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Chapter Summary: Public Policy

The chapter reveals that public policy is a guide by the government in all activities undertaken by in the sectors of administration or other executive branches of the country. This focuses on a wide range of issues that must be undertaken in accordance to the state laws as well as institutional conventions. In this chapter, the author divides public policy into three major areas: the outputs (decisions made by the government), the outcomes (the results of the decisions made), and political goods (including goals and values). The author takes readers through an extensive analysis of each of the three areas that form the public policy.

Under the output or decisions taken by the government to affect citizens’ livelihood, the author establishes that such activities differ from one country to another. However, there are common issues that must be fulfilled in the event of decisions made by the government. The government of any country through the public policy ensures regulation of telecommunications and air tariffs. The decisions made also assure provision of protection to the citizens as well as enforcement of the law. The government is in charge of infrastructure and to some extent control operations in major country industries. In essence, the government play a significant role in public policy through laying down political goals. After the political goals are set, the government establishes political goods that are organised around systems, processes and other policies. In the event of system public policies, matters like maintenance and adaptation are paramount. The author points out that in maintaining systems, the state through its policies must make relevant decisions that would be translated into adapting to any undesirable incidences within the environment.

For the public policy output, the writer summarises all policies under four imperative headings: extraction of resources, distribution, regulation and symbolic outputs. For instance the public policy must ensure direct implementation of services like military services, duties of the jury and imposition of labour to convicts within the society. There is also need for taxation to assure a better livelihood of citizens. The policy put taxes under different segments such as the overall tax burden. As a result, the public policy scheme relies on diverse types of taxes and the manners in which taxes are collected vary from state to state.

The chapter also focuses on the distribution of resource as a significant feature of the public policy. This may include transfer of assets like fiscal resources, goods and services to reach a range of citizens. This distributive public policy is important in availing other critical services to the public, for instance, good health, quality education, and the general development of the country. It is through the distributive policy such activities like social welfares function to reach out to less privileged individuals in the society. However, the writer points out in the chapter that social welfare has many challenges. These challenges include expenses, limited funds from the government, committing prospective generations to pay, and limited incentives to the country’s citizens.

On the other hand, the chapter brings to the reader’s knowledge incidences of community building as being vital to public policy. Within the large field of public policy, the author indicates that it is crucial to assure fairness and equity to all people regardless of their gender. This concerns matters of freedom to make choices as well as security within the environment in which people live. The chapter sums up by looking at the international outcomes of public policy. Information offered here concerns economic disposition, diplomacy, military and general information.

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