About the Blog
I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.
There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges. This blog is on the open Internet, so post nothing that you would not want a potential employer to see.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
In a new ad appealing to Christian Conservatives in Iowa, Rick Perry accuses Obama of waging a "War on Religion." As proof, Perry refers to two very sensitive issues within the sphere of American culture wars, homosexuals in the military and school prayer. Full text for the ad is below:
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.
As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.
Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.
I’m Rick Perry and I approve this message.
In preparing for the final exam, consider both the air midterm and the following practice exam. The questions on the final will be similar in form and content, though not identical.
I. Identifications. This section will ask you to write a brief paragraph explaining the meaning and significance of 12 out of 14 items from readings and class discussions (4 points each). Examples:
- Budget Control Act of 2011
- Environmental impact statements
- Negative income tax
- Tax brackets
- "Information Infarction"
- Legislative history
- David Kessler
- The "Twenty Dollar Test"
- Government by network
- Generic vulnerabilities
- How does "broken windows" policing work?
- Briefly explain the argument for and against the FDA’s policy on blood donations from the MSM population.
- Explain at least one unanticipated consequence of policies to encourage alternative energy sources.
- Fritschler and Rudder write: "In policy space [meaning] all current policies contained in one space bumping up against one another, a change in one policy increasingly impinges on many other policies, again requiring adjustments in those policies." Explain. Why does this "bumping" happen? How does it affect the process of decisionmaking? Give a specific example.
- Evaluate Rick Perry's budget plan: http://www.rickperry.org/issues/fiscal-responsibility/ (Just the summary page, not the detailed statement). What tradeoffs does it involve? What obstacles would confront the plan in Congress? If he won passage of the whole plan, would it work?
- Is Occupy Wall Street part of an issue-attention cycle? If so, why? What is the "issue" in question? If not, why not? How does the issue differ from those that go through the cycle?
IV. Bonus questions (one point each) Very briefly identify the following:
- Peter Orszag
- Amy Klobuchar
- Bill Frist
- Alexis Orton
- J. Peter Grace
This is an interesting article from Forbes looking at the connection between Occupy Wall Street and the culture war. The article bridges the concepts of class warfare and culture war to suggest that the Occupy movement is simply the latest iteration of America's culture War. The author also focuses on the increased attention brought to the criminal justice sector and need for reform in the crackdowns on protesters.
Check out the link here
Check out the link here
Posted by Unknown at 1:15 AM
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
This article describes the best policy innovations as nominated by various policymakers (including Elaine Kamarck!). It's a long article, but definitely worth the read. The breadth of careers for the various pieces of legislation was extremely interesting; nominees ranged from Congressional representatives to a Cabinet Secretary (DOE Duncan) to leaders in state policy. Over the course of the semester, we've examined the different approaches to policymaking and this article definitely supports the claim that people can make policy from many different levels.
My favorite nomination? The Cloud First policy, described on page 3. This IT legislation focuses on web-based services (for a somewhat less technical description, see here). The policy focuses on "the chance for government to do more with less." Specifically, the nomination describes many of the drawbacks we have discussed in class including a short analysis of implementation problems.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Originating in the U.K., social-impact bonds encourage private investors and philanthropic foundations to fund privately managed social programs in areas such as health care and prisoner recidivism. If the programs succeed in reaching previously set targets—and social outcomes improve—investors receive so-called success payments from the government. If the programs don't work, the government pays nothing. In these scenarios, investors take on all the risk and the government pays only for programs that work.
Chart from UK's Social Finance
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" -Ben Franklin
OMB factsheet on "Paying for Success" and POTUS FY 2012 proposal's $100 million for pilot
CAP report "Social Impact Bonds: A promising new financing model to accelerate social innovation and improve government performance"
One Service, UK's first social impact bond in action
Social Finance's report "Bringing Social Impact Bonds to Massachusetts"
What SIBs could benefit in the US:
- National Guard Youth Challenge (through DOD, applies military discipline to provide skills training to at-risk youth)
- Permanent housing for chronically homeless individuals
- Home and community based aging programs for elderly
- Community-based alternatives to juvenile and adult offenders
- Increase kindergarten readiness among low-income children
- Increase college completion rates
- Raise the future earnings of laid-off workers
- Reduce hospital readmissions among patients with chronic illness
- Transition services for youth with disabilities (decreasing future need for Supplemental Security Income assistance)
- Job-training programs (increase participant earnings, so government gets additional tax revenue and spends less on welfare)
- Financial aid for students at for-profit colleges