Page 58 - JanFeb2014

This is a SEO version of JanFeb2014. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »


problems and

opportunities that exist between the “ public’s interest ” and the “ public’s best interest

There is a respected heritage on the existence and require-ments of the “public’s interest” and the “public’s best inter-est.” Some may dismiss “public interest” as simply a rationale for one’s private view of the world. Critics of public interest have expressed that public interest concepts are almost always imprecise and expansive. Others argued that public interest is about an ideal rather than a scientific discrete construct. An important distinction between “public interest” and “public’s best interest” is that “public interest” is an ideal, whereas “public best interest” has specific, identifiable content. Public Interest is the more encompassing term and, as an ideal, the more elusive one. In a particular context, the “public interest” refers to the outcomes best serving the long-run survival and well-being of a social collective, to give the meaning of, as a “public.” This is a simplistic definition, but the focus is on outcomes, not on policies, intentions, or specific actions. This focus is suitable for an ideal concept. The “public interest” concept cannot, then, endorse any specific policy or action, only the public interest ideal. However, the “Public Interest” specific actions affect real-world policymaking, appearing to serve the public’s best interest.

determining the “public” can present problems however these problems seem no greater than determining the “interest.”

For hundreds of years, philosophers and others have debated whether the public interest is best viewed as general or spe-cific to the case. An especially important aspect of this defini-tion is that “public interest” is dynamic. What is in the public interest changes not only case-by-case but also within the same case as time moves forward and conditions changes by a public motivated to secure its common interest as a public. It can be stated, the public’s interest cannot be known in any important sense in the absence of social inquiry and public discussion and debate.

a simplistic definition would be; public interest is emotional and public’s best interest is economical.

problems of public interest Public interest can have a positive or negative and protective or destructive effect on the public. Public interest also can create an effect produc-ing a completely different result as planned. Public interest raises awareness through campaigns, emotions, insight and knowledge. To fuel awareness and change, Public Interest groups many times distort a true perspective or only show one side, to move people and public opinion along with politi-cians in their direction. In desperation to remove all obstacles, often plans are laid by “public interest groups” to create anger and fear. In the United States political realm, Public interest performs important functions. The Public interest (groups) initiates the process of identifying problems and often pro-

motes to encourage specific outcomes without specific action and not providing resolutions. These include aggregating and representing the Public Interest of individuals in a way that a single individual would not be able to do. Public Interest helps to facilitate government by providing policy makers with information that is essential to making laws, and educating legislative members and the public on issues.

public interest groups that affect policy can be a group of persons working on behalf of or strongly support-ing a particular cause, such as an item of legislation, an industry, or a special segment of society that affects the “public’s best interest”. Politicians can be moved by interest groups for the welfare or well being of the publics best interest and commonwealth. Public interest groups is any association of individuals or organizations, usually formally organized, that, on the basis of one or more shared concerns, attempts to influence public policy in its favor. Public interest shares a desire to affect government policy to benefit them-selves or their causes. The “Go Green” programs and policies is a current example fueled by celebrities and former politi-cians. Their goal could be a policy that exclusively benefits group members or one segment of society (e.g., government subsidies for farmers, electric cars, windmill energy, solar power) or a policy that advances a broader public purpose (e.g., improving air and water quality). public interest attempts to achieve their goals by bringing pressure to bear on policy makers to gain policy outcomes in their favor.

The term “interest” rather than “interest group” is often used to denote broad or less formalized political constituencies, such as the energy interest and the environmental interest, segments of society that may include many formal interest groups. Similarly, public interest is often used when consider-ing local government entities working to influence national governments (e.g., a local government seeking to secure funding from the national government).

deception of public’s best interest

Political influence, power play economics and private interest often move to create the illusion of public interest which are in direct contradiction to the public’s best interest. One example is in the oil, natural gas and coal energy, and wood, pulp, paper products and the printing industry. Fueled through strong public interest and supported with enforcement by the EPA, unions, federal and state regulations, all applying a great amount of economic and public pressure to protect the envi-ronment have diminished the United States energy, wood and pulp industry. There has been a dramatic reduction of new oil wells and oil fields opened and mills opening in the United States with more energy operations and mills reducing opera-tion days and other mills totally closing. a strong “public in-terest” to protect the environment, diminished manu-facturing in the united states, pushing reliance on foreign energy, decreasing energy exports to foreign countries, opening china and indonesia to make paper for u.s. market, both creating an economic cycle that is not in the “public’s best interest”. The public’s best interest could be achieved, at a global level, by boycotting the purchase of foreign manufactured products that do not meet the US environmental protection agency manufacturing standards. The United States has reduced emission while other industrial growing countries have increased emissions three fold.




Page 58 - JanFeb2014

This is a SEO version of JanFeb2014. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »