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American Politics and Public Policy
In order to clearly understand the clear definition of a policy maker it is important to define the term policy. A policy can be definite typically as a rule or a guiding principle that gives direction to decisions of the achievement of rational outcomes. It is therefore a protocol or procedure that is meant to affect a certain practice. A policy maker therefore is a person that has the power to determine or influence practices or policies either at a local, national or international level. Policy makers are therefore involved in determining administrative, political, managerial, or financial mechanisms that are aimed at reaching an explicit goal(s).
The federal policy making system is the process through which a policy goes through before it comes into being over a period of time. Initially the people raise their public concerns, interests and problems which they relay to linkage institutions like the media, politicians and political parties or other interest groups (Hacker, 2004). Through these linkage institutions or political channels, the concerns of the people are formulated into political issues expressed as policy agenda. The policy agenda is ten adopted for consultation among policy making institutions like the executive, legislature, the federal courts and bureaucracies. After all the above coordination a decision is made whether to adopt or reject the policy. If adopted the policy is then implemented and then evaluated on how it impacts the general public.
Apart from government institutions other institutions outside the government also play a vital role in determination of the policy making process. This is through exercising their actions as advocates of change. These institutions include NGOs, civil society groups, the media, advocacy groups and grassroots organizations. This is through provision of funds or donations for conducting policy research, dialogue as well as policy formulation and implementation. International organizations in the same manner play a vital role as they support and hence have the power to influence policy making. In regard to the scope of conflict the policies will either benefit one group positively while the other is impacted negatively. Therefore a certain extent of fairness has to be struck so that the policy for implementation will be beneficiary to all the spheres that will be either directly or indirectly impacted by the implementation of that policy.
During the whole process of policy making politics plays a very vital role in ensuring the at a certain amount of equality is exercised to address the needs and the impacts that a policy will have towards the public domain. As each representatives of the general public strive to see that their people are each considered a certain amount of fairness is exercised as no representative will allow his or her people to be given a low deal (Hacker, 2004).
There re two main models that are involved in the process of policy making, the market model and the polis model. The market model is more static or explicit in its statement of objective which it adheres to through the analysis as well as the process of decision making. In addition it anticipates many alternatives with each defined clearly to be a distinct course of practice. It also evaluates the costs as well as benefits of each particular course of action choosing the one that will maximize the best welfare as in the definition of the objectives.
The polis model on the other hand is a bit flexible (Alter, 2006). It ambiguously states objectives and will redefine or shift goals if the political situation demands so. Undesirable alternatives are assumed with preferred alternatives looked at as the only feasible agendas. It concentrates on the causal chain ignoring other chains which might require costly r politically difficult actions. It therefore does not retain very strict progression. It is based on community, organization or groups that have public interests, emphasizes on cooperation over competition, loyalty an incomplete information system, pervasive influence as well as interpretive and strategic laws of passion.
Political Culture, the Economy, and Public Policy
The political culture of the United States is centered on the following set of principals ideas that serve as a common binding; liberty, self government, equality, unity, diversity and individualism. Politics are viewed as a process that determines the governing of the society. Politics plays a major role in democratic procedures, capitalism and constitutionalism whereby it involves pluralist, majority as well as elite rule. The politics of the United States are also characterized by major patterns such as governing systems that are highly fragmented , high pluralism degrees, individual rights emphasis of extraordinary degree as well as economic and political spheres that are of pronounce separations (Thomas, 2002).
Just to look at it at a glance, the past the economy of the united state was kind of a mixed one where the government heavily intervened since the beginning in its support for industry, infrastructure as well as its support for education. In the recent years though, the government of the United States has been allowing the infrastructure to run without adequate maintenance. It has also cut down in its education’s commitment and in general rating has not been flowing so well in the recent past. But despite the above it still continues to be the world greatest economy. It is highly acknowledge for the high economic freedom that it affords to the private sector through allowing then to determine the majority decisions (Thomas, 2002).
One of the problems that the United States has been facing that has created a lot of political and economic changes is the increase of illegal immigrants. These immigrants have continued to put a lot of pressure on key social amenities such as health facilities, schools and so on. This has been because most of theM are highly dependent on the working class since they have no means of providing for themselves. They therefore make no contributions towards government taxes yet they consume a lot of the tax payers’ money. Another problem has been the decline of the American political process most of them are not eligible voters yet they want changes to be affected.
