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The Ongoing National Policy Debate Through the Lens of the American Enlightenment Term Paper

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Updated: Nov 15th, 2018

A Summary of the Policy Reform

Policy reform debate in the United States revolves around economic issues that the country is experiencing. Presently, the United States has a vast public debt. As a result, the United States is unable to meet its obligations towards its people and workers. Several states such as Illinois and California are almost bankrupt. Equally, most local governments have gone bankrupt, while rates of unemployment in the states remain relatively high.

The quest to address these issues seems to have raised lots of contention among people from both sides of government. The Republicans and Democrats argue overtly regarding the best way to manage the economy of the United States. However, there exists some agreement between key economists from both sides, on key issues that affect the nation.

In my perspective, the ongoing national debate is not genuine, as it obtains fabrication to serve the interests of a few individuals. In other words, this debate is political and it does not seek to serve the interests of common citizens.

This paper presents a discussion about issues surrounding policy reform using the instruments of the founding debates, principles, and documents of the United States.

Comparative Analysis

Social Contract: Representative Governance

Social contract theory argues that the government has two key responsibilities. First, it is the role of the government to ensure that citizens do not hurt each other and second, the government must ensure that citizens keep promises amongst themselves.

According to this theory, citizens must be ready to surrender some proportion of their liberty so as to maintain a stable, social context. This theory also recognizes the role of the constitution and the need to ratify the constitution as a part of the social contract. Besides, the theory advocates for capitalism.

Looking back at the ongoing national policy debate in the United States, it seems like the Republicans do not fully recognize the governance by the Democrats. The Republicans should surrender some proportion of their liberty and allow the Democrats to develop policy reforms that best suits the nation.

Classical Liberalism: Natural Rights

Classical liberalism recognizes that all people have an entitlement to natural rights (Rosenblum and Robert 27). These rights obtain a declaration in America’s independent clause. Classical liberalists maintain that natural rights should determine the correct size and functions of government.

The philosophers agree that government often violates natural rights of citizens. They also argue that capitalism is the only moral economic system, since it bases on voluntary action. One aspect of capitalism is property rights. America has property rights that get entrenched so well that their basic significance for the suitable functioning of the capitalist system becomes easily disregarded. Hence, policy reform should be directed towards attaining and safeguarding property rights.

Faction: Pluralism

Pluralism in a government refers to inclusion of rival parties in the government. Factions may destroy excellent governance since they ignore the need for the public wellbeing in a dispute involving rival parties and trigger instability. Besides, the most prevalent faction wins at all times in spite of rights or fairness.

The only way to eradicate negative impacts of factions is to disallow liberty. This perspective describes the exact situation that the United States is experiencing. Most of the contentious issues that have caused the prolonged debate originate from the Republicans. Considering that the Republicans occupy a key section of government executives, they may opt to oppose every policy that originates from the Democrats.

Ambition: Elitism

This perspective requires leaders to be elites who can succumb to the needs of the masses. Besides, this perspective requires leaders to be submissive. The Democrats involved seem to be more knowledgeable than the Republicans when it comes to the ongoing public debate on national policy. Besides, these Democrats are extremely confident and ambitious when it comes to policy formulation.

Federalist Position

Federalists support the constitution and do not consider the bill of rights as an essential tool for creating an incorrupt government. Federalists’ opinion is that economic factors have triggered the debate, but not the incompetence of the constitution.

Anti Federalist Position

Anti federalists hold the perspective that the constitution cannot offer adequate protection similar to the Bill of Rights. Anti federalists opinion is that the United States, together with its local governments, are unable to meet their obligations towards their people and workers due to lack of an insufficient bills of rights system.

Constitutional Perspective

The constitution stipulates responsibilities and rights of both executives and common citizens. While constitutions may not be faultless, written constitutions serve as the most excellent way of safeguarding different people and their interests. Hence, interests of Republicans obtain protection by the constitution. The United States Constitution recognizes democracy and the right of expression. Hence, the public policy debate is within the limits of the constitution.

Bill of Rights Perspective

The bill of rights protects civil liberties granted to each resident of the United States, as seen in the Fourteenth Amendment. Among these rights is the freedom of speech. Hence, both parties have a right to express their opinions through public debate. This tool entitles governments to meet their obligations towards citizens. Hence, the United States and entity local governments have denied these rights to their people by not providing adequate employment.

Solutions: the Principle of Compromise and Consensus

Federalism perspective

The founding documents of the United States contain interests of citizens. The documents comprise the constitution, the declaration of independence, the bill of rights and amendments to the constitution (Jefferson 29). Politicians who seek to serve their individual interests should not be allowed to compromise any of the standards established in these documents, since they represent the American foundation.

States Perspective

The United States’ perspective on consensus and compromise is that Republicans should support extensive administration and elevated taxes. However, the government does not offer any examples of Democrats backing deregulation or reduction of taxes. According to the current government, the national interest is totally and wholly the growth of the scope, size and authority of government.

The United States should, however, endeavor to provide the needs of its citizens. Most of these needs as identified by the debate include lack of employment and insolvency. The public policy debate should seek to address these issues, so as to ensure that life is affordable and comfortable to these citizens.

Cooperative Federalism Perspective

The public policy debate, in the United States, should embrace cooperative federalism perspective in order to solve the economic problems facing the entire state.

It can be hard for representatives centered, in Washington, to identify the needs of entity states. Hence, entity states can establish effective and relevant policies through cooperative federalism. Besides, solving issues locally would involve a smaller population than solving these problems from Washington, as the number of those opposing significant perspectives would be less in these areas.

My Proposal and Perspective

From my perspective, the two parties should only compromise their principles, on public policy, after they conclude on the frailest agreements. This must happen because persons who show willingness to surrender their principles easily cannot be trusted to continue with the bargain. The purpose of compromise ought to be a win-win situation with both parties negotiating and not just agreeing.

Conversely, consensus cannot be obtained in cases that involve a few people with similar minds. Whenever the effect of this public policy debate does not satisfy both parties, such consensus should not take effect as there will be lacking enough commitment towards the effort.

The debate on public policy has turned out to be totally disconnected from consensus to a certain direction. Irritated Republicans have forced their members to accept positions that are in conflict with aspects of modern economic scholars. While this may serve the political needs of the Republicans, the policy is not suitable.

The difference between the situation of economic information and public policy debate in America has significant effects. At present, many residents in the United States are experiencing difficulties because of high unemployment. Many books in the country contain potential solutions. However, Congressional Republicans do not create room for such books to be examined. Rather, they also obstruct those policy plans that do not seem to have any controversies, from the perspective of most economists.

Works Cited

Jefferson, Thomas. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Articles of Confederation. Radford, VA: Wilder Publications, 2008. Print.

Rosenblum, Nancy and Robert Post. Civil Society and Government. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2002. Print.

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IvyPanda. "The Ongoing National Policy Debate Through the Lens of the American Enlightenment." November 15, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-ongoing-national-policy-debate-through-the-lens-of-the-american-enlightenment/.

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IvyPanda. 2018. "The Ongoing National Policy Debate Through the Lens of the American Enlightenment." November 15, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-ongoing-national-policy-debate-through-the-lens-of-the-american-enlightenment/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'The Ongoing National Policy Debate Through the Lens of the American Enlightenment'. 15 November.

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