Return to Table of Contents
The Student Side of the The Challenge of Democracy Site
Updated March 10, 2017

Internet Links for Chapter 18: Policymaking and Domestic Policy

Chapter 18 covers the process of policymaking as well as selected topics in domestic policy: social security, public assistance, health care, K-12 education, and immigration. These links provide additional information for studying these very complex topics.

Images of the Policymaking Process
The Internet provides scores of graphs depicting the intricacies of the policymaking process.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Regulatory Reform
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce addresses the complex process of egulatory reform.
American Medical Association on Health Reform
The AMA addresses the complexity of health law reform.
US Government Property Management Policy
Do you think it is easy to run a government? The General Serices Administration "provides policy solutions for the comprehensive management of federal personal property. Personal Property Policy Management develops and promotes policies and regulations for the most efficient and effective management of personal property assets. Serves as liaison with departments and agencies on policy, regulations and statutory requirements for federal personal property."
Majoring in Public Policy Analysis
You might already be enrolled in a "Public Policy Program." If not, you might be surprised to learn that the College Board maintains a web page for the major: "Students of public policy analysis learn various methods for studying proposed solutions to public problems."
Center for Public Policy Analysis
In fact, public policy analysis is important to government: "The Center for Public Policy Analysis conducts public policy events and briefings in the U.S. Congress and Washington, D.C. on a range of public affairs issues.  It organizes research and fact-finding missions in the United States and abroad with U.S. policymakers to gain first had information about key issues, developments and events. The CPPA continues to developed a unique body of expertise, research and information specific to key issues and regions, including, but not limited to:  international human rights and refugee issues, U.S. foreign policy, international security, regional and international crisis and conflict zones in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia."

Social Security
Social Security Administration
Unless you intend to apply for social security benefits, this site will probably not help you. However, you may want to visit it once to see the scope of the social security program--it doesn't just send checks to old people.
Social Security in a Nutshell
Wikipedia provides a more informative account of social security: "Social Security is a social insurance program that is primarily funded through dedicated payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA). Tax deposits are formally entrusted to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund." Go here to learn more about the many facets of the program.
Facts about Social Security
This site gives an Overview of social security and offers links to Taxes, Benefits, Financial Status, Accountability, Popular Perceptions,Impact on National Debt, Personal Ownership, and Privacy.
Public Assistance
U.S. Government Welfare Spending
This links to a rich set of charts and graphs showing spending on various aspects of public assistance, or welfare.
Poverty Thresholds
The University of Wisconsin provided this clear discussion of a complex topic.
How We Measure Poverty
The Census tells how it measures poverty.
How We Measure Poverty, World Bank
"There are many different definitions and concepts of well-being. This site focuses on three aspects of well-being: poverty, defined as whether households or individuals have enough resources or abilities today to meet their needs; inequality in the distribution of income, consumption or other attributes across the population; and vulnerability, defined here as the probability or risk today of being in poverty &endash; or falling deeper into poverty -- in the future."
Health Care
Health Care
This official government site is not likely to help you, unless you plan to sign up for health care. But it does show how confusing it is for ordinary citizens to understand the options.
See above. Ditto.
Kaiser on Health Care
"Health care costs have been rising for several years. Expenditures in the United States on health care surpassed $2.3 trillion in 2008, more than three times the $714 billion spent in 1990, and over eight times the $253 billion spent in 1980. Stemming this growth has become a major policy priority, as the government, employers, and consumers increasingly struggle to keep up with health care costs." This site provides an overview and good data on health care spending.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
CMS provides National Health Expenditure Data and Research.
Health Care Spending by Country
"A core statistical activity is the annual release of OECD Health Data, a comprehensive database including more than 1200 indicators on the health care systems of the OECD member countries." This site returns Excel spreadsheets.
Health Care Costs Around the World
This site shows graphs, showing that the U.S. spends more on health care than about 20 developed countries and has poorer health care for its spending--as measured by infant mortality and life expectancy.
K-12 Education
History of Public Education
Provides an historical timeline of major events in the history of public education in the United States.
National Center for Education
"The National Center for Education Statistics fulfills a Congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally." the site offers a variety of search features.
Spending on Education
Links to a table in the site above. "School districts had total expenditures of approximately $596.6 billion in 2007&endash;08, including about $506.8 billion in current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education. Of the remaining expenditures, nearly $65.8 billion was spent on capital outlay, almost $15.7 billion on interest payments on debt, and $8.3 billion on other programs (including programs such as community services and adult education, which are not a part of public elementary and secondary education)."
Education in OECD Countries
Links to an online database that allows comparisons between the U.S. and other countries.
Immigration Policy
Immigration Policy Center
"The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration." Go to its "Research and Publications" page for the "Just the Facts" link.
Immigration Policy in the United States
This 2006 report (available as a 36 page PDF document) was commission by Congress. It begins: "Immigration has been a subject of legislation since the nation's founding. In 1790, the Congress established a formal process enabling the foreign born to become U.S. citizens. Just over a century later, in response to increasing levels of immigration, the federal government assumed the task of reviewing and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the United States. Since then, numerous changes have been made to U.S. immigration policy."
Report on Immigration as of 2015
"The United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, and the country has a long history of successfully absorbing people from across the globe. The integration of immigrants and their children contributes to our economic vitality and our vibrant and ever changing culture. We have offered opportunities to immigrants and their children to better themselves and to be fully incorporated into our society and in exchange immigrants have become Americans - embracing an American identity and citizenship, protecting our country through service in our military, fostering technological innovation, harvesting its crops, and enriching everything from the nation's cuisine to its universities, music, and art." Download this free PDF from the Naional Academices of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine."
Immigration Policies in Other Countries
"Today, immigration policy analysts discussed the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX)--a survey which measures the immigration and integration policies of 33 nations--as well as the survey's implications for integration policy in the U.S.."