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Issues of the Public Policy Essay

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Updated: Apr 30th, 2019

Government and household budgets

Generally, a budget is a statement of expenditures and income within a specified period. At government level, a budget states the sources of government revenue and ways the government intends to spend over a given fiscal year. Conversely, household budget spells out the income and expenditure of a household normally within a short period of time, either on a monthly basis or daily basis. Although these budgets share similar principles, they only differ in complexity and time.

The National Immigration Policy

There were few restrictions on the number of immigrants entering the US before the 1920s except the 1892 Chinese exclusion Act that forbidden Chinese immigrants. This led to the enactment of 1924 immigration Act that imposed the immigration entry quarters primarily based on the country of origin (Lee, 2008). However, the current immigration policy is founded on the quarter-system established under the 1965 Hart-Cellar immigration bill.

The bill amended the original quarter system based on the national origin and replaced it with family reunification as a basis for US admissions. The 1990 immigration Act put a flexible cap for lawful admissions comprising of family based, employment based and diversity immigrants. The legislations that succeeded the 1990 immigration Act created another category of impermanent entry of professional-workers from Mexico and Canada under NAFTA.

Immigration increases the country GDP. This has always been the argument in favor of immigration. Through expansion of labor pool, immigrants help in efficient resource, capital and technology utilization (Lee, 2008). Nevertheless, the gains countries get from immigration is not equally distributed. In fact, labor inflows are inclined to decrease the employees’ wages. Since most immigrants are unskilled, they depress wages for unskilled residential workers.

Cap and trade

This is an environmental policy tool aimed at delivering results using compulsory cap on emissions and is equally flexible on the ways of complicity. The most successful cap and trade policies have rewards for efficiency, innovation and prompt mitigation. The program provide for stringent environmental regulations and accountability without hampering the normal growth of the economy (Andrea, 1994). The main goal for cap and trade is to considerably reduce emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in a cost effective way.

Regulatory system for protecting the U.S. environment

The first legislative law in 1970 was NEPA. It created and established EPA and OSHA. This law made it necessary for all federal administrative agencies to take environmental responsibility by preparing environmental impact statement in advance before major actions could pose serious impact on environment (Kubasek & Gary, 1997).

The US environmental regulations studies like the CERCLA indicates that there are various types of regulatory mechanism that have been developed to manage the diverse environmental concerns. The main factor that drove the enactments of these regulatory legislations was majorly the global domestic pressure which had considerable influence.

The cons and pros of nuclear power

With the recent radioactive leakages, the nuclear reactors in Japan have elicited considerable debate on the use of nuclear power. Most importantly is how such massive radioactive pollutions can be prevented in case of a disaster. To the industrial players, the generation of nuclear power emits relatively decreased carbon dioxide to the atmosphere thus reducing the general level of greenhouse gases. The impact is an increase in the rate of global temperature (Kerr & Gaisford, 2008).

Nuclear power however makes technology to be readily available as it does not need new developments and innovations that are costly. In fact, high quantities of electricity can be generated using a single plant. This is economically cost effective than other sources of electricity.

Conversely, there is still unresolved problem of the radioactive materials waste. The leakage of these wastes can be a global catastrophe. Besides, the nuclear plants stand at high risks from insecurity and accidents. A small failure will always have a devastating effect on humans and nature.

The nuclear power generating plant and waste management plants can be the preferred terrorist targets. Further, the radioactive materials can be used to build nuclear weapons. A similar technology can be used in the proliferation of nuclear weapons posing more danger to the world.

NAFTA and its importance to the U.S

NAFTA is an agreement that covered the North America countries including Mexico, USA and Canada. NAFTA is the largest free trade area in the world in terms of GDP. The free trade agreement was aimed to reduce the cost of trading amongst the countries, increase the countries global competitiveness and increase the business investments among the three countries (Kerr & Gaisford, 2008).

So far, the trade agreement has achieved its mandate by removing the trade obstacles between these countries. This is important to the US citizens as they can easily access the Canadian and Mexican goods or sell and buy across borders.

