Why Study Public Policy?
Start by considering these five reasons why the study of public policy should be important to you: 1. As inheritors of an enduring democracy, also the sole superpower, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to participate in civic affairs. We need know-how: the analytical, ethical, and practical skills necessary to effectively engage in public affairs. Regard this responsibility as a life-long duty. 2. The sheer extent of the intervention of government in society, the economy, and world affairs makes the study of public policy essential for a conscientious citizen. Similarly, the amount of spending by government at all levels makes this an important subject. As taxpayers, we have a stake in effective public policy and the overall scope of the government in our lives. We consume a vast and varied bundle of public services. A detailed, current discussion of the dimensions, growth, and composition of government spending will be provided in chapter five, which deals with the budget as part of the policy cycle. 3. Understanding policy analysis permits us to actualize solutions to practical problems which are brought to the agenda of government. These may be our own problems, those of our community, our profession, or problems to which we feel a special commitment. Knowing how public policy works can improve our ability to deal with these issues. 4. Public policy analysis can become a professional role for students trained in political science, economics, law, environmental studies, business, and other disciplines. These fields constantly interface with government and have a direct stake in the quality and character of public policy. To the extent that analysts can understand how policy is made, what impacts are derived, and how policy can improve, more effective public policy might be formulated. 5. The Ramapo College Mission Statement emphasizes teaching character building and effective citizenship. Public Policy...
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