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Compare and Contrast Rational and Incremental Policy Making
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In this essay I intend to investigate both rational and incremental policy making, identifying the differences between them. Despite the notable differences I also intend to draw comparisons between the two in order to establish which is the more favourable method to use when introducing public policy. Rational models of policy making assume policy makers identify all problems, then gather and review all the data about alternative possible solutions and their consequences and select the solution that best matches their goals. The incremental model of policy making involves taking small steps which are based on previous policies or previous...
who may have different goals. Both models are developed to find the best possible decision available. Both Simon's rational model and Lindblom's incremental model are very different but both share a common goal and both methods can be effective under different circumstances. Using the rational decision making model, there is a high level of control over policy allocated to planners as opposed to the incremental which allows solutions to evolve over time. However, no single type of model can do everything, the rational model provides an ideal model whilst the incremental model provides a realistic view of the world.
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The idea that America is turning...The idea that America is turning fascist has been popular on the Left for as long as I can remember: in the 1960s, when antiwar radicals raged against the Machine, this kind of hyperbole dominated campus political discourse and even made its way into the mainstream. When the radical Weather Underground went into ultra-Left meltdown and began issuing incoherent "communiqués" to an indifferent American public, they invariably signed off by declaring: "Death to the fascist insect pig that preys on the life of the people!" Such rhetoric, too overheated for American tastes, was quite obviously an exaggeration: America in the 1960s was no more "fascistic" than miniskirts, Hula Hoops, and the rhyming demagoguery of Spiro T. Agnew. Furthermore, we weren"t even close to fascism, as the downfall of Richard M. Nixon made all too clear to whatever incipient authoritarians were nurtured at the breast of the GOP. Back in those halcyon days, America was, in effect, practically immune from the fascist virus that had wreaked such havoc in Europe and Asia in previous decades: there was a kind of innocence, back then, that acted as a vaccine against this dreaded affliction. Fascism "“ the demonic offspring of war "“ was practically a stranger to American soil. After all, it had been a century since America had been a battleground, and the sense of invulnerability that is the hallmark of youth permeated our politics and culture. Nothing could hurt us: we were forever young. But as we moved into the new millennium, Americans acquired a sense of their own mortality: an acute awareness that we could be hurt, and badly. That is the legacy of 9/11. Blessed with a double bulwark against foreign invasion "“ the Atlantic and Pacific oceans "“ America hasn"t experienced the atomizing effects of large-scale military conflict on its soil since the Civil War. On that occasion, you"ll remember, Lincoln, the "Great Emancipator," nearly emancipated the U.S. government from the chains of the Constitution by shutting down newspapers, jailing his political opponents, and cutting a swathe of destruction through the South, which was occupied and treated like a conquered province years after Lee surrendered. He was the closest to a dictator that any American president has come "“ but George W. Bush may well surpass him, given the possibilities that now present themselves. From the moment the twin towers were hit, the fascist seed began to germinate, to take root and grow. As the first shots of what the neocons call "World War IV" rang out, piercing the post-Cold War calm like a shriek straight out of Hell, the political and cultural climate underwent a huge shift: the country became, for the first time in the modern era, a hothouse conducive to the growth of a genuinely totalitarian tendency in American politics. The events of 9/11 were an enormous defeat for the U.S., and it is precisely in these circumstances "“ the traumatic humbling of a power once considered mighty "“ that the fascist impulse begins to find its first expression. That, at any rate, is the historical experience of Germany, for example, where a defeated military machine regenerated itself on the strength of German resentment and lashed out at Europe once again. The terrible defeat of World War I, and the injustice of the peace, created in Weimar Germany the cradle of National Socialism: but in our own age, where everything is speeded up "“ by the Internet and the sheer momentum of the knowledge explosion "“ a single battle, and a single defeat, can have the same Weimarizing effect. The Republican party"s response to 9/11 was to push through the most repressive series of laws since the Alien and Sedition