In regard to the relationship between cultural values, economic conditions, and public policy in the United States with other nations globalization has overly affected the United States culturally and economically in the same in the same way it has affected other nation. The differences between all these nations have hence been diminished. Countries including the united states have also continued to copy each other in regard to culture, economic and public policy though America still stands as a leading nation that other have continued to copy from (Campbell, 2002).
The government of the United States has been very concerned with the extent and the nature in which the accountability of individuals in large organizations try to eliminate or reduce the principal agent problem. This is related to separate threads of discussions focusing on corporate government systems in regard to economic efficiency. Strong emphasis has put on the welfare of shareholders an aspect that has dominated most contemporary public developments and debates in regulatory policies. Renewed interests in corporate government practices in regard to contemporary corporations have been developed since 2001 especially due to the fall or various corporations in account of fraud. The government has hence been working hard towards restoring public confidence in regard to corporate governance.
The process of corporate government involves a series of policies, laws, customs and processes which affect the ways in which corporations are administered, controlled and directed. This includes the relationships between a variety of stakeholders involved as well as the goals for which corporations are governed. In modern corporations the chief external groups of stakeholders are shareholders, creditors, debt holders, customers, suppliers and communities that are affected by the activities of a corporation (Campbell, 2002).
In regard to boardroom politics, it involves decision making by professionals and business elites who have sustentative public consequence. In this decision making site the decisions being determined are highly centralized with principality being focused towards achieving one goal but maximization is aimed at corporate profits. The issues that are addressed in the board room typically tend to be complex. In addition to this the issues have a reduced degree of appeal or salience towards the general public.
Chief Executive Politics
Cloakroom politics involve legislator policymaking be it by the U.S state house, congress, town/ city council or county boards. Legislator bodies tackle a variety of issues tending to be slow in coming up with decisions. Decision making in this site is often decentralized and subjected to quite a number of influences particularly by well organized and financed interests. Issues tackled in this site have the tendency of having high degrees of public salience generating high levels of conflicts. Policies could also be bipartisan hence highly controversial but a consensus has to be reached (Campbell, 2002).
Chief executive Politics on the other hand are dominated by Presidents, mayors, governors, county executives as well as their advisers. The chief executives address highly visible matters and dominate media and public perceptions in regard to the government. The actual influence of their policy is often quite different from their projected image. For these chief executives the idea of leaderships revolves around their ability to persuade all the other policy makers particularly legislators in adopting their priorities as well as return them into legislation or policy. The tools of trade available for these executives are veto powers, highly qualified advisory team and diligent research teams through stage agencies. Issues tackled at this level are usually of high salient degree in addition to attracting high degrees of conflict. The consequences of chief executive policies are dramatic changes in the running of government business as well as ensuring that there is achievement of policy in the system.
Bureaucratic politics on the other hand involves the making of rules, implementation as well as adjudication responsibilities which are executed by the bureaucrats of an agency with in puts from professionals and organized clients. At this particular level issues are accorded a compatible definition as possible with very standardized agency operational methods. The standards set for decision making are normally quite explicit though they are also subject to dramatic and quick change by outsiders. The issues just like in the boardroom politics have the tendency of complexity in addition to having low degrees of salience in regard to the public. Bureaucratic politics come into being when bureaucrats (government official that are non-elected) venture into the political arena trying to shape or influence the process of policy making.
The characteristics of the resulting process are conflicts as well as bargain as a number of actors strive to control the same policy space (Brewer, 2008). The pressures that bureaucrats face are being portrayed as self interest groups as well as self serving individuals who steer decision towards directions that will serve to protect and advance their personal interest as well as those of their employer agencies. Bureaus strive to maximize budgets and authorized power and protect their operating discretion and autonomy in decision making I assigned responsibilities. This is through lobbying for expansions in scope of their responsibilities as prescribed by legislature or congress (Brewer, 2008).
Courtroom politics respond with court orders to claims made by individual who are aggrieved. At this level politics address a more generally restricted issue ranges but are still capable of taking policy actions that are decisive and which may have huge impacts. Some people chafe at the idea of mingling politics and courts since they believe that this level is outside politics. Courts in general terms interpret regulations and statutes which have been crafted by political appointees or politicians. The decisions of the courtroom have their dramatic impacts on politics as in decision on the right to vote and voting districts as well as policy (Alter, 2006).