7.1. week 7 discussion 1. what is contracting out? weigh the
1. What is contracting out? Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of contracting out. Do you think that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? When would contracting out NOT be advantageous?
2. What do you think about the rise of formula-based programs over project-based programs? Do you think this represents a positive trend in the design of federal grants or do you think the trend is a negative one? Explain your answer.
3. Cost-benefit analysis assumes at its core that dollar values can be assigned to the things that government regulates. Do you think it is possible to put a dollar value to “an unspoiled national park or forest; of a Grand Canyon view free of noisy, low-flying airplanes; of fishable and swimmable streams; of nondiscriminatory employment” like the text asks? What about the EPA’s assignment of dollar values to each human life being $8.04 million but then after July 2008 $7.22 million?
4. Some observers have argued that much of what Congress does is oversight, but at the same time, oversight as a priority ranks low for congressional members. Why is this the case? What is the “fire-alarm” style of oversight? The “police-patrol” style? Why do you think the fire-alarm style is practiced more often? Would you remedy this situation? If so, how?
5. What are some of the purposes of legislative oversight? How would you prioritize these purposes? As a citizen, why would you be concerned with maintaining legislative