- Количество слайдов: 20
American Politics (Ch 1) I. What is Politics? The study of who gets what, when, and how. -Political Science is the study of politics, or the study of who gets what, when, and how through government processes in a world of scarce resources and conflicting preferences.
II. Questions for this course and book. • • • Who? Participants When and How? Institutions What outcomes? Policy (e. g. economic system, civil rights, personal liberty)
III. What is government? • • organization extending to the whole society that can legitimately use force to carry out its decisions. legitimacy – widespread acceptance of something as necessary, rightful, and legally binding.
IV. Why is there government? A. Domestic tranquility • Hobbes – a world without government would be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. ” • Locke – government originates as an implied contract among individuals who agree to obey laws in exchange for protection of their rights. • Christian Western Tradition (Paul, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, etc. ) – gov’t is divinely appointed to promote goodness and suppress the evil tendencies of fallen men
B. Common Defense C. Promote General Welfare 1. Public Good – Goods or services supplied by governments that markets do not supply, cannot supply, or have been prevented from supplying. Public goods are nonexcludable (unable to prevent nonpayers from consuming the good) and nonrivalrous (one’s consumption affects another’s consumption). • “Tragedy of the Commons”: When everyone owns something, no one owns it. (What if farmland could not be privately owned? Why are private bathrooms, private yards, and private golf courses cleaner than public ones? ) 2. Externality – effects of transaction imposed on indirect participants. • Negative – transactions reduce welfare of ________ (pollution). Gov’t may use taxes to prevent them. • Positive – transactions increase welfare of nonparticipants (education). Gov’t may use subsidies to encourage them. 3. Income transfer – When government takes _______ from one party and gives it to another (e. g. VA benefits, disabled, poor, farmers, businesses, and the wealthy.
V. What is democracy? • “Rule by the many” (Greek)/People rule themselves. A. Individual dignity • natural law (Locke) – there are rights possessed by every human by virtue of his/her humanity. (e. g. life, liberty, personal property, equal protection under the law) B. Participation in decision making • “The argument for democracy is not that the people will always choose wise policies for themselves, but that people who cannot choose for themselves are not really free. ” – Thomas Dye C. Majority rule (1 person/1 vote) *Are we a pure democracy?
VI. Paradox of Democracy • Potential for conflict between individual freedom and majority rule. Solution: Constitutional government. (e. g. Lockean government, Bill of Rights…)
VII. Who governs? A. Elitist perspective – all societies, even democracies, are divided into the few who govern and the many who do not. • “Government is always government by the few, whether in the name of the few, the one, or the many. ” – Harold Laswell and Daniel Lerner. *But what if the ruling elite are doing _____ for the polity? “…whether elites are self-seeking or public spirited, open or closed, responsive or unresponsive, it is they and not the masses who actually make the decisions. ” Dye.
Positive Elitism *George Will: Elitism is not so bad. Do we really want ignorant people ruling or even influential when it comes to public policy? *For the most part, however, theorists who ascribe to this view express pessimism (Negative Elitism) about the structure and future of society and they typically want government to change things for the better.
B. Pluralist theory – democracy can be achieved through competition among multiple organized groups and that individuals can participate in politics through groups memberships and elections. • -Political _______ among many participants will prevent the long-term • dominance of any one individual or group. Public Policy is not always the desire of the majority, but the equilibrium result of pluralist competition.
C. Interest Group Theory of Government: “Costly information begets rational ignorance, allowing organized interests to exercise power over policy far beyond their sheer numbers. When formulating policy, self interested policy makers respond to lobbying pressure brought to bear by narrow, organized interests. The resultant policy reallocates property rights to those with access to the institutional structure, or who are able to use it relatively cost-effectively, thereby concentrating benefits [to themselves] and spreading costs regardless of an overarching public interest, ethics, or ideals. ” Noel Campbell Review of Austrian Economics.
• Another way of stating this: Some interest groups will pay the costs of being informed and lobbying because the benefits of some policies will be concentrated in their hands, but the costs of those policies will be spread out among taxpayers (who are not willing to become informed or organize simply to recover a few cents). Example, 1988 U. S. Tariff on sugar. • Avg. world price = 7 cents per pound; in U. S. = 20 cents per pound. • 270 million Americans paid $6 more a year for sugar, but 11, 000 U. S. sugar producers averaged $130, 000 income. *Worth learning of it? Worth organizing?
Political culture Political Culture: widely shared views about who should govern, for what ends, and by what means. *Does America have a political culture? How does or does it differ from other parts of the world? • A political culture depends upon the _______ values and beliefs of a society. • Conflict arises when large segments of the population differ over values and beliefs (e. g. religion, abortion, slavery).
I. Liberal Tradition (not liberalism in the modern sense!) • Classical Liberalism – political philosophy asserting the worth and dignity of the individual and emphasizing the rational ability of human beings to determine their own destinies. In a word: FREEDOM • anti-feudal • anti-state control • disgust with hereditary prerogative • anti-state established church • anti-aristocracy
Two Dimensions of Classical Liberalism 1. Political freedom – restrictions on the activity of individuals should be kept small. 2. Economic freedom – (Capitalism) individual has right to own, rent, sell, buy, trade property on the open market. II. Equality • Political equality – equal protection under the law. Government should treat people fairly. Every person gets one vote equal to that of every other person. *Have we always had this? • Equality of opportunity – “start race in the same spot” - Achievement should reflect merit alone. • Equality of results – “finish the race even” (not widely shared by the U. S. public, but are policies reflective of this belief? )
III. A. Income and wealth inequality Income - the public does not usually want government to reduce income differences -The highest 1/5 income earners receive nearly half of all personal income. The gap between top-bottom fifth has _______. -Top 5% income earners control 34% of income and pay 55. 5% of all taxes. Top 25%, 66. 5% and 83. 5% respectively. Bottom 50%, 13. 2% and 4% respectively (source=IRS, 1999).
B. Wealth – there is much greater inequality of wealth than there is income. Upper class, white, males control most of the wealth in the country. The top 1% of families in the U. S. control ______% of all family wealth. It has surged recently C. What is the single greatest cause of recent increases in wealth inequality? • Answer: The baby boomer generation is growing older. D. Social Classes/Mobility – 1. Only the impoverished are willing to call themselves “______. ” A majority in every other class prefer “middle class. ” 2. A third of the richest and third of the poorest families will change categories within a decade (slowing though). The widespread perception of free social mobility, however, reduces the chance of class conflict.
IV. Political ideology – a consistent and integrated system of ideas, values, and beliefs about how pervasive a government should be in a society. A. Ideology trends with 3 categories-one dimensional 1. General Pop - Figure (next slide) : Moderates and Conservatives=37%; Liberals=25% 2. By age – Table next slide (18 -24 most liberal) B. Four American ideological camps (two-dimensional): • • Conservatism (_____%) – belief in the value of free markets, limited government, and individual selfreliance in economic affairs, combined with a belief in the value of _____, law and morality in social affairs. Liberalism (16%) – belief in the value of strong government to provide economic security and protection for civil rights, combined with a belief in personal freedom from government intervention in social conduct.
• • Populists (20%) – typically conservative on social issues, but believe that government should actively provide economic security for domestic workers and businesses. Libertarians (_____%) – want ______ government in both economic and personal affairs.