Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Matt Bevin Doesn't Know What the Fuck He's Doing, Part Six

Our Only Governor is going to announce at 10 a.m. just exactly how he is going to strip 400,000 Kentuckians of health care.

Meanwhile, he's dictating major changes in state government policies that affect 4.5 million people without even pretending to attempt a proper policy analysis.  Everybody who thinks that he applied the list below to his first ridiculous "executive orders," stand on your head.

Public policy analysis is the discipline that considers what actions would best serve the public interest in a given situation, and how those actions can be implemented through actual institutions. Like any discipline, it seeks the truth, but the truth sought is pragmatic, in the original sense of that term: truth about what is to be done, rather than merely about how the world is to be described.

That differentiates policy analysis from social science.

Policy analysis differs from policy advocacy in that it regards policy choices as instrumental: it reaches a policy conclusion at the end of its argument, rather than starting with a preferred policy and seeking arguments in its support.

A full policy analysis, if one were feasible, would answer the following questions:


So we should not expect the application of policy-analytic methods to lead everyone to agree. What we should expect it to do is to eliminate options that don’t make sense under any reasonable set of values, and to help identify the factual and normative bases of actual disagreements. It also forces it practitioners, at least while they are doing it, to step back from individual or group self-interest, and from received opinion and factional loyalty, and try to reason in the public interest.
But of course the "public interest" is the last thing Bevin gives a flying fuck about, unless you define "public" as "all my billionaire friends and campaign donors."

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