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Week 2 Notes

by: Melissa Cairo

Week 2 Notes 0100

Melissa Cairo
Brown U
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Notes from 2/1/16-2/5/16
Introduction to Public Policy
Robert Hackey
Class Notes




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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Melissa Cairo on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 0100 at Brown University taught by Robert Hackey in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Public Policy in Public Health at Brown University.


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Date Created: 02/04/16
Intro to Public Policy – Week 2 – the context of policymaking, ideology 2/2/16 – context of policymaking 59 Charlesfield ta hours policy advocacy project  Choose topic that you are passionate about  Formulate strategy to effect change  Research people that can help you in this effort  Media strategy and paper Midterm and final in class Memo – presume they know about the issue  Don’t need to say why it is important assume knowledge on part of the reader Short to the point writing 2-3 single space pages less is more every policy reflects a hypothesis  Ex. Vaccinations o Hypothesis – it will keep people from getting sick o Polio  Found vaccinations  People have to get vaccinated  Cutter – vaccine manufacturer screwed up and accidently gave the active virus and infected people  How does this happen? o Two-and-a-half-hour approval process** o Desperate for a vaccine o Often make policy on less than ideal circumstances  What happens? o Sued o Costs of vaccine go up to cover legal expenses  New policy problem o New program is created – Vaccine injury  Insulate vaccine manufacturers from accountability  Hypothesis in mind but what happens if best case scenario doesn’t happen?  Policy issues are dynamic*  Every status quo has defenders o They are currently benefitting from the system o Have to overcome opposition to make change Typology of Public policy  Lowi three different policy types each have own distinctive political dynamics o Distributive policies  Cost and benefits are widely dispersed  Not controversial 2  Classic Ex. Hill-burton act of 1946  Funded hospital surveys and construction projects in all 50 states  Example of logrolling o Perseverance pays off – everyone will win  Contemporary example:  After bioterror attacks federal government authorized public health preparedness grants for all 50 states to build public health infrastructure capacity o Regulatory politics  Clear winners and losers  Always contested  Some groups have larger costs and other reap more benefits  Ex. Trans fats  Different groups get involved depending on how they’re affected  Interesting regulatory dynamics  Who is affected?  Ex. Coffee  Lots of sugar and calories  But all laws against sugar and calories exempt coffee in Rhode Island because it is a big business venture here  Winner wants to maintain status quo – gives them an edge over competitors 3  Losers – incentivized to try to make changes o Redistributive policies  Policy purgatory defined by a clear transfer of resources from one group to another  Most policy debate happens here  Means tested programs based on income are inherently redistributive  Medicaid is the classic example of such “robinhood”** policymaking – those who pay for the program can’t quality from benefits  People who pay don’t benefit******  Ex. Medicaid  People who don’t qualify pay for it  Where the money is  25% of most state budgets  People who benefit from these programs don’t have a lot of political capital  Policy hypothesis works* but politically vulnerable The Type of Policy Matters  Policy creates politics**  Why are programs for the poor – and particularly those aimed at poor women and children, politically vulnerable? – POWER**  Who gets involved? Who doesn’t? why does this matter? ***** o NEED POWER! 4 o The poor, working, children can’t get involved What is power? o Inescapable reality o Power is the ability of A to influence the action of B so that s/he does something s/he would not otherwise choose to do o Able to change behavior***** o Power is not evenly distributed Policy Paradox o Why might policies embody paradoxes? o Who are winners and losers? How can the losers be winners?  Political points, gaining principle, gaining exposure o Welfare v. assistance to the poor  Dimmer view of welfare even though they are the same thing o Where are there paradoxes in the current election??????  Bernie’s healthcare plan – single payer or socialism? o Ex. Hurricane Katrina  The clean up – safety and health issue v. an emotional connection for people there  ITS BOTH  Business community all about the clean up  Local people wanted the money to rebuild 5 When looking at policies – BE EMPATHETIC**WALK IN SOMEONE ELSE’S SHOES Cost benefits? Values and stories and symbols, how do people perceive policy issues? Policy Lessons from the Ford Pinto o Small car, two tone paint job o Winter talks about costs and benefits o Decision struggle = whether or not to include 11 dollar safety feature  Rear collision could cause explosion because of design without this safety feature o Cost benefit calculation – cheaper to pay for the legal fees the would come with the explosions instead of the $11 and cost of fix  Probability of accidents  How often people sue? How often do they win?  Monetary value of a life – 200K is the pain and suffering award – but this is way too low it should be in the millions  PR DISASTER  This is where they went wrong – underestimated the monetary value of a life*  Conclusion: economic decision Policy Context – federalism o Layer v. marble cake o Separate and distinct authority and responsibility 6 o Or.. pragmatic mixing of authority o Choose Your battleground and strategy o Federal – executive, congress, supreme court, bureaucracies o State – governor, state legislature, state courts o Local – mayor, city council Always try for HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE Find favorable situations, then build Policies are based on assumptions 2/4/16 – Ideology and Public Policy What is Ideology?  