Acts, starting with the "PATRIOT Act" and its successors "“ making it possible for American citizens to be held without charges, without public evidence, without trial, and giving the federal government unprecedented powers to conduct surveillance of its own citizens. Secondly, Republicans began to typify all opposition to their warmaking and anti-civil liberties agenda as practically tantamount to treason. Congress, thoroughly intimidated, was silent: they supinely voted to give the president a blank check, and he is still filling in the amount"¦ The intellectual voices of American fascism began to be heard in the land before the first smoke had cleared from the stricken isle of Manhattan, as even some alleged "libertarians" began to advocate giving up traditional civil liberties all Americans once took for granted. "It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes," wrote "libertarian" columnist and Reason magazine contributing editor Cathy Young, "perhaps there are no true libertarians in times of terrorist attacks," she noted, as she defended government spying on Americans and denounced computer encryption technology as "scary." As much as Young"s self-conception as a libertarian is the result of a misunderstanding, that infamous "anti-government" sentiment that used to permeate the GOP evaporated overnight. Lew Rockwell trenchantly labeled this phenomenon "red-state fascism," writing: "The most significant socio-political shift in our time has gone almost completely unremarked, and even unnoticed. It is the dramatic shift of the red-state bourgeoisie from leave-us-alone libertarianism, manifested in the Congressional elections of 1994, to almost totalitarian statist nationalism. Whereas the conservative middle class once cheered the circumscribing of the federal government, it now celebrates power and adores the central state, particularly its military wing." This worrisome shift in the ideology and tone of the conservative movement has also been noted by the economist and writer Paul Craig Roberts, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury, who points to the "brownshirting" of the American Right as a harbinger of the fascist mentality. I raised the same point in a column, and the discussion was taken up by Scott McConnell, editor of The American Conservative, in a thoughtful essay that appeared in the Feb. 14 issue of that magazine. My good friend Scott sounds a skeptical note: "It is difficult to imagine any scenario, after 9/11, that would not lead to some expansion of federal power. The United States was suddenly at war, mobilizing to strike at a Taliban government on the other side of the world. The emergence of terrorism as the central security issue had to lead, at the very least, to increased domestic surveillance "“ of Muslim immigrants especially. War is the health of the state, as the libertarians helpfully remind us, but it doesn"t mean that war leads to fascism." All this is certainly true, as far as it goes: but what if the war takes place, not in distant Afghanistan, but on American soil? That, I contend, is the crucial circumstance that makes the present situation unique. Yes, war is the health of the State "“ but a war fought down the block, instead of on the other side of the world, means the total victory of State power over individual liberty as an imminent possibility. To paraphrase McConnell, it is difficult to imagine any scenario, after another 9/11, that would not lead to what we might call fascism. William Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation and a prominent writer on military strategy, argues that what he calls "cultural Marxism" is a much greater and more immediate danger than militaristic fascism, and that, in any case, the real problem is "abstract nationalism," the concept of "the state as an ideal." This ideal, however, died amid the destruction wrought by World War I, and is not about to be resurrected. And yet"¦ Lind raises the possibility, at the end of his piece, that his argument is highly conditional: "There is one not unlikely event that could bring, if not fascism, then a nationalist statism that would destroy American liberty: a terrorist event that caused mass casualties, not the 3,000 dead of 9/11, but 30,000 dead or 300,000 dead. We will devote some thought to that possibility in a future column." I was going to wait for Mr. Lind to come up with that promised column, but felt that the matter might be pressing enough to broach the subject anyway. Especially in view of this, not to mention this. If "everything changed" on the foreign policy front in the wake of 9/11, then the domestic consequences of 9/11 II are bound to have a similarly transformative effect. If our response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was to launch a decades-long war to implant democracy throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, what will we do when the battlefield shifts back to the continental U.S.? I shudder to think about it. The legal, ideological, and political elements that go into the making of a genuinely fascist regime in America are already in place: all that is required is some catalytic event, one that needn"t even be on the scale