Presentation on theme: "American Dilemmas Models and Economic Approaches."— Presentation transcript:
American Dilemmas Models and Economic Approaches
Learning Objectives Critically analyze social problems by identifying value perspectives and applying concepts of sociology, political science, and economics; Use knowledge and analyses of social problems to evaluate public policy, and to suggest policy alternatives, with special reference to questions of social justice, the common good, and public and individual responsibility.
TOPICS Good and Bad
Paper Proposal Due in class on 7/12 5% of your final Grade Involves submitting 2 Parts – Worksheet – 2 page paper
A Good Topic addresses a social Problem and has a controversial solution
A Good Topic is one that is being discussed by real people Theoretical discussions on policy are no better than Drunk Talk! For Example –
Where to find good topics Google News Newspapers The White House Page Congress- The Library
Good or Bad? What are the effects of Embryonic stem cell research? Should the US lift the trade embargo on Cuba? Should the use of cell phones be prohibiting while driving? Why is the war in Afghanistan wrong?
Good or Bad Is global warming detrimental to human existence? Should the Federal Government pass a cap-and-trade bill to combat global warming Has the federal government diminished the rights of citizens since 9/11?
Good or Bad Should the burning of the flag be made unconstitutional Should Botswana charge fees for state education?
Good Macro Topic Areas State and Federal Income programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps) Economic Policies Immigration Energy and the Environment Foreign Policy with troublesome nations Social Security Budgets and deficits Education Campaign finance/electoral reform Transportation (federal, state and local) Health Care Repeal/Reform
What are Perspectives/Models Methods that each discipline uses to understand social problems Simplified representations of some aspect of the real world – Simplify and clarify difficult problems – Help understand what is important and unimportant
Cost Benefit Analysis What is it? How Do you Conduct it? How do you put a value on Human life?Human life
Cost-Benefit II Advantages Criticisms of C-B
Cost Effectiveness How it Works Fixed-Budget Analysis Slot Machine strategystrategy
Cost Effectiveness II Fixed- Effectiveness Criticisms
Risk Assessment What is it? How does it Work? What are its' criticisms? – Type I errorerror – Lowering Risk is Expensive Expensive Spillover costs II
Rational/Public Choice A Cross-over Model
Rational/Public Choice The application of economic analyses to public policymaking In economics, people pursue their self- interests in the market. In policy you try to maximize your personal benefits
Public Choice Actors Can be applied to any unit of analysis (state, person, interest group, etc) People will join collective organizations when it benefits them.
Incrementalism Select policies based on the existing order. Policy is a continuation of past government activities with only incremental modifications A policy conservative and expedient way of making change. Downsides?
Political Feasibility What is it How Does it work
Economics The Dismal Science
Economics Fiscal Policy Monetary Policy
The Economy as a series of sectors
The Modern U.S. Economy A Shift Away from the First Two Sectors A Service Based Economy – Affluent service jobs – Welfare service – Service Jobs
The Economy as a series of “Collar” Jobs White Collar Blue Collar Pink Collar Green Collar Collar does not always equate with income
ECONOMIC POLICY MAKERS Who Does it
Key actors in Economic Policy We do not have a single economic policy The federal government is the key player here, why? – The Power to Tax – Regulate foreign trade – Coin Money and set its value
States and municipalities are also Big Players They can also tax They can provide incentives for economic growth Provide services for its residents
Economic Growth: Goal #1 An Increase in the GDP each year More Money means more tax revenue “Crazy” Growth, however, is not a good thing
Historical GDP Change
Low Unemployment: Goal 2 What is Unemployment Who does this Exclude? What it does not measure
The Positive aspects of Low Unemployment More Tax Revenue Fewer people receiving benefits Lower Crime
Unemployment in U.S.
Our Unemployment compared to other Nations Historically, it has been much lower Even in our poor economy, it is about the same as the EU region
The Decline of Labor Unions
The Economic and Political Effect of Unions Union Workers earn 10% to 15% than non- union workers in similar occupations A large player in “special interest” politicsspecial interest
Economic Goal 3: Low Inflation The Government wants low levels of inflation, why? Measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) How it has changed over timechanged
Goal 4: A positive Balance of Trade A Nation Wants to Export more than it Imports The United States is the reverse
Our Trade Deficit
Why We have a Trade deficit Where it comes fromfrom What are the reasons
The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Trade Deficit Disadvantages Advantages
Goal 5: Sound Tax Policy A sound tax policy should collect as much at it spends A sound policy does not disrupt the functioning of the economy
Where to set the Tax Rate
Types of Taxes Regressive Progressive Sin Taxes
Our Tax Burden Is Lower than Most Nations
Who Pays Income Tax?
The National Debt: The problem of our Tax Policy We accumulate annual budget Deficits We have to Pay interest on this We owe roughly 13 Trillion Dollars
The Debt Disadvantages Advantages
What to about it Raise Taxes Cut Spending Some Combination of both
Raising Taxes A Political Albatross We like Tax Cuts instead We Like sin taxes- but we are running out of these
Raising Taxes on Who? Soak The Rich Make the Poor Chip in Close Loopholes
Change How We Tax Add a consumption or VAT Tax Add a Flat Tax Try A “Fair Tax”
Cut Spending There is No Political Gain to do so Cut Back on Entitlements Reduce Discretionary Spending