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by: Tiffany Chen

ENG210FinalsReview ENG210

Tiffany Chen
GPA 3.5
Foundations Literary Study I
Dr. Sandra Ann Logan

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Foundations Literary Study I
Dr. Sandra Ann Logan
Test Prep (MCAT, SAT...)
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This 9 page Test Prep (MCAT, SAT...) was uploaded by Tiffany Chen on Friday January 16, 2015. The Test Prep (MCAT, SAT...) belongs to ENG210 at Michigan State University taught by Dr. Sandra Ann Logan in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 153 views. For similar materials see Foundations Literary Study I in Foreign Language at Michigan State University.

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Date Created: 01/16/15
ISS 2101 Spring 2015 Professor J Garcia SOCIAL PROBLEMS CHAPTER 2 OUTLINE Wealth and equality and power I undeniable link between wealth and power I brought into positions of power or get into politics them selves I cumulative through generation through generation passed on I overlap between government and money I US Economy 0 Capitalism Adam Smith style free market with competition among innumerable small competitors 0 Free market consumers decide with is valuable and what isn t who the money will be given I The present economy is far removed from the ideals of free enterprise and competition among equal private capitalists I Concentration of Corporate Wealth o Marxism I Hypothesized by Marx that free enterprise will result in firms being monopolies where they get larger and larger and eliminate or absorb the rest of the competition 0 Monopolistic Capitalism I Shared Monopoly multiple firms 4 supply 50 or more of a particular market I This leads only to a trend toward an ever greater concentration among the largest US business concerns as accelerated because of two activities mergers and interlocking directorates I Media Monopoly I Through different forms of medium eg Movies television magazines newspapers etc contribute to the creation of culture shaping what we think and do I Influential on democracy because it hinges on whether there is an informed electorate People need unbiased information and the push and pull of public debate if they are to be truly informed I Due to the large corporations a lot of our views are dictated by their political and social standings eg Clear Channel Communications own more than 850 radio stations it shapes our understandings hence the information we receive are increasingly monopolized to suit the corporations own interest Due to media monopoly diverse opinions are rarely heard due to giants controlling the content being distributed from programming Small companies view points are increasingly rare Reporting is sometimes compromised by conflict of interest The media giants may take a side due to political stances Lastly big stories are often pushed aside in favor of quothot stories with monetary interests Contradictions of Capitalism capitalism was doomed by several inherent contradictions such as inevitability of monopolies they become larger and absorb or eliminate other companies The inevitability of monopolies A lack of centralized planning over production of certain products and underproduction of others Demands for laborsaving machinery Maximization of profits from the corporate s point of view Control of the state by the wealthy Megamergers Could maximize profit multiple individuals hold the same job so less people for more work 10 largest mergers in US history have occurred in the last 15 years Thousands of mergers become giant corporations even larger eg Deutsche Bank There are 5 negatives to Megamergers o Increases the centralization of capital reducing competition and raises prices for consumers o Increases power of huge corporations over workers unions politicians and governments o Reduces the number ofjobs o Increases corporate debt 0 Nonproductive no need to move towards efficiency rather than move towards profit only O Interlocking Directorates another mechanism for evergreater concentrations of size and power of the largest corporations the linkage between corporations The linkage between corporations through a direct or indirect interlock 90 of large US Corporations have some interlocking directors Direct Interlock that results when an individual serves on the board of directors of two companies Indirect interlock when two companies each have a director on the board of a their party company These arrangements have created a potential to benefit the interlocked companies by reducing competition through the sharing of information and coordination policies Transnational Corporations pg 32 33 the trend for corporations is to increase in size and result in eventually form effective monopolies This process of economic concentration provides the larger companies with enormous economic and political power Globalization of the largest US corporations make their power all greater international economic life is a large factor for social problems both domestically as well as internationally US corporations set their main assets abroad to increase profits Consequences of this shift in production in the us to other countries is significant Reduction or drying of up semiskilled and unskilled jobs in the US Increased welfare costs Increased discontent instability among the working class people Due to the loss of domestic jobs to those working abroad for a cheaper pay through outsourcing globalization etc Twin process of concentration and internationalization of the corporations is the enormous power wielded by gigantic transitional corporations Transnational Corporations Largest companies control the world economy and political affairs Increased globalization 0 Rate of profit tends to be higher overseas o Cheaper resources and labor lower production costs o Leads to increased job loss in the United States countries move overseas to find cheaper labor maximized profit I Transnational corporations tend to meddle in the internal affairs of other nations to protect their investments and maximize profits aka through politician campaigns in funding Concentrated Wealth Pg 30 imbalance between the wealth among individuals in corporations vs the rest of the population I Corporate and private wealth are increasingly concentrated I Wealth Less than 1 of all corporations account for over 80 of the total output of the private sector I Forbes 400 I 4 of the top individuals in the top 25 are a family Walton I 2 brothers in the top 25 Koch bank ruled the entire Tea Party movement gained a lot of momentum home grown feeling I Corporate and private wealth are increasingly concentrated I The average net worth is 57 Billion moving further and further out isolated from the rest of the normal population I Wealth lnequality gap has risen dramatically due to multiple reasons I Increased tax benefits received by the affluent from changing tax laws I Changing job structure as economy shifts from manufacturing to service as US jobs are exported to lower paying countries 0 Shifting from manufacturing