Public policy decision making at local level of government

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Reference no: EM13929939

1. Consider the following case study that illustrates public policy decision making at the local level of government.

Smithville is a small city with 125,000 inhabitants. Because of a weak economy, a significant part of its population is facing bad economic circumstances-an estimated 2,000 families have unemployed heads-of-households and are at or below the poverty line. The overall unemployment rate in Smithville is 12%.
The City Council is considering the establishment of a food bank to help suffering families survive the tough economic times. A budget review indicates that the city has the financial resources to support 2,000 families, with an average of four members per family, for a period of 18 months.
As Framing Decisions points out, public policy is largely about decision making. The biggest issue in public policy is making decisions that lead to "the greatest good for the greatest number" (in the words of Jeremy Bentham, a leading Utilitarian thinker of the 19th century). Invariably, there are multiple views on what constitutes "the greatest good" and how its benefits should be distributed among the population. There are also disputes on the role of government in solving societal problems, with liberals believing that government should play an active role in solving such problems, and conservatives (particularly Libertarians) holding that problems can be best resolved through the actions of the free market. (1-2 pages total)


a. In the case of Smithville, what is the likely position of City Council liberals regarding the establishment of a food bank? What is their rationale for holding this position? Be specific-avoid vague generalities. Take into consideration both the costs and benefits of pursuing a policy based on this position.
b. What is the likely position of City Council conservatives? What is their rationale? Be specific-avoid vague generalities. Take into consideration both the costs and benefits of pursuing a policy based on this position.
c. Playing the role of objective observer, what do you think are the merits and shortcomings of both liberal and conservative viewpoints?
d. How does this case study illustrate the types of issues public policy makers face when dealing with both big and little problems?

2. The US Department of Defense (DoD) in recent years has greatly advanced the capabilities of unmanned vehicles. These are air, ground, surface or underwater vehicles equipped with various technologies including sensors, communications, navigation, and computer vision and are capable of performing missions autonomously without human intervention. The technologies that enabled these unmanned systems are also appearing in the commercial world. One area is the driverless car. Like the unmanned military systems, these driverless cars can transport passengers without human inputs.
Future Vehicles Corporation (FVC) is a traditional defense contractor providing unmanned vehicles to the military, with revenue of $1.2 billion employing 50,000 people. However, the company is seeing decline in revenue due to the reduction in defense budget as well as stiff competition from domestic and international competitors. As a result, the company wants to venture into the commercial world of driverless car. (1-2 pages total)

a. The CEO wants you to make a list of pros and cons to entering the commercial market.
b. Conduct a SWOT analysis to help the CEO make a decision.
c. What other information might the CEO need in order to make a good decision?

Reference no: EM13929939

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