The civil rights policy

The fundamental basis for civil rights policies is to attain some degree of equality. The civil rights movements center on the struggle for equality. Its policies focus on the provision of basic rights to those societal groups that have been historically subjected to some sort of discrimination (Adamson, 2009).

Traditionally, the civil rights debates majorly focused on racial discrimination, voting rights, political participation and workers welfare. The current debates on civil rights in America centers on social issues such as gender discrimination, racial discrimination and other forms of discrimination based on age, sexual preference and disability (Adamson, 2009).

The result of the civil rights movements have led to the enactments of various civil rights Acts and conventions that recognizes the rights of those who have been perceived as discriminated. Of great essence is the recognition of the African-Americans and other minority groups in economic and political issues (Adamson, 2009).

The enactments that ended the slavery, the rights to vote and participate in the political processes and the end of segregation benefitted the minority groups. Other civil right groups such as feminist rights groups so far have not achieved much, but have also benefited from some of the legislations of the recent past.

The case of Brown vs. Topeka

This case was land mark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States un-constitutionalizing the segregations in public schools. The ruling declared separate public schools for blacks and whites unconstitutional (Adamson, 2009). The importance of this case was that it reversed the ruling of the Plessey vs. Ferguson case of 1886 that provided for the state-sponsored exclusion.

The 1954 ruling inherently paved the way for equal rights and integration in all public places and in broader sense for civil rights movement. The ruling made the racial segregation a violation of the equal protection clause. This clause is found within the fourteenth amendment.

Preceding this case was much of the racial discrimination centered on racial segregation. The racial separation policy was endorsed in 1896 by the US Supreme Court ruling in the Plessey vs. Ferguson case. The ruling held that provided the facilities in public schools were equal, there is no violation of the fourteenth amendment (Adamson, 2009).

This ruling was challenged given that it did not take into consideration other factors namely psychological, social and emotional effects. The ruling on Brown vs. Topeka opened new avenues for the civil rights and intensified civil rights movement activism.

Glass ceiling

This is a phrase that is often used to pronounce the chauvinist assertiveness that women often encounter at workplace. The ceiling describes the limits the women can climb the occupation ladder in their careers. While the problem is very real and observable, none is ready to offer solution (Terence & Riches, 2004).

Despite the changes that occur in the labor market, they are slow. Policies such as affirmative action in the promotion of women to managerial positions have been used, yet more needs to be done to promote women to the apex of their careers.

Arguments of federalism opponents

The statement describes the position of the non-federalists. The argument is that the US is extremely large with many special interests that have always been in conflict with each other. These groups cannot be governed by a single democratically elected government. Under the classical constitutional theory, the majority will always rule the minority rights.

Although this might be true in any democracy, the pro-republic remedy embedded in the constitution provides a room for diverse functions to influence the government (Adamson, 2009). But since the majority is in power, the functional groups will always negotiate their interest. The resulting solution is that the majority will rule based on the minority interest. This is the mechanism between civil rights movement and the majority white government.

The role of affirmative action in civil rights

Affirmative actions are those policies that involve special treatment or efforts in promoting disadvantaged groups in employments, schools, colleges or universities admissions. Affirmative action in civil rights movement mainly aims at surpassing equal opportunity and achieving equal results (Terence & Riches, 2004).

It is a policy that has been used in several fronts to promote and attain equal opportunities. Though the opponents point out that affirmative action establishes the reverse discrimination, these polices have seen many women get employment, black Americans and other minorities getting higher education. Even in career development, affirmative action has made several women to get promotions to the managerial positions.

In most educational institutions, affirmative action has been conceived as promoting racial diversity. However, many are not in support of affirmative action especially where it appears to reverse discrimination for instance, less qualified personalities being employed at the expense of more qualified (Terence & Riches, 2004).

Nonetheless the supporters argue that raising those minority and women to desirable jobs is an essential objective that should not be ignored when determining personal qualification. They claim that privileges that the white males enjoyed were never available to them in the first place.

