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P SC 1113

by: Ashley Carter
Ashley Carter
GPA 4.0
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About this Document

These notes are from the required readings we have be asked to keep up with during the semester. Included in these notes is the summary and explanations of the first 5 readings.
R.A. Training
Brian Rock
Class Notes
American Federal Government University of Oklahoma OU David Boren PSC1113




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Carter on Monday January 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EDAH 2963 - 001 at University of Oklahoma taught by Brian Rock in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see R.A. Training in Education and Teacher Studies at University of Oklahoma.


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Date Created: 01/18/16
Class Lecture: These readings are meant to back­up DBO’s argument that the United States  has/has not begun declining economically and internally. Reading 1: Summary: The collapse of the I­35 Bridge in Minneapolis proved there was a failing status of  our nation’s highway network. This problem affects the safety of Americans as well as the  security and financial prosperity of the nation; which brought cause for the Republican and  Democrats to unite. The networks of roads loses citizens more than $1 billion annually due to  congestion of highways. Not only are these highways congested, but airlines are expected  increase traffic by 50% by 2020. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the US  highways a grade of “D”, which will not change unless $1.6 TRILLION is spend to fix the  problem. In comparison with other countries, the US is behind in both preservation of networks  and improvements of transportation. Our spending on transportation is increasing, however  funds have been misguided into headline story projects despite the abundance of damaged  roads and railways. “Creating an America's Build Initiative similar to Gov. Ed Rendell's plan for  Pennsylvania will create job opportunities for Americans, strengthen our infrastructure, and  make this the US greener.” The US should define all possible solutions while putting aside pork­ barrel spending to focus our resources on the problem.   Definitions and Explanations: The issue being discussed is the increasing problem of  congestion and dilapidated highways across America. Harold Ford, the writer of this article,  depicts the need of the two prominent political parties to come together in order to fix the  problem. In order to persuade the reader of this choice, he states the lack of safety and lose of  money due to the road conditions. He then argues that though there has been more government  spending, our funds are not going exactly where we need them to. He proposes that the two  political parties form an “America’s Build Initiative” in order to make America “greener” and  more efficient. Finally, he compares the I­35 tragedy to Hurricane Katrina and urges readers to  question their governments spending and choices. Reading 2: Summary: The global economy has changed since George W. Bush was in office, causing more US dependence on other countries in terms of their decisions, policies, capital, and markets.  Not only has our exported number of goods decline while other countries has seen prosperity, the US dollar not faces a competitor: the euro. Improvements such as equal exports and imports, or domestic savings will help keep the US par with other countries. Investors are unsure about the ability of the dollar to keep its value with current crises such as imbalanced exports/imports and  budget deficits. In order to curb this decline, education in STEM classes much be improved  while focusing on the education of minorities, who make up the fastest growing workforce.  Other improvements such as new jobs and new technology can increase employment and  reduce the dependence on other countries. The president needs to lead the US in the shifts of  financial wealth by sustaining investor confidence, increasing trade flow, and engaging with  other countries to “restructure the global policy architecture.” Definitions/Explanation: The authors, Robert Hormats and Jim O’Neill, are not only stating the current standing of the US in the global economy, but they are also calling upon a new president to step up and push the US back into a powerful economic leader. Improvements are called upon (above) and financial crises are called out (above). This article is pushing for change, but not  from the individual citizens of the US, but from the leaders who run the country. Reading 3:  Summary: The United States outsources most of its product to cut costs. However, though it  may seem the US is in a decline, we hold about 36% of the top fifty universities in the world. We produce highly trained computer scientists and graduates than any other country. Despite this, our school systems are far behind what they could be. Students who are tested in math and  science in the Eighth grade are barely above average. We are trained to memorize, while  students from other countries are taught to think. Despite this set back, the US population  continues to grow and produce more workers for the workforce, which allows for more  production. (This is due to immigration as well as birth rates.) Definitions/Explanations: The US is leading in higher education, while other countries lag  behind. After such discoveries about the US school system, other countries began to model their  school systems similarly. With this increase of education, as well as the increase of immigrants  gaining degrees, the US is better prepared to compete economically with the rest of the world. Reading 4: Summary: The reading starts as a narrative about a family moving to Austin, Texas. They  unintentionally moved into a mostly Democratic neighborhood. Their new community is tightly  knit, though the overall group does not like to be opposed by Republican views. The author,  Bill Bishop, then moves on to talking about how most communities throughout America are  becoming “politically monogamous”. Many statistical numbers are given throughout the  narrative to prove the previously stated point. Comparisons are made about how Americans are  free to be wherever they want, yet they still segregate themselves by religious or political views. These like­minded Americans rarely change their beliefs in order to stick to the status quo.  Definitions/Explanations: The author is depicting a scenario in which his family unknowingly  and unintentionally moves to a neighbor with strictly Democratic views. Though the author and  his family share these views, he sees the drawbacks of being clustered with this community.  Anyone with an opinion opposite the majority is shunned and is asked not to share his/her  political opinions. The author then goes on to talk about “The Big Sort”; an idea that Americans  are moving to be with like­minded communities. This not only segregates communities, but it  also does not allow for any drastic change in opinion. Sadly, the author sees no remedy for this  situation, however he is optimistic that with time, this generation can bring change. Reading 5: Summary: As citizens of the US, we need to be aware of our history, so we do not repeat the  past. However, the past is viewed by many people with varying opinions and emotions toward  what occurred. Despite being the world’s leading military power, we cannot force our solutions onto the rest of the world. In such stupidity we fought a “hopeless” war in Vietnam yet then  thirty years later we fought another in Iraq. As US citizens, we have the ability to make  history. Definitions/Explanations: The author, Arthur Schlesinger, is pressing the importance of history  in our daily lives. However he explains that as US citizens, we cannot be arrogant about what  has happened in our past, but rather critical about how we can rewrite our history. He ends the  article with “a nation’s history must be both the guide and the domain no so much of its  historians as its citizens.” that final sentence sums up the idea that we can either repeat what  has already been done, or write a new history for America. Omnipotent: having unlimited power; able to do anything Omniscient: knowing everything


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