Monday, July 27, 2009

Yale Library & Lecture

Good evening, readers!

As I said yesterday, my blogs may be fairly short. It's already 12:11 am and I have over 100 pages of reading in addition to an abstract for my group's Marshall Brief project and a bibliography for it as well. We've pretty packed schedules, but I'm somehow enjoying myself as well. Fun!

Today we went to the Yale University Library. It's GORGEOUS and HUGE. We got our own temporary library card--one I'll keep forever. Next, Jessica, Sydney, Angie, Huong and I took a self-guided tour of the library. Unfortunately I did not bring my camera with me, but Jessica did. She will probably post some pictures later on. We explored the music library as well as the book stack rooms. The library is enormous and it's easy to get lost. There are thousands of books and tons of information waiting to be read. If only I could read them all!

We had four lectures today: The International State System and its Enemies by Dr. Ted Bromund, Introduction to Public Policy and Governance by Rick Brundage, Critical Thinking and Analytical Strategies by Dean Nick Coburn-Palo, and Psychology and Persuasion by Professor Anthony Berryhill. I found the second and fourth lectures to be of the most interest, but I'll blog about public policy.

Public policy, as defined by Brundage, is the government's "statement of objectives, incentives, and regulations intended to guide or constrain behavior to accomplish a particular goal." Government is justified to intervene in several circumstances in regards to public goods, externalities, economic stability, failure of competition, and redistribution. I have not the time to discuss each of these topics, so I'll touch on public commodities. There are two types of these: general public goods, which are non-exhaustible [the availability does not decrease with consumption], and common pool resources, which are exhaustible and are non-excludable [available to all]. Common pool resources, such as whales, may become under-supplied and over-consumed because of their non-excludability. Thus, the government must intervene by regulating the extraction of these resources [whales in this case].

Although there was much more to this lecture, I must get going now. Reading and homework await me. My apologies for the brevity!

P.S. Get well soon, Don! We all wish you a safe recovery.

1 comment:

  1. Stephanie,

    Like most major university libraries, in order to house the millions of volumes the building naturally has to be pretty big. [Unlike my own crackerbox sized house where my library—containing my millions of volumes is more vertical with the books stacked from floor to ceiling.]

    Even though it would look huge by any standards, if you were to throw in a thousand or so students like they have during the school year it might not look quite as large.

    Strange as it may sound, we have masses by the millions who would disagree with you and your lecturer about the need for governmental intervention to regulate the exhaustible resources. Right in our own back yard we had a member of Congress who thought that protecting some species wasn’t necessary and the process of natural selection should be allowed to prevail. They feel that we should allow evolution to proceed without intervention. Of course, what they’re really after is a public policy that allows them to do whatever they want without hindrance. Of course, we saw what happened when we took government oversight out of the airline and energy industries and what bankers can do the economy of the world when they’re allowed to run amuck.

    Keep us apprised, Stephanie. As you learn more.

    One thing I can tell already is that the expense of this program is worth every penny. Instead of showing you movies every day, they’re spending our money to bring in top flight lecturers by the bus load.