POLS 206 Weeks 1 Lecutres
POLS 206 Weeks 1 Lecutres POLS 206
Popular in Amer natnl gov
Popular in Political Science
This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Notetaker on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 206 at Texas A&M University taught by Sarah Fulton in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Amer natnl gov in Political Science at Texas A&M University.
Reviews for POLS 206 Weeks 1 Lecutres
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 09/05/16
Pols 206-509 Tuesday, September 06, 2016 Introduction to American Politics 1) American Politics Country faces a number of challenges s Frustrations with politicians s Terrorism s Economic Uncertainty s Mounting Debt - $19.4 Trillion - Politics: Who gets what, when, and how How are we going to close the gap? Raise Taxes? Cut spending? 2) American Politics Pivotal Moment (with so many positions open) s Country could emerge stronger and better? My approach: Evaluate politics from a rational prospective s Rational Prospective- Maximize benefits, minimize costs - What are the institutions that govern us? - How are they structured? - Who are the key players? - Why do we observe the outcomes that we do? Don’t like the outcomes then change the institutions - How do we change them? 3) Challenges confronting America Growing National government Partisan bickering Political scandals Persistent under-employment International turmoil- ISIS, Humanitarian crisis (Syrian refugees) 4) Country faces many problems Preamble makes promise about what gov should look like A lot say promise is unfulfilled s Establishing justice- broke laws not punished s Common defense- threat of terrorism s Liberty- is being attacked 5) Most people think about bad things when they think about gov Media reports bad news to get more views High expectations s Candidate make promises they can’t keep s Gap- High promises, low ability to deliver Separation of Powers Federalism s State laws below National (Federal) laws 6) But there are some good things that gov does Pols 206-509 Tuesday, September 06, 2016 Armed forces do an excellent job Free education system & subsidized for college Centers for disease control s Protecting public health Social safety net for elderly Social services for the rest of us s Police s Fire departments Gov invests in new technologies s Microchip s GPS s Internet s Computers 7) Gov isn’t perfect But it does a lot right and not given credit Where gov is deficient you can change things s Pay attention s Vote s Get involved s Get the word out Pols 206-509 Tuesday, September 06, 2016 Lecture 2: Introduction to American Politics memeorandum 1) In the News… Mixed messages on Trump’s policy on immigration s Appeared measured, diplomatic and statesmanlike in the meeting with Mexican president (Pena Nieto) in Mexico City - Discussed border security and economic issues - Called Mexican-Americans “spectacular hard working people. I have such a great respect for them and their strong values of family, faith and community” s Later, in campaign speech on immigration in Phoenix vowed to: - Build a wall, and get Mexico to pay for it - Deport all felons here illegally - Institute a deportation task force - But what about undocumented workers who aren’t felons? “Appropriate disposition” would be made at a later time The only route to legal status would be to return to home country and reapply for citizenship Changing positions and cold turn off supporters Trying to please the party by being extreme but now trying to go towards modern vote Lesser of two evils Back and forth between changing views and not Closer race than what we think between Clinton and Trump s Only 4 points apart - Still a very real chance Trump could win 2) What is politics Pols 206-509 Tuesday, September 06, 2016 Harold Lasswell: Politics is the struggle of who gets what, when and how Politics is all about conflict – resolving conflict in a peaceful way s War => resolves conflict by other means (the use of force) Politics consists of negotiation, bargaining and compromise It exists when people are interdependent and have to make collective decisions 3) Examples of collective decisions? Can’t have two policies that conflict Should Obamacare be repealed, repaired or remain intact? How much should we spend on defense? Education? Prisons? Social Security? Who gets to be president? s We have to decide on these thinks through collective decisions 4) Commonalities Can’t have 2 policies simultaneously Have to decide what the policy is going to be for everybody Choices about alternatives = conflict s People come from different places so have different views on things 5) Political Conflict Conflict isn’t bad, its human nature We all have different: s Histories s Traditions s Experiences - Means different opinions on policies - The job of government to calm down and help Different back grounds = different opinions Sometimes east to resolve Other times, its more complex s Requires a more elaborate set of institutions to resolve conflict 6) What are political institutions? Rules by which conflict is resolved Examples of political institutions: s Electoral laws s Congress s Presidency s Bureaucracy s Judicial system Definition of government = collective set of political intuitions 7) Political Institutions Goal is to channel and resolve conflict through an established set of procedures Pols 206-509 Tuesday, September 06, 2016 8) How can the government resolve conflict through the use of institutions? Government has coercive power Government has a monopoly (only one) on the legitimate use of force s Can challenge or appeal must work through institutions/established set of procedures s Nobody but government can force you to do anything but government If you break the law, you go to jail s Government can even take your life… nobody else can legally do that Government can enforce collective agreements because of its coercive power 9) Simulation Illustration of rational choice theory – costs, benefits, probabilities of an out comes s 5 widget manufacturing firms s Each person is his/her own individual company s You’re in competition with each other s Goal is to make the most $ for your company s Each company has the capacity to produce 20 widgets in a given month s Task is to decide how many widgets to produce, without any collaboration with other companies - Decide how much to make to make money given the amount public will buy 10) What’s the optimal amount for everyone to produce? s What if 4 people produced 10 but one makes 20 s 4 people x 10 = 40 s 1 person x 20=20 s Global supply = 60 widgets 0.40*20=8.0 s If the global the global supply equals 60 then 11) Take-home points Illustrations of Hobbesian world s Thomas Hobbes – Author of the leviathan s Without government life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short s People are self-interested s People do what’s best for them, even if it hurts the collectivity or central good Each producer has incentives to produce as much as possible because that increases profit Pols 206-509 Tuesday, September 06, 2016 But you also have incentives as a group to restrict your output Sometimes individual incentives and group incentives come into conflict with each other Individual incentives undermine groups interests 12) Take home points Illustrations of the collective action problem Individual rationality leads to collective irrationality s Restricting output is better for the group s But individual firms have an incentive to produce as much as possible to maximize profit for themselves It’s hard for individuals to coordinate for the betterment of the group because of selfish interests
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'