Many people gripe about the laws and politics of the United States, but what separates good from bad public policies? Few people have anything to complain about in regards to complex issues such as the merit of rural electrification or the national weather service, but many more hot-button issues create a divided public, especially when lobbying interests advance a particular agenda. Placing personal opinions aside, how do we know which public policy initiatives most effectively benefit us on a personal and national level?

The List

Here are the ten most important US policy issues:

  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Health care
  • Jobs
  • Medicare
  • Public land
  • Retirement accounts
  • Social security
  • Taxation and spending
  • International trade

Some may matter more to an individual, some may not matter at all, yet they take up the bulk of attention of national lawmakers.

What Is Good Policy?

In a nutshell, a good policy is one that solves problems without creating a political rift. Whenever it is believed that it can solve a problem without one party disagreeing with its inception, it can go forward without issue. This policy should solve a public problem without violating the legal boundaries set down by federal, state, and local laws. It must encourage an active citizenry, furthermore, as well as the democratic process.

Successes Or Failures

Questions of whether the policy solves the problem and whether or not it is legal affect the successes and failures. For example, California’s attempt to cut down on gun crime saw a ten year foundation that cut down on the gun violence rate by fifty percent; since the foundation did not attempt to restrict gun ownership it had no questions about constitutionality.

To learn more about the Characteristics of Successful Public Policy, created by Norwich University, take a look below at the infographic below.

Characteristics of Successful Public Policy

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