of 9/11, but still dramatic enough to give real impetus to the creation of a police state in this country. The legal foundation is already to be found in the arguments made by the president"s lawyers in asserting their "right" to commit torture and other war crimes, under the "constitutional" aegis of the chief executive"s wartime powers. In time of war, the president"s lawyers argue, our commander-in-chief has the power to immunize himself and his underlings against legal prosecution: they transcend the law, and are put beyond the judgement of the people"s representatives by presidential edict. Theoretically, according to the militarist interpretation of the Constitution, there is no power the president may not assume in wartime, because his decisions are "unreviewable." On account of military necessity, according to this doctrine, we have to admit the possibility that the Constitution might itself be suspended and martial law declared the minute war touches American soil. It wouldn"t take much. There already exists, in the neoconized Republican party, a mass-based movement that fervently believes in a strong central State and a foreign policy of perpetual war. The brownshirting of the American conservative movement, as Paul Craig Roberts stingingly characterized the ugly transformation of the American Right, is so far along that the president can propose the biggest expansion of federal power and spending since the Great Society with nary a peep from the former enthusiasts of "smaller government." While the Newt Gingrich Republicans of the early 1990s were never really libertarians in any but a rhetorical sense "“ Newt himself has always been a hopelessly statist neocon "“ the great difference today is that the neocons are coming out with an openly authoritarian program. David Frum and Richard Perle, in their book An End to Evil, advocate establishing an Orwellian government database and comprehensive electronic surveillance system that not only keeps constant track of the whereabouts of everyone in the country, but also stores a dossier, complete with their religious and political affiliations. If anyone had brought such a proposal to the table in the pre-9/11 era, they would have been laughed out of town and mercilessly ridiculed for the rest of their lives. But today, the neocon tag-team of Frum and Perle not only gets away with it, but these strutting martinets are lauded by the same "conservatives" who used to rail against "Big Government." The label "neoconservative" has always been unsatisfactory, in part because the neocon ideology of rampant militarism, super-centralism, and unrestrained statism is necessarily at war with the libertarian aspects of authentic conservatism the sort of conservatism that, say, Frank S. Meyer or Russell Kirk would find recognizable. Let"s start calling things by their right names: these aren"t neoconservatives. What we are witnessing is the rebirth of fascism in 21st century America, a movement motivated by the three principles of classical fascist ideology: 1 The idealization of the State as the embodiment of an all-powerful national will or spirit; 2 The leader principle, which personifies the national will in the holder of a political office whether democratically elected or otherwise is largely a matter of style, and 3 The doctrine of militarism, which bases an entire legal and economic system on war and preparations for war. Of these three, militarism really is the fountainhead, the first principle and necessary precondition that gives rise to the others. The militarist openly declares that life is conflict, and that the doctrine of economic and political liberalism "“ which holds that there is no necessary conflict of interests among men "“ is wrong. Peace is cowardice, and the values of prosperity, pleasure, and living life for its own sake are evidence of mindless hedonism and even decadence. Life is not to be lived for its own sake: it must be risked to have meaning, and, if necessary, sacrificed in the name of a "higher" i.e., abstract value. That "higher" value is not only defined by the State, it is the State: in war, the soldier"s life is risked on behalf of government interests, by government personnel, on behalf of expanding government power. These beliefs are at the core of the fascist mentality, but there are other aspects of this question "“ too many to go into here. Since fascism is a form of extreme nationalism, every country has its own unique variety, with idiosyncrasies that could only have arisen in a particular locality. In one country, religion will play a prominent role, in others a more secular strategy is pursued: but the question of imminent danger, and the seizure of power as an "emergency" measure to prevent some larger catastrophe, is a common theme of fascist coups everywhere, and in America it is playing out no differently. While Pinochet pointed to the imminent danger of a Communist revolution "“ as did Hitler "“ the neo-fascists of our time and place cite the omnipresent threat of a terrorist attack in the U.S. This is a permanent rationale for an ever escalating series of draconian measures fated to go far beyond the "PATRIOT Act" or anything yet imagined. Already