Study Guide 1 – Political Science 207 Exam 1
Exam 1 is February 6th and will be 50 multiple choice questions. We will get an hour to complete the exam not the whole 75 minutes. Bring a big grey/blue scantron and pencils.
Study advice from Dr. Lim was to read the notes and the textbook three times at about 1015 minutes per page for the textbook.
In this study guide I will be taking notes on the textbook, adding ideas from class and interpreting figures that are in the textbook by adding a figure number than providing the trend, where Texas lies, states that rank the highest and lowest, outliers and other relevant information.
Note: Most of this study guide will be on the pertinent information that should be gleaned from the figures that will be considered on the test. Remember to know the trends and be able to connect the correct variables.
If you want to learn more check out What is density?
Chapter 1 – Fifty States and 90,000 Local Governments Notes
Out of date incorrect or simple preposterous: The private sector is more efficient and effective than the government
Fact: More than half of the private sector companies in the United States go out of business within five years.
Therefore, it is important to use empirical data to describe the trends that exist in Texas with respect to other states, the country and even other countries.
Understand that states created the federal government and states created and continue to create the local governments If you want to learn more check out All lawyers are logicians.
Many news outlets that provide information are biased and few seek to tell only the truth. A goal of the class is to teach students how to find high quality information and use it to build knowledge.
There are many differences between the states even though it is widely thought that all the states would have the same goals such as high education, wealth, low crime rates, low infant mortality and low numbers of uninsured people, but there are vast differences between the states in all these respects.
Some public policy is more successful than others, although it is often hard for officials to admit. Some public policies are deemed successes at the time, then later appear unsuccessful and are abandoned.
There are 50 states and 90,000 local governments. Local governments can be school districts, municipalities, counties and special districts.
All of these are run differently, for example some states pay for grade school public education using state funds and others only use local government money.
Today, because of the amount the federal government is taught and covered in class and in the media, many people think that the federal government has a more active role in our lives when this is not true. We interact more on a daily basis with our state and local government than our federal government. If you want to learn more check out What is saturated fatty acid?
The federal government has grown in size and activity, although it is still the states that hold the fundamental power.
While many see the federal and state governments as adversaries, it can be more accurate to view them as the federal government being most of states working together. While occasionally the federal or state governments will take the lead on the issue, neither one has the most power.
2nd amendment: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Texas: Article I Section 23 Texas State Constitution: “Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the state; but the Legislature shall have power by law to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent the crime.”
D.C. v. Heller: Supreme Court makes the right to keep and bear arms a separate right from the maintenance of a wellregulated militia.
Both antigun and progun organizations appreciated this decision
There exist some limitations such as in the cases of felons, mentally ill, certain locations, dangerous and unusual weapons as well as how they can be sold commercially. If you want to learn more check out What is andrew johnson’s plan?
Issues that cause the most debate for firearms
1. What firearms are allowed
2. Who should be excluded from owning firearms
3. Where firearms are permissible
4. How change of ownership can occur
Aurora, Colorado – July 20, 2012 – 12 people shot and killed in movie theater with legally purchased weapons and ammunition
Newton Connecticut – December 14, 2012 – 20 children and 6 adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School with weapons legally owned by the assailant’s mother who he shot and killed before going to the school.
In response, the legislation proposed required background checks and only licensed dealers to be able to sell firearms. Despite the majority of senators being democrats and the overwhelming public support, the bill failed.
State response ranged from some states creating tighter regulations, where as about 10 states loosened the regulations.
Texas: 2015 allowed “open carry” for people who were licensed for “concealed carry” and public universities would allow concealed handguns, although private universities could choose whether they wanted concealed weapons. Public universities are also allowed to limit where you can carry such as in stadiums, can regulate handguns in dorms, but they cannot forbid handguns in classrooms. If you want to learn more check out What are amphitheaters?
Defense of Marriage Act 1966 – forbade federal government from recognizing same sex couples
Overturned in 2013 by supreme court ruling that the federal government must treat same sex couples and opposite sex coupes equally.
In 2015 the court ruled that according to the 14th amendment, states must license and recognize lawfully licensed same sex couples’ marriages performed in other places.
