clean power plan
Essentially a cost benefit analysis of the Clean Power Plan.
In reference to cost-benefit analysis, Peters states the following. “Cost-benefit analysis has been referred to as ‘nonsense on stilts.’ This rather rude description implies that there are so many assumptions involved in the calculations, and so many imponderables about the future effects of projects, that cost-benefit analysis is the functional equivalent of witchcraft in the public sector. Although phrased in exaggerated language, this criticism is to some degree well taken. It is difficult, if not impossible, to know the value of eliminating an externality, just as it is difficult to know just how much life, health, and snail darters are worth economically (Peters, 2010, p. 457).”
As such, your assignment is to do some outside research on the policy area you have chosen for your final project. You may find actual information in the Policy Agendas Project (http://www.policyagendas.org/), but if not, you will need to do a little extra research (which can be incorporated into the final paper). Apply critical thinking skills to address the following questions:
Explain why the cost-benefit analysis process in your policy area. Can it be described as an attempt to employ rational decision-making processes?
How is your policy budgeted? How much is being authorized and spent? Note: You can use the policy agendas data here, particularly the graphing, and ask for budget figures. What arguments are used to make it politically accepted as a budgetary expense? How have political debates over budgeting in your area played out? That is, what are the arguments for increasing and/or decreasing the amount allocated and spent?
In the lesson material, the cost-benefit analysis procedure is described as being composed of 4 basic concepts: 1) Determining costs and benefits; 2) assigning value; 3) discounting; and 4) Choosing among alternatives. Earlier in this course, you identified various alternatives in the policy process related to your policy choice (this was explicit or implicit in the agenda setting phase). Choose any two of them and perform a cost-benefit analysis on the two (if you can identify the two most likely scenarios, i.e. the one that was finally passed and the one that was its most closely contested alternative, do it on these alternatives).
Finally, what else could be provided to the policy-makers and the general public to enhance the quality of their policy selection as it specifically relates to your policy choice?
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