line of framing the issues to be addressed by the policies that are often large amount of influence in the whole process. The influence largely emanates from political affiliation, personal interest, personalities among other connections, and the bias is extended by the players involved in the process. Similarly, the final outcome is usually not effective just like the implementation step. In general, the public policy continues to be the key tool that properly addresses social concerns as illustrated below.
The Clinton’s administration sought to implement a good policy that would bring an effective healthcare system in 1993, due to ineffective policies on healthcare. As part of the policies considered, the federal government was to protect the public health as part of consumer protection rights. Consumers were allowed to form alliances to ensure they obtain better healthcare prices. The government involved the lobby groups and politicians as the players into the healthcare policy making process. However, due to political differences, the policies brought forward by the Clinton’s administration did not affect despite making reforms in the healthcare provision legislation.
However, in 2010, Barrack Obama signed the affordable Care Act to law. This public policy in healthcare was meant to provide the American citizens with the easily affordable health insurance. Several changes in healthcare were made to block the insurance companies from denying medical cover to children who had pre-existing medical conditions (Treadway, 2010). The firms were also prevented from dropping coverage to policyholders once they become ill. It took some years to complete the policy where the final stage of the Obama’s care policy was planned to end in 2014.
Principles of Sound Public Policy
The principles of the public policy shared in this document are the modern pillars of a free economy. According to Dawson (2009), if the cornerstone of a federal building in every state were emblazoned with these principles and if the law makers in that particular state understood and followed them, the world would be stronger, better, and prosperous in all aspects of public administration.
Free people are not equal, and equal people are not free
In this principle, the kind of “equalness” should be clarified. It does not refer to equality before the law but to the notion that one should be judged guilty of an offence based on whether it is done or not. This freedom should not be determined by the race, sex, creed, wealth, religion or gender of a person. However, in western civilisation, many organisations fall short of this foundation, and no one questions its validity. In this concept, “equalness” referred to is that of material wealth and income and simply entail what people earn and acquire from the market of work, commerce, and exchange.
People are free to be the masters of their destinies and apply their efforts for the wellbeing of their families. The results are not equivalent to their outcome in the marketplace. People earn and accumulate wealth differently. People should be allowed to live freely themselves in the free society because of the uniqueness of each person. As everyone has a unique talent, people should not expect to produce the same products in the market place, and therefore, full independence should be provided to every stakeholder in the market.
Sound policies require that long run effects should be considered
John Keynes, a well-known British economist, once declared, “we are all dead in the long run”. However, this should not serve as a licence to enact policies that make only few people feel good at the expense of other people in future. For instance, when Lyndon Johnson cracked the Great Society in 1960, people thought that he was to benefit from the welfare check. Now everybody knows that under the long haul, the entitlement to welfare by the federal government broke up families, encouraged idleness, and produced intergenerational dependency of a hopeless society. This cost the taxpayers a great fortune that resulted to harmful social pathologies that can take ages to undo. Likewise, the deficit spending policies and government growth have taken the most important issues in the government and national economy and degraded the moral fibres for a number of years.
Actually, the principles call for the policy makers to be thorough before enacting a policy that may take the nation back in all aspects. It calls for a superficial judgement where a thorough survey in the moral capital of the society has to be put into consideration. Everyone should keep in mind that today is actually tomorrow that previous policymakers told people to ignore. Therefore, as responsible adults, people have to behave like infants who are concerned by overwhelming focus on their own future.
To encourage something, more of it is given but when something, less of it is provided
Human beings are creatures driven by incentives and disincentives that highly affect people’s behaviour. Policymakers who do not keep this in mind are likely to introduce the unplanned taxes on some activities and expect the public to work hard as normal. If a taxman introduces a levy on any given activity, such an activity is discouraged, and the taxpayers are sheared away from it. Remember when George Bush, Sr., reneged under pressure in the 1988-s “no tax policy”, big tax hikes were felt in 1990 on items like ships, boats, aircrafts, and jewellery. A group of uninformed lawmakers thought that since the rich always buy such things, they should have to pay more taxes. The revenue authority expected additional $31 million in the first year from the taxes on these items, but unfortunately, onlyn $19 million were obtained. This step alone shelled out over $24 million of unemployment benefits as a result of people that were rendered jobless by these industries. For instance, in Washington, the lawmakers forget about the importance of incentives and aimed 31 only to get 16 as they spent 24 to get it thinking they had done a good job.
Another important social welfare to consider before introducing a controversial policy in the public domain is the impact that such a policy will have on the family as the basic social set-up. Once the biggest welfare check in the family is the father, the impact is to reduce savings and investment. If a double tax is introduced, a high capital gain will be achieved. On the other end, the likelihood of a family breakup may occur. Presently, both the state and the federal legislatures have to pay enough attention to such issues as a reduction measure to the recession and declining revenues.
No one spends another person’s money as careful as he/she spends his/her own
Have anyone ever wondered why the government sometimes buys $600 hammers and $500 toilets seats? You can walk on the heights and lengths of this world and never find a place where a person will spend his/her own money in such a manner. However, these types of wastes occur in the government and other public offices with no explained reasons. The best suggestion concerning this behaviour is that a person is actually spending another person’s money.
Milton Friedman asserted that there are actually only four ways to spend money. When a person spends his/her own money on himself/herself, occasional few mistakes are made. The relationship between the earner, the spender and the one who reaps the final benefit is too strong, immediate, and direct.