the intellectual and political ground is being prepared for censorship. The conservative campaign to discredit the "mainstream" media, and challenge its status as a watchdog over government actions, could easily go in an unfortunate direction if Bin Laden succeeds in his vow to take the fight to American shores. Well, since they"re lying, anyway, why not shut them down? After all, this is a "national emergency," and "they"re not antiwar, they"re on the other side." The neoconservative movement represents the quintessence of fascism, as expressed by some of its intellectual spokesmen, such as Christopher Hitchens, who infamously hailed the Afghan war as having succeeded in "bombing a country back out of the Stone Age." This belief in the purifying power of violence "“ its magical, transformative quality "“ is the real emotional axis of evil that motivates the War Party. This is especially true when it comes to those thuggish ex-leftists of Hitchens" ilk who found shelter in the neoconservatives" many mansions when the roof fell in on their old Marxist digs. Neocon ideologue Stephen Schwartz defends a regime notorious for torturing dissidents, shutting out all political opposition, and arresting thousands on account of their political and religious convictions "“ in Uzbekistan. How far are such people from rationalizing the same sort of regime in the U.S.? At least one prominent neocon has made the case for censorship, in the name of maintaining "morality" "“ but now, it seems to me, the "national security" rationalization will do just as well, if not better. McConnell is right that we are not yet in the grip of a fully developed fascist system, and the conservative movement is far from thoroughly neoconized. But we are a single terrorist incident away from all that: a bomb placed in a mall or on the Golden Gate Bridge, or a biological attack of some kind, could sweep away the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and two centuries of legal, political, and cultural traditions "“ all of it wiped out in a single instant, by means of a single act that would tip the balance and push us into the abyss of post-Constitutional history. The trap is readied, baited, and waiting to be sprung. Whether the American people will fall into it when the time comes: that is the nightmare that haunts the dreams of patriots.   

The idea that America is turning fascist has been popular on the Left for as long as I can remember: in the 1960s, when antiwar radicals raged against the Machine, this kind of hyperbole dominated campus political discourse and even made its way into the mainstream. When the radical Weather...

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Labour market rigidities can be... Labour market rigidities can be said to cause unemployment in the UK and other OECD countries. They include employment protection polices, employment benefits, labour taxes, unions and wage determinations, imposing the minimum wage and the level of education the workforce have. They all exert different levels of influence on unemployment. In most of the OECD European countries unemployment has been rising in both the short and long term. The unemployment rate has risen by 8.4% between 1970 and 1996. In the UK however, unemployment is at it lowest since 1970. Italy's unemployment rate has steadily been increasing up until 2000 and has since been decreasing. This can be seen in the line graph below. Statistics from Nickell, S. Nunziata, L. Ochel, W. Unemployment in the OECD since the 1960s.What do we know? The Economic Journal, 115 January, 1"“27. Royal Economic Society 2005. Employment protection polices are often argued to cause unemployment. The purpose of these polices is to protect the employees from unfair dismissal and to ensure that they are treated fairly. The ease with which employers can hire and fire employees is affected by legislation and this in turn can influence the percentage population in jobs. According to Steven Nickell, legislation raises the cost of employees and therefore employers are less reluctant to dismiss them. Although this reduces short term unemployment it does cause long term unemployment. Statistics drawn up by the OECD ranked countries between 1-20 to show the strength of regulation. Italy had the toughest regulations and it can be said that Italy's short term unemployment has decreased between 1983-1994 by 0.2% whilst its long run unemployment has increased by 2.2%. The UK however has one of weakest set regulations and during the same time its short term unemployment has been reduced by 0.3% whilst its long term has been reduced by 1.7%. These figures support the fact that employee protection polices can affect unemployment levels. In line with this argument Horst Siebert argues too that there is positive link between job protection rules and unemployment. Factors such as strict rules on working hours, restriction of contracts for temporary employees as well as product market regulations all prevent flexibility. He claims that protecting those with jobs results in there being less of an incentive to create new jobs. Hiring or firing a worker has become such an expensive investment that employers feel