Policies are different across states, Colorado and Washington have permitted the sale and use of marijuana in certain places
Texas allows low THC products, high cannabidiol products for medical reasons and certain situations or as legal defense.
Very different views on the drug, according to Office of National Drug Control Policy, Marijuana is a Schedule I Drug because it is addictive, the drug has no currently accepted medical use and there is a lack of safety for use of the drug. The FDA has approved medical use of some components of marijuana.
Figure 1.1 Summary Government Spending 2014
Highest State and Local Spending from Own Revenue: education, then health Lowest: national defense, recreation and culture, housing and community services Highest State and Local Spending from Federal Revenue: health, then income security Lowest: economic affairs and housing and community services
Highest Federal Spending: health then income security
Lowest: recreation and culture and public order and safetyIf you want to learn more check out What is a in the arrhenius equation?
Measuring the Best State
Figure 1.2 Population of the United States 2015
Lowest Population Regions: northeast (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont), northern states (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota)
Highest Population: eastern states along the coast, Texas, California and Washington Empirical Measures of Differences
Size and Population
High Income (per capita income – all the income in the state divided by the number of men, women and children)
Murder Comprehensive Evaluations
Figure 1.3 Metropolitan Populations 2014
Highest Metropolitan Population: California, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, Florida and states in the northeast
Lowest Metropolitan Population: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont and Maine
Figure 1.4 Per Capita Income 2014
Highest Per Capita Income: California, Alaska, North Dakota and states in the northeast Lowest Per Capita Income: states in the south as well as some states in the Midwest Texas: Has neither the highest or the lowest as of 2014 with an income of 45,426
Figure 1.5 Unemployment Rate
Highest: western states, southeastern states
Lowest: northern states in the Midwest and Vermont and New Hampshire
Figure 1.6 Murders Per 100,000 Population
Highest: southeastern states, Nevada and Alaska
Lowest: northeastern states and Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota
Statistics such as those on murder, unemployment, and infant mortality can help us make comments on the success of public policy in that area
Figure 1.7 Gallup Index of WellBeing
Texas is ranked 10th in wellbeing as of 2015
Lowest: eastern and midwestern states
Highest: western states as well as Alaska, Florida and Hawaii
Indexes serve to try and rank states for multiple parts of wellbeing in comprehensive evaluations that consider many aspects of quality of life in that place
It is important to remember that no state is consistently the best state in all of the areas considered
Some states rank better than other states in specific categories
Ideas to Remember
In reality, the government of the United States is more statecentric than focused on the federal government
Remember the examples of marijuana and marriage as examples of policies that have changed over time. Some states and branches of the federal government push in different directions on some issues
State and local governments are responsible for almost half of government revenue and affect our day lives by passing most of the laws and enforcing them
The federal and state government can regulate the right to keep and bear arms, although they cannot infringe on the right to own them
Federal grants make it seem as though states are better at allocating funds to public projects than the federal government
National defense, social security and Medicare are paid for entirely by the federal government, no money from state and local government goes towards those assets Three ways states can vary are physical and demographic differences, wealth differences and social problems they face
No state is comprehensively the best
Making comparisons between the states must be done carefully and the results are never guaranteed for reasons we have often discussed in class. There are some relationships that make sense are but are not true correlations and exist for different reasons.