When a person spends his/her money to buy another person a present, there are some incentives to get back money’s worth but it might not happen that the intended recipient needs the actual value. However, when a person uses somebody’s money for himself/herself, there are some incentives to have the right thing, but there is no reason to economise. Finally, when people use others’ money to buy something for themselves else, the relationship between the earner, spender and recipient is the remotest, and the possibility for a mischief is the highest. It is exactly what the government does.
Common Principles of Public Policy
(i) Public policies should promote effectiveness, ethics and accountability in management of all charitable resources by establishing a corporate giving culture.
(ii) Sound public policies should encourage everyone to provide to charity without any form of influence, unequal treatment or restriction.
(iii) Public policies should provide predictable and fair sanctions with reasonable legal implications and establish practical techniques to enforce swift administrative solutions so as to avoid litigations.
(iv) Good public policies should encourage growth and vitality of all corporations and enhance a corporate giving culture to the needy people in the society.
(v) Public policies should support and promote free market, healthy and globally competitive business environment that allow the private sectors to expand with no interference from non-private enterprises that compete directly with the private entities.
(vi) Public policy should set objectives that are verifiable and can be legitimately evaluated and accounted for in an on-going system and provide feedback for implementing the agency regarding the effectiveness of such policies.
(vii) It should also provide market based incentives that provide beneficial results to all the community stakeholders.
(viii) Finally, all public policies should be executed by a functional government, which is supposed to serve people in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner.
Public Policy on the Global Outlook
Given the diverse use of the word globalisation, it is surprising how little we do about it in most cases as it is only asserted but not defined. Those people who describe it as a continuous increase in the cross border economic and financial activity try to mislead the public as it only leads to an improved economic independence. Essentially, the terms globalisation and interdependency are often used interchangeably. This paradox created is interpreted to be a mere quantitative rise in a given trend. If it is true, there is no need for the government to reassess its role in the institution and principles that have governed the world since the World War II. In view of globalisation, it is necessary to have a distinction between globalisation and economic independence. Such a distinction provides the basis to reassess the role of government in making of public policies.
In the 1960s, the foreign direct investments were closely related to direct trade and world outputs. The averaged increase reached 16% annual between 1985 to 1995 as compared to 2% and 7% respectively for only trade and output. Most of the additional investment concentrated on the countries that were members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development while only a few developing countries had mergers and acquisition in research and development for intensive industries. It was an international policy for countries to form a pattern of corporate alliance and collaborative agreement.
These changes had a qualitative implication for international trade policies which changed the structure for the international alliances and foreign direct investment. Currently, over three-quarters of the world have been connected in an intra-firm, which is directly tied with corporate strategies, and none of these have much to do with comparative advantage (Anderson, 2003).
After the World War II, interdependence was the precursor of modern globalisation. It led to the creation of international protocols and regimes, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or the International Monetary Funds. These two protocols were the causal factors that encouraged globalisation. Technological innovation and the liberalisation of cross border economic activities enabled fostering of an environment that compelled companies to adopt globally accepted strategies. However, the public also had their response on the government improvement action to increase interdependence as a consequence. Therefore, it was thought wise to examine the challenges on globalisation before implementing such policies.
Globalisation Policies that Threaten Democracy
This research paper contains various references to include in equity, minority voice and interests as factors to consider in developing any public policy within a community and public. It is one of the fundamental elements that help people to understand what public interest entails. An important document commonly referred to as Capacity building, links the community experience with the relevant public policy.
Capacity building commonly addresses three fundamental issues:
(i) How can policy makers in the public domain tap the community experience at all level in the process of making the public policies?
(ii) How can communities and members of the public move beyond lobbying for special interest groups and engage the government and policymakers as partners in a meaningful dialogue that will enhance the solutions to problems?
(iii) How can the process of public policy assist in building the capacity for all sectors to work jointly to have an all-inclusive and credible governance and policy making?
The first and second questions relate directly to a particular discussion in the workbook while the third provide an insight for capacity building that has to be dealt with by the public (Sigler & Beede, 1998). The source strongly link discussion in relation to horizontal policy, shift from citizen consultation to public engagement, and also address the difference between ancient policy making process and the emerging activities related to policy making process. The advantage of the system is that the system entirely addresses the activities that are geared towards capacity building while working for substantial outcomes.
The Philosophy of Public Rights and Ideal Objects
It has been a common practice to find arguments on the rights of property ownership. According to John Locke’s chapter on property there is a convergence of varying and contradicting arguments about this issue. There are five different and plausible arguments that lead to the same conclusion.
Intellectual property becomes a different matter altogether with various arguments leading to a convergence in support of private property but differs when applied to the concept of intellectual property. For instance, the theory that considers property as a reward for labour might also support the rights for intellectual property, which is perceived as concretion of liberty. However, the process of setting up and implementing public policy is marred by a lot of corruption and end up not serving the intended purpose.
In my opinion, the public policy is a type of a sloppy method of governance that works outside the actual laws provided by the legal documents of a country and is at most unconstitutional. Instead of following the law, the policy makers determine the problem and craft some idealistic measures that are not legitimately legislated. Such kinds of actions are the source of all types of questionable institutions, such as tribunals and other agencies contracted to private organisations. They are just like an enforcement and not a benefit to people. Eventually, it becomes unconstitutionally implemented delegation of power. This can be translated like a government expanded arm that mostly represents an abuse of power, which is highly unconstitutional.
As a matter of fact, when the media announces that the government is in the process of forming an agency to implement a public policy, most of the informed listeners change the channel. They interpret that by so doing, the government is exercising oppressive bureaucracy that cannot be questioned by the electorate. Therefore, the major question is whether the public policy is the most important method to determine the welfare of the society in the economy.