Public policies are tools of governments used satisfy certain wants and needs of the citizenry that they cannot effectively satisfy individually or that are better served through collective action. Public Policy is governmental laws, rules and regulation, funding and courses of actions that are measured by the government. Public policies can be complex and can rapidly change under most circumstances. According to Medical University of South Carolina, Individuals and groups often attempt to shape public policy through education, advocacy, or mobilization of interest groups ( MUSC, 2012).
The study of public policies is the examination of the creation, by the government, of the rules, laws, and goals, and standards that determine what government does or does not do to create resources, benefits, costs, and burdens. There are many different areas related to Public policy that affect every one individual by way of education, economic development, health care, housing, employment & income, and immigration just to name a few.
There are also international policies as well that affect the US such as importing and exporting goods that go out into the economy, weapons, and terrorism.
any level of government, whether federal, state, or local may be involved in a particular policy effort because social problems, and the public demand for action on them, manifest themselves from the local to the national level. All areas of public policies are important and should be addressed as top priority because some policies such as education are just not a top priority. Schools, recreational centers, and teachers are being closed and laid off daily due to public policies and politicians trying to figured out ways to cut cost and meet budget requirements. Without parks and recreational centers for our children, crime is more likely to increase among our youth as well as the unemployment rate increasing among our teachers and without teachers, how are our youth going to grow and learn what is needed to become tax paying citizens in society? Public policy is defined by Webster’s as the “The basic policy or set of policies forming the foundation of public laws, especially such policy not yet formally enunciated.” The United States Government has many policies in the area of the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970 to help identify environmental problems in our nation, and to set policy on how to deal with those problems. Yet, with so much money spent by the government to deal with problems with the environment, it must be noted that problems still exist, even within the bureaucracy that was meant to help in the first place.
During the presidential campaign of the last election, an issue arose concerning the “energy crisis” that was driving gasoline and oil prices up throughout our country. Vice President Al Gore supported President Clinton’s ideology of waiting for the proper legislative initiatives to pass through Congress, and when the situation merited, provide some limited releases of oil from the national oil reserve. Candidate George W. Bush, on the other had, favored drilling in the government protected lands of Alaska to find future oil reserves so that America would no longer be so dependent on foreign oil. The problem with Bush’s plan, according to Gore, was that this could be devastating to the environment of the scarcely populated Alaskan wilderness. Regardless of the political, legal or moral implications of such drilling, there are problems dealing with multiple types of rationality in this issue. Others have noted the growing evidence that the increase in recent years in the frequency of such mega-hurricanes as Katrina is a result of global warming. A checklist of environmental policy failures must also include the administration’s head-in-the-sand approach to global warming. The Bush administration has aggressively undermined international efforts to forcefully address such potentially catastrophic changes in the world’s climate as a result of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States and other industrialized nations. It is impossible to say whether even a responsible approach to climate change would have lessened Katrina’s fury. But the fact remains that scientists believe global warming will make future hurricanes more severe. The president’s policy of blocking meaningful efforts to reduce global warming emissions no doubt means that future storms will do greater damage than they would otherwise. Huffington Post reported that Bush was heavily criticized at the time for the government’s response to Katrina, a storm that caused 1,833 fatalities, damaged an estimated $81 billion in property, and ranks among the five deadliest hurricanes in United States history. He remained on vacation in Texas as the hurricane rocked the Gulf Coast, before belatedly cutting his trip short and returning to Washington (Huffington Post, 2013).
- A Third Of Louisiana Republicans Blame Obama For Hurricane Katrina Response Under Bush. (2013). Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/21/obama-hurricane-katrina_n_3790612.html
- Definitions of Public Policy and the Law. (2012). Welcome to the Medical University of South Carolina. Retrieved from http://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/policy http://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/policy/definition.shtml
- Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster Online. (2013). Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/
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