Vocabulary

Social Welfare Policy - Government programs designed to improve quality of life.
Public Policy - A course of action followed by government in dealing with some problem or mater of concern.
Agenda - A set of issues to be discussed or given attention.
Systemic Agenda-All public issues that are viewed as requiring governmental attention; a discussion agenda.
Governmental Agenda-The changing list of issues to which governments believe they should address themselves.
Policy Adoption - THe approval of a policy proposal by the people with the requisite authority, such as a legislature.
Policy implementation - THe process of carrying out public policy through governmental agencies and the courts.
Policy evaluation - The process of determining whether a course of action is acheving its intended goals.
agenda setting- the constant process of forming the list of issues to be addressed by government.
policy formation- the crafting of apporpriate and acceptable proposed courses of action to resolve public issues
Social Security Act- A 1935 law that est. insurance and assistance for the needy, children, and others, and unemployment insurance.
Means-tested program- A program to assist those whose income falls below a certain level.
Non-Means-Based Program- A program that is not based on income or means on the recipient. Social Security is a non-means-based program because it is given to anyone, regardless of their income, once they hit the age for it.
Elitist theory: only a chosen, or elite, few make policies for the nation
Bureaucratic theory: all institutions (government and non-government) are under control of a large and growing bureaucracy that carries out policy by using standardized procedures
Entitlement program: income security program to which all those meeting eligibility criteria are entitled

Test Notes & Class Notes

Theories
Elite Theory- the chosen few make important decisions
Bureacratic Theory- bureacratic carries out policy in a standardized procedure
Interest Group Theory- interest groups control the government process
Pluralist Theory- no one group has complete contol over the government


Entitlement programs: any benefit provided by law and regardless of need if that person meets eligibilty requirements (social security, medicare)
Means-tested programs: benefits for people with specific needs (food stamps, medicaid)
making agencies accountable
Executive control-> appoint leaders of agencies
Congressional Control -> power of the purse, approval of appointees, oversight
judicial control -> rule things unconstituional/ illegal

Stages of the Public Policy Process
1. Problem recognition and definition- Identifying a problem that needs to be adressed
2. Agenda setting, the constant process of deciding what issues should be adressed by the government
3. Policy Formulation, the practice of coming up with policy ideas that will resolve public problems
a) Routine Formulation: basically a redudant form of policy formulation, almost unnecessary because the lack of resulting change. usually occurs within such issues as veterans' benefits
b)Analogous Formulation: uses direct previous experience or knowledge, or the experience and knowledge of other states/governments to formulate new policies and ideas.
c)Creative Formulation: the formulation of new, original policies that may have been unnecessary in the past or are just very different ideas and plans from what was used in the past
4. Policy adoption- the approval of the policy by the legislature; making a bill into a law
5. Budgeting-necessary for funding policies and agendas; good or poor budgeting has a great effect on whether or not a policy is effective and impacting
-the power to give or cut off funding is an extremely powerful tool for congressional committee chairs
6. Policy Implementation, the process of carrying out public policy through the federal bureaucracy
7. Policy Evaluation- determining whether the policy is achieving the set goals

Unemployment Insurance
- funded by payroll tax paid by employers
- covers employers of 4 or more people but not part-time workers
- paid to employed workers who were not fired for person faults or quit & who are willing to accept suitable employment

Income Security Programs
Income security programs fall into two categories: non-means-based programs and means tested programs. Non-means based programs provide cash assistance to people regardless of their income, but based on their age and needs. Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment benefits are all non-means tested.
Means tested programs require people to have incomes below a specific amount to qualify. Medicaid, food stamps and assitance for needy families are all means tested programs.

Agenda Setting
Two different types =
Systematic Agenda - all public issues that are viewed as requiring governmental attention; a discussion agenda
Governmental (institutional) agenda - the changing list of issues to which govenrments believe they should address themselves.


Connecting Theory to Reality