that if future costs were to adjust, the way to cut costs would be to hire fewer people hence reducing the number employed. Employment benefits are seen as cause of unemployment too. It is argued by Steven Nickell that if a generous benefit is offered 'it reduces the fear of unemployment.' What this means is that being unemployed does not really cause the unemployed to take action to a find a job as they have the opportunity to claim benefits. In turn this leads to a demand in higher wages because those currently employed may feel that if their wage is insufficient it may be to their advantage just to stop work and claim benefits. If the unemployed are being supported by benefits it reduces the number of people actively looking for work. It encourages those in jobs to reassess their career objectives as they have the time to look for better jobs. They can become particular in the type of jobs they are looking for and this prolongs further unemployment and is classed as frictional unemployment. Therefore current employees again have the power to demand higher wages. Employers on the other hand are left in a situation which will lead them to either pay the requested wage or to hire an alternative person. Statistics for Italy show that it has one of highest unemployment rates in Europe; in 2002, 7.4% of the labour force aged between 15-64 was unemployed whilst England the rate was 5.1%. Italy also happens to have one of lowest benefit replacement rates at only 20% over six months. The UK has a benefit replacement rate of 38% over 4 years which is considerably higher than that in Italy. Using these figures Steven Nickell concludes that although benefits encourage unemployment if they coincide with active polices to put people in jobs it balances out. Spain however has generous benefits but low active labour market policies. Its expenditure on policies to get the unemployed back into work is only 4.7% of national output per potential worker. The UK has a similar expenditure on its polices, however its benefit replacement rate is almost 23% more over 4 years. He continues to argue that in order to get higher benefits it is necessary to take part in the labour market. This leads to the conclusion that high benefits have a weak effect on the levels of unemployment because the high benefits are cancelled out by the higher labour market participation. Labour taxes and the effects they can have on wages can also be seen a as market rigidity. Steven Nickel argues that lowering payroll taxes which are often described as taxes on jobs have very little effect on unemployment. He argues that if employees are willing to work at a certain wage their employer pays them slightly higher so therefore the amount they are being taxed has little consequence on their requested wage. However, because the labour market is made up of many other taxes it is argued that total tax burden does affect unemployment. Italy with its high unemployment rate has a payroll tax rate of an astonishing 40% and total tax rate of 62.9%, this is the highest in Europe after Sweden. In comparison to this, the UK has a 13.8% payroll tax and the total tax rate is 40.8% and the number unemployed is 3.9%. From these figures it can be argued that countries with a high tax burden do suffer from unemployment. Nickell's findings says that 'a 10 percent point fall in the total tax burden reduces unemployment by around 35% and raises labour supply by about 2%.' Horst Siebert however argues that taxes influence the willingness of wage restraints as well as trade union bargaining. This in turn influences the incentive for people to work. He argues that the overall tax wedge has increased in most of the European OECD countries due to higher payments of social security benefits which leave less room for increasing the net income of employees and hence weakens the demand for jobs in the long run. In some OECD countries firms are required to give a higher social security contributions relative to employees for example in Italy 46.1 v 10.0 percent and France 33.5 vs. 18.6 percent. Horst Siebert argues that in these countries demand for labour is effected more. Steven Nickell also argues that unions and wage determination contribute to unemployment unless unions co-ordinate their bargaining activities. The more union coverage there is the higher the number of unemployed. The UK however is less affected by trade unions, the recent decline in the number of employees by '1.3 million from 1991-2001,'6 who used to belong to a union is major contributor towards this. Education is a rigidity which has a major influence on the labour market; employers are increasingly demanding highly educated workers at the sacrifice of those people with lower skills. This means that these people are unable to obtain the jobs on offer. With more people globally attaining tertiary qualifications either at university-level or through high-level vocational programmes it is obvious why there have been significant increase in the education levels of most European countries. The UK was one of the few countries that did not follow the trend that a rise in the education level would lead to a lower rate of unemployment. So now I am