POLI 1105 - K Issues: American Public Policy
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A pandemic has swept across the globe threatening economic calamity and killing nearly 4.5 million people, including more than almost 650,000 Americans. Wildfires caused by extreme heat now rage across the western US and Canada, consuming hundreds of thousands of acres. On January 6, thousands supporters of president Trump stormed the US Capitol to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, threatening the Vice President and members of Congress as they sought to fulfill their constitutional duties. At the same time, rising political inequalities threaten inclusive American political institutions, undermine the capacities for effective governance, and decrease opportunities for broadly shared prosperity. The word “crisis” can no doubt be overused, but, at this moment in time, it is difficult to overstate the perils facing our nation. To make sense our of political moment, this course begins with an analysis of contemporary politics and policy. This analysis considers how government actions can produce solutions to common market failures and explores how modern mixed economies have brought about stunning improvements in the human well-being and catapulted the performance of the US ahead of other rich democracies. Yet, a fierce backlash against the modern regulatory state has not only challenged effective governance, but also eroded this comparative advantage in multiple domains, such as education, overall longevity, and environmental protection. To elucidate these patterns, we consider case studies in macroeconomic management, environmental regulation, public health, election rules, and others. Finally, students will become familiar with policy debates and devise specific proposals concerning a topic of personal interest. Possible research topics worth exploration may include education, health care, poverty, social security, macroeconomic management, environmental policy, immigration, criminal justice, voting rights, gun safety, and taxation.
Luders, Joseph E. (2021, Fall), (2021, Fall), POLI 1105 - K Issues: American Public Policy, Syllabus, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.
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