It reflects one’s view of the proper role of government in society – both in regulating the economy and our personal lives  How we think about what is proper for government  What role should government play  Who should take the lead – government or private sector?  Types o Liberal  less government in individual behavior  no regulation in what you are doing in your own life  more government regulation in economy  economy needs a more hands on manager  government should:  protect individual from big business  favor federal minimum wage and workplace regulation  strong environment regulation 7  Obamacare  Protect individual autonomy  Pro choice  Oppose limits on contraception  Support same sex marriage  Favor legalized marijuana  “let people live their own lives” o Populist  More government all together  Economic Policy  More regulation of business o Unfair advantage to the average person o Living wage – increase minimum wage  Promote fair trade o Tariffs o Limit competitive advantage of foreign goods  Higher taxes on the wealthy  Expanded social programs  Social policy  Moral role for government in society o Schools uniform, school prayer  Efforts to end discrimination  Not predominant ideology o Conservative  Less regulation of the economy  Laisse fair  More government regulation in individual behavior  Need to maintain the moral fabric of society  Opposite of liberals  Favors a hands off approach to the economy 8  Pro-competition  Tax cuts – leave $ in hands of individuals  Oppose government regulations and mandates  Repeal Obamacare  Oppose redistributive policies and big government  Cut taxes  Believe the nation is morally adrift  Opposed to abortion  Supports prayer in public school and school dress codes  Oppose same sex marriage  Traditional element that should be preserved o Libertarian  Less government all together  Government as a threat to our economic future  Favor a minimalist approach to government  Government should provide basic services like defense, a common currency, and justice**  Let free markets provide most other services o Individual bargaining  Night watchmen state*  Seeks to be left alone  Individuals should be able to do what they want  No limits on birth control, marijuana, or same sex marriage  Pro choice  CHOICE*** less is more 9  Political ideologies in America o Most politics in America happens along the liberal conservative axis** o Poll: self define view on social issues  Overtime the gap has closed between liberal and conservative  In 2015 evenly divided o Poll: self define view on economic issues  American public’s Views are a lot more conservative – significantly more than social issues  Views have relatively maintained, the gap between liberal and conservative has also relatively maintained o Recently we have lost much of the middle** o Fault line in republican party between libertarians and conservatives***  Ideology and party are different******** it is more nuanced o 14% of self identified democrats identify themselves as conservative on social issues o 11% of self identified republicans think of themselves as liberal on social issues  Growing ideological divide over time* o democrats are increasingly more liberal over time and republicans are more conservative o 92% of republicans are more conservative than the median democrat in 2014 o 94% of democrats are more liberal than the median republican o we are polarizing*** o symptoms of this:  growing distrust  27% of democrats see republicans as a threat to nations well-being, 38% unfavorable 10  36% of republicans see the democratic party as a threat to the nation’s well-being, 43% very unfavorable o why has this happened?  Cable news***  Mutually reinforcing effect  Tailored view of the world  Moderate voters  Not easily mobilized  Especially not early  Primary electorate  Choose a much more ideological candidate than the general would support  True believers are easy to mobilize  What to expect in 2016 o Democrats  Increasingly more liberal  Increasingly more die hard liberal o Republicans  Diehard conservatives increasing  Tea party – not willing to compromise – selling out on principles  Where do my views stand? Can I explain this to someone else? Obamacare  Tax bill – tax you if you don’t have healthcare  Conservatives against this Group Discussion: The Battle by Brooks  Tea Party o Want less government even in time of recession**  Opposite of Europe 11  CULTURAL DIFFERENCE IN THE US  Congress o Americans HATE congress o Upset with congressional republicans  Increased spending in bush administrations – deviated from their principles*  Free enterprise is the core of who we are o Culture of independence o Private property o Liberty o Pursue own ends o Individual accountability o “the makers and the takers”  makers = entrepreneurs  takers = social welfare programs, trend towards more takers/benefitting from those who contribute  promotes higher risk = you reap the benefits of your own actions****  blame the victim not the system  problems o assumes that everyone is on a level playing field o ignores luck and assumes that hard work is not always efficient o rules of the game are not the same for everyone  70% support free enterprise  30% against free enterprise o youth o media o high income earners  economic crisis o freddy may and freddy mac  banks no longer had skin in the game  no consequences o individual home buyers fault o everyone bought the notion that we could have it all 12 o blame on who suffered from the problem**  Brooks is the “anti Bernie”  Has he persuaded me? o Why or why not? o What more does he need to do? Hw. Read brook up to 123 13


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