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US Politics. Domestic Policy. Overview. Basics of Public Policy Domestic Policy Issues Economic Policy Poverty Policy Environmental Policy Energy Policy. Poverty in US. Exercise: Design a budget Family of 4 in Hudson County

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us politics

US Politics

Domestic Policy

  • Basics of Public Policy
  • Domestic Policy Issues
    • Economic Policy
    • Poverty Policy
    • Environmental Policy
    • Energy Policy
poverty in us
Poverty in US
  • Exercise: Design a budget
    • Family of 4 in Hudson County
    • Calculate monthly expenses then determine the yearly income necessary for those expenses
poverty in us1
Poverty in US

Poverty rates for selected racial demographic groups

poverty in us2
Poverty in US
  • Beginning in 1930s, federal government began to put poverty relief on the public policy agenda
  • Created:
    • Social Security
    • Medicare
    • AFDC (Aid for Families with Dependent Children)
    • Food Stamp Program
    • Unemployment Insurance
poverty in us3
Poverty in US
  • 1960s “Great Society” programs under Lyndon Johnson expanded federal involvement in poverty relief
    • Created Medicaid
    • Expanded Food Stamp
    • New programs to help poor families
      • e.g. Head Start
poverty in us4
Poverty in US
  • Poverty has stabilized since 1970s, despite the expansion of federal dollars on the problem, and new efforts made to transform welfare to limit costs
  • 1996 Welfare Reform Act
    • Shifts program from federal to state administered system
    • Eliminated AFDC and created TANF
      • (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)
poverty in the us
Poverty in the US
  • 2009 Poverty Rate Guidelines (HHS)
  • HHS FAQ file on Poverty Rates and Poverty
  • Census bureau poverty data
  • Main Federal Poverty Programs
    • TANF (HHS)
    • HHS reports to Congress on TANFTANF data sets (most recent, October 2008)
    • Food Stamps (Agriculture)
environmental policy
Environmental Policy
  • Federal involvement in environmental policy is relatively new
  • Rooted in environmental problems and political activism of 1960s

Earth Day 1970, New York City

water pollution
Water Pollution
  • In 1936 the Cuyahoga river in Cleveland caught fire for the first time, and did so again in 1952 and several more times
  • On 22 June 1969, it caught fire again and burned for 30 minutes
water pollution1
Water Pollution

“Some River! Chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with subsurface gases, it oozes rather than flows. ‘Anyone who falls into the Cuyahoga does not drown,’ Cleveland's citizens joke grimly. ‘He decays’. . . The Federal Water Pollution Control Administration dryly notes: ‘The lower Cuyahoga has no visible signs of life, not even low forms such as leeches and sludge worms that usually thrive on wastes." It is also -- literally -- a fire hazard.’”

-- Time magazine, 1 August 1969

water pollution2
Water Pollution
  • In the late 1960s, Lake Erie, was for the most part “dead” due to population
  • Too many chemicals, particularly nitrates from fertilizer and phosphates from soap and cleansers, led to huge algae blooms that killed off the fish and other plant species.
water pollution3
Water Pollution
  • On 2/25/76 New York Department of Environmental Conservation made it illegal to fish in the upper Hudson from the Ft. Edward Dam to the federal dam at Albany
  • Closed Hudson River commercial fisheries, and warned people about dangers of eating Hudson River fish.

General Electric dumped

Between 209,000 and

1.3 million pounds of PCBsdirectly into Hudson

water pollution4
Water Pollution
  • Since that time, the spread of PCBs throughout the river and its food chain has created an extensive toxic waste problem.
  • About 200 miles of the river is designated as a Superfund site.
  • Maps of other superfund sites
water pollution5
Water Pollution
  • In August 1995, the Upper Hudson was re-opened to fishing, but only on a catch and release basis.
  • NY and NJ agencies recommend that people eat no striped bass or blue crabs from the Newark Bay area, and no more than one meal a week from other areas in the New York Harbor estuary.
  • EPA guidelines recommend no consumption.

New York City

2007 smog

1963 smog

solid waste
Solid Waste
  • The US produces more solid waste per person than any other country in the world
  • EPA estimates 2.5 pounds/day/person in US
the response
The Response
  • Clean Air Act (1970)
  • Creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (1970)
  • Clean Water Act (1972)
  • Endangered Species Act (1973)
energy policy
Energy Policy
  • US Energy Consumption, selected years (US Department of Energy)
  • US Energy Consumption by source
  • New Jersey energy profile (DOE data)
energy policy1
Energy Policy
  • Beginning in mid 1970s, US began to move to lessen dependence on petroleum as energy source
  • Department of Energy created by President Carter in 1977 to consolidate the various government agencies dealing with US energy issues
  • Early focus on developing renewable and alternative energy sources
  • As gas prices leveled off in the late 1980s and 1990s, policy moved away from renewables
energy policy2
Energy Policy
  • By George W. Bush administration, focus is on increasing domestic fossil fuel production, including drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Policy developed by task force chaired by former oil company executive, VP Dick Cheney
energy policy3
Energy Policy
  • With Obama administration, pledge to reduce carbon emissions to combat global warming via:
    • “cap and trade”
    • investment in renewable energy sources including solar, wind, nuclear, and geothermal
    • conservation