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15 The Policy-Making Process
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Public Policy Two steps to creation: 1.Agenda Setting 2.What to do about the problem Government Scope truisms: 1.Government always gets larger 2.Government may be enlarged w/o public demand, even when conditions improving a.Groups may motivate change (corporations, urban poor) b.Institutions may motivate change (Courts, bureaucracy, Senate, national media) c.Agenda setters: rank the following- a.The President of General Motors b.The President of CBS c.A US Senator d.A homeless person e.An average blue-collar worker f.A member of the House of Representatives g.A millionaire h.A federal district judge i.A white parent who resents having a child bused j.Ralph Nader k.An aide to a US Senator l.An editor of The New York Times
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 15.1: A Way of Classifying and Explaining the Politics of Different Policy Issues
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Ralph Nader- Policy Entrepreneur Distributed Benefits from Concentrated Costs Accused GM in 60s of selling vehicles that were “unsafe at any speed” GM has him investigated; Nader sues and wins millions. Uses cash to create: 1.The Center for the Study of Responsive Law 2. a Health Research Group 3. the Tax Reform Research Group 4. Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) Nader feels (1973) that “new styles of violence” were being directed at Americans; existing law provided few remedies Examples: environmental pollution, dangerous cars. Drew ire of laissez- faire proponents Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (later S. Ct. justice) and Reagan 1996, 2000: Green Party Presidential Nominee; 2004: Independent Candidate
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Regulatory Effectiveness and Deregulation Michael Parenti’s Democracy for the Few: Regulatory Ineffectiveness and Poor Deregulation policies. 6 th Edition, New York: St. Martin’s Press, Office of Surface Mining: ½ mine owners fined for polluting; $200 million in fines uncollected Understaffing: 25 hazardous waste inspectors nationwide Reformers run into opposition from corporate America, court/representative access lost Bureoucrats equivocate instead of challenging industry; become beholden to them Career admins eventually leave gov’t service to accept higher-paying jobs in regulated cos. Promise of a lucrative post very enticing Independent reg. Commissions often grant monopolies to their regulated, costing taxpayers billions annually. FCC (phone, tv) and FDA (food, drugs) controlled Deregulation doesn’t help; simply removes competition (the public); industry unfettered Business not committed to “free market.” Profit-enhancing regs celebrated; only those that hurt profits bring cries for deregulation Enforcement efforts most vigorously pursued against weakest small businesses-287
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