Elites vs massesII

Report
ELITES VS. MASSES
Sebastian
Monroy Taborda
&
Michael
Peterson
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
 Is the American public capable of playing a more
active role in the public making process?
 Or would greater public involvement in policy making
pose risks to the quality of decision making?
IS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC CAPABLE OF PLAYING A
MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN THE PUBLIC MAKING
PROCESS?
 Reasons for not playing an
active role:
 Apathy
 Lack of Knowledge
IS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC CAPABLE OF
PLAYING A MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN THE PUBLIC
MAKING PROCESS?
 2008 Cornell poll asked Americans
whether they had had ever used a
federal government social program
(57% said no).
 Then asked if they had used or
benefitted from 21 specific federal
programs .
 Among those who said they hadn’t
received any federal assistance, 94
% said they had used at least one of
the 21 programs, and the average
respondent had used four.
IS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC CAPABLE OF PLAYING A
MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN THE PUBLIC MAKING
PROCESS?
Program
 Percentage of
beneficiaries of specific
programs who report they
“have not used a
government social
program”
 Mettler (2011)
529 or Coverdell Tax-Deferred Savings
Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
Hope or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit
Student Loans
Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
Earned Income Tax Credit
Social Security
Pell Grants
Unemployment Insurance
Veterans Benefits (other than G.I. Bill)
G.I. Bill
Medicare
Head Start
Social Security Disability
SSI - Supplemental Secutrity Income
Medicaid
Welfare/Public Assistance
Government Subsidized Housing
Food Stamps
"No, I have not used
a government social
program" (%)
64.3
60.0
59.6
53.3
51.7
47.1
44.1
43.1
43.0
41.7
40.3
39.8
37.2
28.7
28.2
27.8
27.4
27.4
25.4
WOULD GREATER PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN POLICY
MAKING POSE RISKS TO THE QUALIT Y OF DECISION
MAKING?
 Risks (Disadvantages)
 “Gut reaction” or
Overreaction (e.g. Terrorism)
 Friedman (2011, pp.86-87)
suggest to explanations:
1. Psychological biases that
causes an overestimation
2. Biased Information from those
who provide it.
Source: The Economist (2011)
WOULD GREATER PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN POLICY
MAKING POSE RISKS TO THE QUALIT Y OF DECISION
MAKING?
 Risks (Disadvantages – Continued)
Depth
Breath
• Fewer Issues.
• More Issues.
• Reduced
Responsiveness.
• More Responsive.
• Cost-Benefit?
• Inefficient?
WOULD GREATER PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN POLICY
MAKING POSE RISKS TO THE QUALIT Y OF DECISION
MAKING?
 Representation
 Theoretically, you vote for
someone who represents a
set a values
 Thus, public input is
mechanized into the
election process
 However, who is
representing?
 Elites?
 Upper-class.
WOULD GREATER PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN POLICY
MAKING POSE RISKS TO THE QUALIT Y OF DECISION
MAKING?
2010 Median Income
US Median Congress
Top 1%
57K
 Data Sources:
 CNN Money
 Washington Post
979K
16.4 Million
WOULD GREATER PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN POLICY
MAKING POSE RISKS TO THE QUALIT Y OF DECISION
MAKING?
Source: CNN (2012)
WOULD GREATER PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN POLICY
MAKING POSE RISKS TO THE QUALIT Y OF DECISION
MAKING?
 Advantages
 Saliency
 Reciprocal accountability (Representative and public)
 OECD (2001) defines government-citizen relations in policy -making in
three ways:
 Information
 Consultation
 Active Participation
WOULD GREATER PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN POLICY
MAKING POSE RISKS TO THE QUALIT Y OF DECISION
MAKING?
 Advantages (Continued)
 Stakeholders
 More means more ideas and
points for analysis
 (However, breadth vs. depth
again) – need to limit
stakeholders
Source: Patricia Downs Berger (2006)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
 Is public willing to have a more active role in policy making?
 Who should be involved in inputs, and where should this
involvement occur to ensure sound/quality policy?
 Through elections? Through community meetings? Editorials?
Hey! Thanks.

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