Do the study guide at the end of chapter 1 without the book for extra practice and keep in mind that our professor can ask questions about trends without giving us the figures from the book
Chapter 2 State Differences and Relationships
Studying the changes in social problems, attributes and characteristics of the states can be helpful in coming up with the policies that help solve the problems or continue improvement
Repeated patterns can be called trends when they persist for 3 years or more
Variables when studying the states are anything that can be considered a characteristic or attribute of the state including poverty, income level, education or infant mortality
Relationships must be considered in terms of both their direction and their strength
The directions are positive or negative – a negative or inverse relationship means that as one thing increases the other decreases. A positive or direct relationship is when as one thing increases the other variable also increases
Using direction is important because it can lead to understanding relationships such as education increases, infant mortality decreases. When there are deviations in this relationship it can push political scientists to further ask why this may be and what can be done to recreate the result elsewhere
In POLS 207 strength means having an r value that has an absolute value at or above a 0.3. If the number is negative that indicates a negative or inverse relationship. This will be reported on the figures as we look at them for inferences and relationships
Wealth and Education Data
Education has been found to be linked to economic success
More people today are generally earning bachelor’s degrees or higher Education is also linked to better health and wealth of a states’ population It is important to remember that some aspects of wealth are not measured such as jewelry,
cash, cars, art and government and corporate securities, in this case a person might have 100 lbs of gold/platinum/diamond jewelry from past generations that does not factor into a calculation of their wealth
Figure 2.2 Percentage of Population with High School Completion or Higher Highest: northern midwestern states and northeastern states
Lowest: Texas and other states in the south
Compare this graph with the results of per capita income which is Figure 1.4 which is the best available measure of state wealth at this point
Figure 2.3 Percentage of Population with Bachelor’s degree or Higher
Highest: states in the north, particularly the northeast
Lowest: generally, states in the south, although Texas has a higher rate at about 28%, making it stand out amongst the surrounding states
Scatterplots and Correlations
Used to compare two variables and show correlations
Correlations do not imply causations, this means that things may look related, however, it does not mean that one causes another
Figure 2.4 Per Capita Income and Percent High School Completion
Texas has a lower high school completion but a much higher expected income
Figure 2.5 Per Capita Income and Percent Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
Texas still rests above the line with a larger income than expected given the number of degree holders
There is a greater percentage of college degree holders in Texas even though there is a relatively low high school graduation rate due to the number of people who move to Texas with their degrees to live and work in Texas
This is overall good for Texas because the state did not pay to subsidize those degrees, however, they are reaping the economic benefit of those people living in Texas
Table 2.1 Per Capita Income and Educational Attainment Correlations over time
The relationship between higher income and a high school degree has decreased over time
The relationship between higher income and a bachelor’s degree has increased over time This indicates that now, a bachelor’s degree is important to increase earnings, more so than a high school degree
What Empirical Relationships Mean and Do Not Mean
Remember that correlation does not imply causation and also remember that a lack of correlation disproves causation
Remember the example of high rate of ice cream consumption and high murder rate. The two examples look linked because their numbers are high and low at the same times, however, ice cream is not the reason people murder. High temperatures, however, are related to angrier people which would influence the amount of ice cream being eaten (because it is hot) and the high murder rate (because people are angry)
Example 1 from the book is total state personal income and poverty
Example 2 from the book is number of prisoners released and the number of property crimes being committed in a state
Financial Resources: Residents and Governments
Figure 2.9 State and Local Government Expenditure Per Capita and Revenue Per Capita
As state and local expenditure per capita increases, the revenue in a state also increases R=0.93, indicating strong correlation
Texas has higher expenditure given its revenue
Figure 2.10 Incarceration Rate and Violent Crime Rate
R=0.45, indicating moderate correlation
As violent crimes increase, incarceration rate also increases
Texas has a higher incarceration rate than expected given its number of violent crimes Figure 2.11 Poverty and Per Capita Income
Demonstrates a negative correlation because as per capita income increases, poverty decreases
Texas has a slightly higher poverty rate than is expected given its per capita income R=0.65
Figure 2.12 Life Expectancy and Infant Mortality
As infant deaths increase, life expectancy decreases
This is to be expected because when children are dying before their first birth day, it brings the life expectancy further down
Ideas to Remember from the Chapter
It is important to control for a state’s population size
Where we get our information is important. It is necessary to sift through information to make sure it is reliable
Correlation coefficients can be used to show the direction and strength of a relationship. Correlations and scatterplots cannot be the only tools used to illustrate causation Having wealthy residents that pay more taxes which is then in turn, invested in the state to help provide government services can help a state
States with higher college graduates have higher personal incomes
College education can help people earn more money and improve state economies with taxes
Violent crime rates are related to incarceration rates which are cumulative from past release rates and imprisonments
Per capita income is related to poverty however poverty can exist without the presence of high per capita income
Education and high income are related to low poverty, lower infant mortality and longer lifespan
Poverty, infant mortality and lifespan are related
Make sure to take the test at the back of the chapter to confirm you know the information.