stiff than not as it goes through the tedious political process of “problem formation, policy agenda, policy formulation and adoption, policy implementation, and policy evaluation” (Jones 170: 17). The formulation of public policy through a political process done by legitimate authorities of which Easton (1965: 212) refers to as the “elders, paramount chiefs, executives, legislators, judges, administrators, councilors, monarchs, and the like, [who] engage in the daily affairs of a political system” makes public policy more authoritative than and clearly differentiates it from other kinds of policies (Bullock III, Anderson & Brady 1983: 3). As such, Anderson (1979: 3) defined public policy as “a purposive course of action followed by an actor or a set of actors in dealing with a problem or matter of concern.” Suffice it to say, “public policies connect disparate actors in complex power and resource relations and play a pervasive, though often indirect, role in shaping society” (Wedelm, et al. 2005: 31).
Analysis of different public policy points to the fact that it indeed reflects the government’s stand. Since it is a political process makes public policy making an ideological exercise. This can be seen in many simple ways. First, it tells the priority of the government because from among the many problems people demand for government action, it merited the policymakers’ attention. Second, it tells the government’s attitude and view on the problem as to how it is addressed. And, third, it tells how the government would like to do about the problem. All of these are of course value laden.
For example, for the glaring problem of social inequalities in the US, we can easily notice the neo-liberal stance of the US government in its policies. For this purpose, let us study and compare two areas of concern that today are universally considered key in addressing social inequality, at least in lessening the widening disparity between the haves and