to service I Board directors have higher pay while they downsize the workforces I Congress increased the upper class wealth by tax reduction on capital gains profits from property sales by allowing the affluent to place as much of their income as they wish in special taxdeferring pay plans not available to the lower classes I Four major consequences 0 Exuberate the unequal distribution of wealth in the US which is already unevenly distributed in the western world 0 Huge tax cuts occurred at the same time US was in two costly wars spending large amounts of money caused the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression large national debt o Everincreasing debt used to justify reductions in the government spending for programs that help the less fortunate weakening public institutions that benefit society 0 Widened gap between the rich and the poor increasing political influence of the wealthy 0 Progressive v Regressive Taxes Links Between Wealth and Power 0 Oligarchy government ruled by a very small group US is an ever increasingly an oligarchy Through elections political parties and right to dissent the influence of the wealth prevails decisions of a very small group of powerful individuals shape our daily lives 0 Plutocracy US has also been argued to be one a government is led by the interests of the rich or by the rich 0 Democracy my be defined as a political system that is of by and for the people A system under which the will of the majority prevails there is equality before the lax and decisions are made to maximize the common good Often swayed by special interest groups who deal with propaganda and financial support of political candidates attempt to deflect the political process for individual benefits Individuals families unions and etc use variety of means to obtain tax breaks favors subsidies and favorable rulings from larger bureaucracies 0 Government by interest groups Special interest groups hire lobbyists to persuade legislators to vote their way 0 Campaign Financing A form of the most undemocratic features and one of the consequences US political system is how political campaigns are financed Increasingly expensive staffing advertisement media Cost of winning a seat in congress is enormous candidates must be wealthy or accept money from various sources to finance their expensive campaigns The most favored recipients of political money are the chairs of powerful congressional committees Congress tried to curb the role of money in elections unsuccessful McCainFeingold Bipartisan campaign reform act McCain Feingold law limits the amount of quotsoft money in federal elections prior to this act unions companies etc were allowed to unlimited funds to political parties this loophole was used by wealthy to contribute to the Republican and Democratic national parties Eliminated for federal elections but did not limit the giving of large sums to affect election outcomes But Loophole for it is called 5275 tax exempt under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code finance political advertisements will not directly calling for the election or defeat of specific candidates Restrictions of this include that it limited maximum contributions to 2300 per election cycle 0 While adhering to this limitation corporate executives lobbyists and other insiders could maximize their political influence by a sophisticated system of bundling pooling a large amount of money of contributions Foundation or a favorite charity through this loophole the donors could give unlimited contributions to a candidate I Citizens United v Federal Election Commission The constitutional guarantee of free speech means that corporations labor unions and other organizations can spend unlimited sums to help elect or defeat political candidates Could donate money infinitely to any political campaign they want Super PACs provides money to outside groups super PAC political action committee often ran by close political associates of the candidate 0 Contributions to this benefit the candidate just as if they were given directly to the candidate 0 Often the super PACs launce media blitz after media blitz in line with the political position of a candidate or attacking those of the candidate s opponent 0 Sources of these donations are often kept a secret Super PACs corrupt democracy in two ways 0 Allow a relatively few super rich individuals and interest groups to have undue influence over the results of elections 0 Future elections are likely to be filled with corporate spending what will affect the true power of democracy at that point I Candidate Selection Process I Closely related to the financing of campaigns is the process by which candidates are nominated I Few wealthy candidates could fund their own campaigns I Affluent individuals and the largest corporations influence candidate selection by giving financial aid to those candidates sympathetic views of their withholding support from those whose views differ o Bias of the Political System I Although the government can be organiyed for the benefit of the majority its not always neutral I US is concentrated in a power elite this elite uses its power for its own advantage hence if there is no need to help directly upfront it doesn t until need of funding is dire I Power in the United States is concentrated among people who control the government and the largest corporations I This assumption is based that power is not attribute of individuals but rather of social organizations I The elite in US society are those people who occupy the power roles in society I Due to those individuals decisions are made upon the level of a board of directors and managers 0 Hence these opinions are only based upon to benefit those individuals 0 A very wealthy have a disproportionate impact on public policy but doesn t mean it goes entirely in their favor 0 Decisions are made by the powerful and tend to benefit the wealthy disproportionately But the power elite is not formally organized so there is no conspiracy per se I Bias Occurs in three ways 0 Elitist influence over elected and appointed government officials at all levels 0 Structure of the system 0 Ideological control of the masses I Systemic Imperatives Institutions of society are patterned to produce prearranged results regardless of personalities of the decision makers Bias pressures the government to do certain things and not others favors the status quo allowing people with power to continue to exercise it Domestic government policy is shaped by the systemic imperative for stability by getting rid of those that may threaten or contradict it Eg Schools capitalism is the only correct economic system indoctrination to conservative values achieves a consensus among the citizenry concerning the status quo I Progressive v Regressive Taxes I Links Between Wealth and Power 0 Oligarchy v Plutocracy v Democracy 0 Campaign Financing I McCain Feingold I Citizens United v Federal Election Commission I Super PACs o Bias of the Political System I Systemic Imperatives


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