Of The Punctuated Equilibrium Theory And The Impact Of Obesity Policy
This week’s reading discussed the punctuated equilibrium theory and how it explains some policies. In this response paper, I will firstly present how this theory fits the obesity policy area. Then I will evaluate this theory. Lastly, I will summarize my arguments.
Punctuated Equilibrium Theory and Its Application to Obesity Policies Policy Monopoly. In the obesity area, the food industry was the monopoly. The Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, also known as the Cheeseburger Bill (Hartman, 2012), which prevents consumers from suing the food companies for making them obese, shows how powerful they food industry were. The food companies are so powerful that even if one eats their food and develop …show more content…
In the labeling case, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gained the authority to mandate restaurants labels in 2010 (FDA, 2014), as a result of the public image that some action needs to take place at the society level. However, this authority is not stable in the long term. The “losers” in this mandate pushed for an image that this policy intervention cost too much and difficult to implement. As a result, there is a current doubt about the policy at the legislative level: The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act has passed the house, and may become a law that takes away the FDA’s authority in this matter. The previous equilibria, no laws regulating the food industry for obesity, the current equilibria, some laws are in place to mandate the food industry to label their food menus, and the signs for the future movements in the policy perfectly suits the policy image and institution venue interaction in the punctuated equilibrium theory.
Punctuated Equilibrium Theory and Its Falsifiability
It is not hard to understand why the punctuated equilibrium theory is not falsifiable. A policy, like everything else in the world, has two states: changing, or stable. Unless changing or stable becomes permanent, everything is in the circle of stable change stable again, which is the big picture that the punctuated equilibrium theory is describing.
Can a change be permanent? Yes. However, it does not violate …show more content…
This argument does not necessarily solve the theory’s problem. The bureaucrats are an important part of the policy dynamic. Their impact, however, is not consistent from one bureaucrat to another. Their varieties and possible patterns of the varieties are valuable information we want to include in this model, and they deserve more attention. Here, I’m not claiming that there is an error in this theory, only that it focuses on the political side, and the administration side needs more attention. After all, the politics and public administration are