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Values And Goals Of Public Policy

1222 words - 5 pages

There are conflicts between the fundamental values and goals that form the foundation of public policy because there are many considerations to take into account rather than a set idea. A policy's goal is to rationally attempt to obtain objectives, where as values differ when considering more options of what is fair. The goals for public policy are equity, efficiency, security and liberty, all of which contain ambiguities and problems of interpretation that make them the object of political struggles (Stone pp.37).Just as people evolve and change their minds, public policies must grow and change with us to suit our needs. Interpreting policies and making choices varies with time, place and individual policies, which happens to be what policy politics is all about. There will never be a policy that is satisfactory to everyone because of the differences in lifestyles and individual values of what is proper for a person to live by.It is human nature to always want more or to have what others have, but what's to decide that equality is the same for everyone. Equity as a goal for public policy tries to determine what is fair and equal for everyone: "who gets what, when, and how"(Stone pp.39). The values of what people consider to be equal are not universal so that is where the policy gets hung up. Affirmative action is a policy in contemporary politics that distributes preference to members of groups that have been the victims of historical discrimination (Stone pp.46). The problem with this type of policy is that these preferences might prevent another equally qualified person from even being considered, which in their minds is seen as unfair and unequal. The gender difference of income is unequal, but some might say that men have been in the workforce longer therefore they should be paid more. This does not seem equal to me or any other female for that matter, but I'm sure some men don't see a problem with that rationality.Nozick's end-result justice uses only the end result, no historical information, to determine what is fair and equitable (Stone pp.54). I think this would turn out to be bad judgment in deciding a policy because there would be no end result until the policy is in effect. Either it would be equal or not. I believe this is how our policies come to change so often because we will never know what will actually happen until it effects our citizens and communities.Efficiency is not a goal in itself. It is not something we want for its own sake, but rather because it helps us attain more of the things we value. It is a way of judging the merits of different ways of doing things (Stone pp.61). I like the example Stone uses about a loaf of bread and two dollars being equal in value, but a need for one or the other makes it that much more valuable to that individual (Stone pp.68). This example is saying that need altars the universal value of things to individuals. Exchanging the bread for the two dollars makes both of the recipients better...

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