The key components of the USA Patriot Act

The patriot act was passed immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was designed to improve on the terrorism investigation by the federal intelligent and security agencies. Several provisions are provided by the Act, but sharing information among key security agencies is deemed more imperative.

According to the Act, information concerning criminal probes can be shared among intelligent agencies and other government departments (Ball, 2004). While this provision has been criticized because it spreads information to people who are not part of the criminal investigation, supporters argue that the provision has enhanced sharing of information within the intelligence agencies.

Another important provision is the material support which was an extension of the antiterrorism law banning all forms of material support including personnel and training (Ball, 2004). Additionally, the peak provision warrants the security agencies to search suspect businesses or homes devoid of any notification.

This provision actually denies the searched person some individual rights like the right to privacy. The hotly contested provision is the right to access records (Ball, 2004). The intelligence investigators are allowed under the provision to get any tangible record including books, papers and documents provided they links with the investigated terror.

NATO and its importance

NATO is a military alliance between the countries of Western Europe, Canada and the US. Basically, NATO was formed as a response to the occupation of the Soviet Union. The intention behind the formation was to respond militarily in case of the soviet occupation of the Western Europe.

After the fall of Warsaw pact, NATO expanded its role. Besides preventing the Warsaw pact attacks, NATO is committed to ensuring that peace prevails between Western Europe, Canada and the US through the provision of the security frameworks that is geared towards freedom and prosperity.

The military alliance connects USA and Europe to the benefit of both. NATO is the only readily and usable military alliance with the capability of defeating regimes and restoring peace where necessary. Notably, NATO has the stabilizing influence on its current as well as future members as their military share a common purpose (Larrabee, 2003).

The NATO countries military have a common interest in areas such as planning, intelligence, weapon development and training resources. These actions have fostered the stabilizing influence among the members. It has also led to lack of naturalization of defenses in the European countries as well as other NATO members.

How war on terrorism promoted national security

War on terror has promoted the establishment of security agencies such as the homeland security with expanded roles not only on terror, but also in the mitigation of natural disaster. Terrorism has enhanced greater understanding by making the national security to widen its scope to include areas that were ignored. Moreover, enactment of various legislations, conventions and treaties in effect increases national security (Perl, 2007). It has also helped in the re-examination of the American security apparatus both within and outside the country.

Adoption of clear policy guidelines for use by the U.S military force

The most essential part of any military deployment is planning. Despite planning being necessary, it is impossible to have a proper strategy or guideline for the military or have a clear policy on military issues. The main reason is that greater risks are involved which foster short term plans.

The risks involved require greater assessments to prevent security leakages and other risks. Privacy involved in military use is also another issue. In fact, this prevents further policy guidelines which might be a source of security leakages. The presence of another broader policy framework that guides the general military deployment similarly constitutes another reason for the lack of clear military deployment guideline.

These policies are broadly defined and involve many countries or organizations which do not specifically define their military use. The most broadly defined policy framework includes the use of diplomacy and international cooperation towards a common threat and enemy (Perl, 2007).

The other policy framework is the productive engagement geared towards protective security measures by the countries involved. Additional general indirect policies include the use of economic sanctions and the utilization of covert action. Furthermore, the military deployment does not only involve one country each with its own defense policy. The result would be policy conflict or conflict of interest among these countries.


Adamson, H. (2009). The Civil rights movement: An interactive history adventure. Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press.

Andrea, L. (1994). Environmental crimes. American Criminal Law Review, 35, 599-671.

Ball, H. (2004). U.S.A. patriot Act of 2001. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Kerr, W. A. & Gaisford, J. D. (2008). Handbook on international trade policy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Kubasek, N. K. & Gary, S. S. (1997). Environmental law. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Larrabee, F. S. (2003). NATO’s eastern agenda in a new strategic era: Issue 1744. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.

Lee, P. (2008). Introduction to study and immigration in USA. Toronto, Canada: Lulu.com.

Perl, R. F. (2007). International terrorism: Threat, policy, and response. Retrieved from

Terence, W. & Riches, M. (2004). The civil rights movement: Struggle and resistance. Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

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