able to question whether education really is responsible for level of unemployment of the UK. However, I doubt that we can prove that education is not a key influence upon the unemployment rate in the UK from this statement. In actual fact it is likely that a lower rate of unemployment did not arise from higher levels of education in the UK because 'the rising enrolment rate could not make up for the demographic decline.' Therefore I cannot assume that to a large extent education can be considered to be responsible for the unemployment rate observed to a greater extent without considering, the effect of an 'increase in tertiary enrolment' within a country with a higher rate of unemployment than the UK. Thus in contrast Italy observed a tertiary increase of '8% between 1995 and 2002' however; this is still relatively low when compared to the 'OECD average of 38%'. Educational increases should eventually lower unemployment, as 'education helps to raise labour productivity and technical progress, this should lead to a boost in economic growth'. This economic growth in turn will increase amount of labour required to meet the additional growth, thus leading to a decrease in unemployment. This can be seen in the diagram below: On the other hand, Steven Nickell argues that it there is no evidence that shift in demand for skills causes unemployment in the Europe. There is evidence to support this statement, both France and Germany, are experiencing a shortage of professional and technical skills, a problem which has become worse whilst economic growth has been growing steadily. The UK has the 'largest contribution of improvements in levels of educational attainment between 1990 and 2000 to labour productivity growth with Italy coming close behind at 0.58%'. With this data we can see that improvements to increase the level of education in Italy could have a big effect on the rate of unemployment. Economists have argued that the 'rising tertiary education levels among citizens seem generally not to have led to an inflation of the labour market of qualifications. The UK with 5 other European countries including Spain and Portugal have 'on the contrary seen the increase of 5% in the proportion of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary qualifications met by falls in the rate of unemployment' This further emphasises the extent to which education is responsible for the rate of unemployment in the UK and other European countries. We must also consider that, if people are continually educated and trained they must not be loosing their skills. On the other hand, if people are unemployed for a long time, they loose any skills they had previously developed and will be unemployed for longer as they haven't attained the skills they require. In the UK people are encouraged to continue studying at a tertiary level and 'dropping-out' is greatly discouraged as firms will not employ low-skilled workers. However, in Italy with a staggering drop-out rate from university of 60% the workforce will be uneducated and thus could be a reason for the 2.2% increases that have been seen in long term unemployment. The minimum wage is often argued to be a rigidity in the Labour market contributing to high levels of unemployment. Steven Nickell argues that if the minimum wage is too low it does not affect unemployment rates on adult men. However, he does say that they can affect youth unemployment levels as is the case in countries such as France because payroll taxes are high. As the minimum wage cannot be adjusted as tax adjusts it can lead to unemployment as the youth population is unsatisfied with their wage levels. Horst Siebert agrees with the point by Nickell and argues the minimum wage for youths is major cause of unemployment in France. He argues further that the combined effect of both the minimum wage and taxes means that the reservation rate rises. The youth unemployment rate in the UK is 15.5%, 48.7% are youths unemployed for more than six months. In Italy 32.8% of youths are unemployed and 80.9% are for a duration of more than six months. Employment protection polices can be seen as a rigidity and cause unemployment however their effects are limited as are the effects of employment benefits. Employment benefits in the UK are counter balanced by active policies to get people back into work. The high levels of union domination can also be said to play little part in unemployment as in UK and trade union coverage is limited. These factors alone do not cause unemployment but it is when they combined problems arise. Unemployment in Italy on the other hand can be said to be caused the by rigidities mentioned above. The Italians offers high tax rates, high employment protection regulations and low benefits and as a result they suffer from high unemployment rates in Europe.   

Labour market rigidities can be said to cause unemployment in the UK and other OECD countries. They include employment protection polices, employment benefits, labour taxes, unions and wage determinations, imposing the minimum wage and the level of education the workforce have. They all exert different levels of influence on...

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