Applied Sciences

Respond to two students discussion post. Just type the paragraph under the discussion. It doesn’t have to be in essay form.

Also, make sure that your response(s) are substantial and at least 250 words.  In your responses, you must include connections to course learning objectives.

Discussion Post #1

Alexandra Yarnall posted Sep 27, 2020 1:47 PM

Based upon the reading provided, it seems that although the author is attempting to make the point that the increased complexity of the federal system has increased the efficiency of the federal system, he still seems to contradict his point. One statement that indicates a problem in proving his point occurs within the first few pages of the document. The author states that “Over the past quarter century, however, the ideology of the Supreme Court has been back and forth between decisions in favor of increasing federal power and decisions in favor of defending state sovereignty.” (Shin 303). This makes it appear that the complexity of matters is not beneficial from anyone to the supreme court, down to those it is proceeding over. If the supreme court is wavering on what level of government should handle what policies, then there will continue to be confusion as complexity increases or even remains as complex as it currently is. Shortly after this, again the author seems to disprove his point even further just a few sections down from this previous comment. In this other comment, the author states that “This unclear boundary of roles between the federal and state governments has caused slower policy-making processes and obscured the boundary of policy responsibility.” (Shin 303). I will state that simply because policy making seems to become slower does not mean that the policies that are passed or amended are less effective. However, this does seem to imply that for policy administrators this would make matters concerning policy slower and less efficient. That being said, after expressing these above-mentioned concerns and truth, the author still continues to attempt to prove his main point. Later on, in the document however, the author attempts to justify his point that complexity is actually beneficial. He claims that over time, the federal government and state governments have worked cooperatively with the federal level handling policies that deal with more redistributive matters and the state level dealing with policies involving economic development (Shin 313). When the author discusses what type of policy issues that the various levels of government address, obviously it would make it seem as if the dividing up jurisdiction or work would be extremely beneficial. The problem with this, is that it is difficult to determine exactly what category some policies or administrative issues would fall under. On top of that, there may be some matters that contain aspects of both areas. In addition to further illustrate the complexity of matters, if we recall above, there have been times where the same issues are brought to the Supreme Court and even they changed their stance on some matters. I will say however, that it makes sense to have various levels of government deal with different policies. There is definitely a time where the states are more equipped to handle matters and have a better idea of how to proceed than the federal level does. However, this could also apply in the opposite way that the matter should be handled by the federal level. In this respect, as far as addressing a matter effectively, I do think the complexity of federalism is beneficial. However, referring to this document, it seems the complex intermingling of governments has a negative aspect as well. This is due to the fact that several times it is mentioned how clear lines are not drawn between the different levels of government. I will say, what the author states towards the end of the document makes sense and seems realistic. The author states that “As a corollary, the complexity of issues makes it much simpler to expect that in the future U.S. federalism will be evolving to increase its efficiency by separating the functional responsibilities on such policies that each unit of government can best perform.” (Shin 316). Concerning the topic of increasing complexity, after reading this document, I would say that it does not seem this allows for an easier or more efficient time for public policy administrators in the U.S. In the future however, as the author implies, I do think that if this complexity is met with better outlining of jurisdictions for each level of government, then yes this could very well improve efficiency at which public administrators deal with and implement policies.

Discussion Post #2

Calandra Lewis posted Oct 1, 2020 9:23 PM

After reading the article The Lesson from the Modern American Federalism: A Challenge to Effective Public Policy Performance. The author suggests the U.S. federal system has evolved in such an appropriate way that increases the efficiency of the federal system by dividing a clear intergovernmental responsibility on major policy platforms despite its increased complexity. It is my opinion that this perspective does not provide a realistic and applicable understanding of American federalism for public administrators on any U.S governmental level of government in efficiently implementing public policy.

Policy platforms are changing all the time and it is challenging to keep up with them, even for administrators. Our text indicates a period of representational federalism from 2001 to the present time does not contain any constitutional division of powers between federal and state governments. (Shin, 2018). Although the founding fathers suggested an ideal form of federalism based on a stronger power, that relationship has become more complicated between the state and federal government due to the provisions based on the Supreme Court’s view.

During the Great Depression, the Supreme Court was influenced to grant more power to the federal government. The Commerce clause was interpreted to regulate interstate commerce. It has been a discussion of whether or not contemporary U.S. federalism has shown efficiency since their power has been an increase. There has not been a clear understanding of their roles and it has caused a slower policy-making process and the responsibilities are obscured. It seems the attempt to make the federal government efficient and effective, officials have different views about the responsibilities and have faulty policies that are challenging to agree on. Because of the different views, inefficiencies, fragmentation, and untidiness in the policies produce a lag in performance and federalism that is divided. It also produces administration costs. With the type of issues, I’ve listed it makes it hard for leaders in the administration to stand behind and enforce when there is a problem in the system. I believe, with such policies and division in the government it destroys citizen’s confidence and trust. Therefore, policies are not effective. There are different levels of government and their authority is exercised differently when it comes to electing their officials and taxing citizens. Some countries delegate power and some practice the federalism system where they are all equal. The level of authority in the federal government frequently changes which destroys consistency and it is not as effective as expected to be. As problems arise and there are needs for change each President or elected official does something to improve its effectiveness but does it improve it or cause problems. For example, the quality of education was low therefore President Bush came up with the NCLB Act, no child should be left behind. (Shin, 2018). In establishing this act, the role of responsibility and policy was expanded but the performance was low due to the lack of consensus on the policy. There were gaps in the details and it just did not go over well. With this sort of disagreement, it does not help its performance. It is unfortunate but everyone on your team does not always agree with your actions to improve or enhance current issues.

In conclusion, government policies should be equal and clearly understood. Policies should not have any gaps or loopholes. The effectiveness of it should be beneficial and it should be efficient and represent the best qualities. The author suggests that the government has evolved and give clear responsibilities on any platform yet it is lacking in performance, there are inconsistencies and a variation of disagreements therefore, it is not realistic.

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