Despite good intentions, solving public problems is difficult. There is disagreement on:
What constitutes a problem?
Whether it can and should be solved?
Who should solve it?
The disagreement stems from differing values and beliefs (ideology) by political actors and the public. This often leads to passionate debate, especially when a significant amount of money is at stake. Furthermore, policy making frequently leads to unexpected problems (externalities) that result in many arguing to simply “leave it alone.” Americans often prefer the status quo to the unknown.
Reflect on the current problems facing your community (local, state or national).
What two problems most urgently need to be addressed?
What are some of the major obstacles impeding political action on these two issues.