Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday January 22, 2009 Kenneth Johnson

Today was a study day, since Mr. G had to grade tests.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Way way way way late blog from December 16 dorry for it being so late... By Kevin Yarnell

Protectionism- the belief that women should be spared from lifes crueties.
A. In 1873 the supreme court upheld illinios prohibiting women from practicing law
Most states, women were denied the right to vote until the movement for womens suffrage culminated in the adaptation of the 19th amendment .
A. The equality act of 1963 required equal pay for men and women doing similiar work.
B. Title IX stopped discriminination in women sports
C. Court determined in graig v. Boren (1976) that gender distinctions could be justified only if they served some important gov. purpose
D. IN the united states v. Virginia (1996) court ruled that qualified women must be allowed admission to VMI, devolped a test called " Skeptical Scrutiny" that requires parties who seek to defend gender based action to demonstrate an " exceeding persuasive justification" for that action.

Affirmmative action programs were designed to eliminate the effects of past discrimination against women and members of other monority groups.
A. Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) the supreme court agreed that bakke had been dicriminated or had affirmative action against them.
B. Johnson v. transportation agency, Santa Clara count (1987), No racial quota set aside country now had qualification tests for men and women.
C. Hopewood v. texas court ruled that race/ ethnicity can not be the determining factor for admission to texas law school
D. Gratz v. Bollinger court upheld teh admissions procedures of teh university of michigan graduate school which used race as a factor and shot down th eundergraduate admissions for applying.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jan. 21, 4th Period

Political parties (Factions) are unavoidable but neccessary evil, as thought by James Madison. Political parties today are widely accepted and thought of as a must. They bring together many types of people and fulfill two functions:

1. Establish the means by which amjority rules; without political parties, government would be too fragementd.

2. Create means by which politicans can be held accountable by everyone; members hold candidates to goals and voters view whether politicans do a good job or not.

Political parties encourage democratic competition.

3 types of political party system: single party, 2 party, or multi party.

Single party is often associated with authortarian regimes. 1 party monopolizes politics and other parties are banned; 1 party helps get people into politics by membership and participation but only minority (>10% usually) are active politicans in it.

The single party system can be broken down into university, work place, or neighborhood level. These elements report to higher party and keep tabs on specific levels. Members of 1 party have privleges that directly benefit the members so that they defend the authortarian government.

1 party uses leadership to deliever propaganda and such of the current regime, which is commonly associated with communism. PRI dominated Mexico and used 1 party regime.

Interest group system (Liberal Democracy, Social Democracy (Socialism), Authortarian)

In Liberal Democracy, government power is limited in power for greater freedom for individuals. Liberal Democracy - individuals are responsible enough to care about themselves and care about themselves; the best state is weak, with property and businesses regulated as little as possible to boost captialism. Interest groups are pluralist and compete for ear of desicion makers.

Social Democracy - Liberal government with partys of Communism thrown into get rid of the two extremes. Social Democracy has private property and open market but ambivalent of overall benefit of society. Market and property should be encouraged but controlled by government to keep individual benefit from hurting society. Wide array of public goods (health care, transportation) is available by state. Federal Reserve should control money and inflation based on government. Competition should not get in way of government leadership. Social Democracy manages interest groups through neocoportatism rather than pluralist. Neocoportatism involves state, labor, and buisnesses; rejects interest of pluralist in favor of policy to build consensceous over competition by creating limited interest group that represent large buisness and labor. These are recognized by state as legitatmate representatives and these and the state decide on issues. Open competition goes down small number of interest groups recognized by government together make descions of certain areas.

Authortarian government is overbearing and powerful state - corportitism is most common interest group.

Coroportitism - party creates and sanctions super limited groups and then restrics groups that are not sanctioned by government and the sanctioned groups are only allowed to speak and others aren't. Alternative groups aren't allowed to exist.

Bureacracies (How professional [Will it work with any political leadership?] and how recruited [Activelly seek out best to be government workers? Appointed? Spoil system?])

Military-effects politics through informal pressure (China and Russia), periodic seizures of power (Nigeria). Mexico has problamatic military states that struggle for legitamacy and stability - military might feel itself neccessary for stability and rule (is possible to have have public support).

Military rule - no real ideology, must constantly prove legitamacy

Judiciary Branch: How much independence (autonomy)? Judicial review?

Constitution Court - highest judical body that rules on constitutionality on laws and bodies of government. Many deomcracies lately have seen development of judical power and has brought controversy. Constitution courts aren't directly elected, some people think that htey might confuse or thwart governments ruling. Members serve long-term positions and politicans can't influence court. Serve to defend democratic power from other powers using judical review-like powers.

2 types of Judical Review:

Concrete Judical Review - Case needed to use Judical Review

Abstract Judical Review - Reviews a law before it goes into effect.

Globalization - process that results in greater interdependence on other countries on global scale.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wed. 1/14/09 Third Period

Sorry it's late! BTW check out, where Kaitlyn is recording G's lectures in fourth period and putting them up for Annie Mauldin while she's super ill. :)

Corrollation - apparent association between certain variables or factors. No proof, no causation. Looking for patterns and similarities.
Power - territorially organized into states or territory
State - political power exercised over a specific, recognized territory through a public institution with a sole authority, defined boundaries
Nation - psychological concept of a human community with a shared culture and history without defined boundaries

Some people want to move past states to a supranational system, like what Europe is.

Government - the people who occupy political office and exercise political power
Regime - set or rules and institutions that control access to political power, exists from one government to another. Found in Constitutions; change occures when rules and institutions are replaced or amended into a new constitution.
Constitution - defines role and varioius parts of a government and should specify obligation and rights of the government with regard to intended citizens.

Government must justify their rule.
Legitimacy - popularly accepted use of power by government valure where someone is recognized as being right and proper. state power not on coersion but on the people.

Ideally, pwoplw will accept it. No legitimacy = people have very little faith in the government and will disobey their regime.

State power exercised based on economy.

Beliefe systems will impact a government effectiveness is there is good legitimacy.

Jan 16th 7th prd

Parliamentary or President system?
  • Competition for political power means one will win
  • if too much rests in one, democracy can be weakened.
  • separation of powers and checks and balances diffused the branches of power
  • s.o.p and c+b slows politics down and limits hasty decision making
  • Democracy is possible without checks and balances, but is widely accepted.
  • mere existence of separation of power doesn't ensure separate power... each must have separate base of authority, be outlined in the constitution, and respected.
  • checks and balances are stronger in the presidential system

How elections are conducted:

  • National elections used to choose political party in par. system and specific candidate in pres system
  • legislation chosen by voters of electoral district using first past post system or proportional representation
  • many democracies have the option of public vote
  • government systems that allow national ballot called referendum... allow public to make decisions for itself, gives public issues and allows them to decide
  • competitive elections are considered to be requirements for democracy... the more competitive the election the more democratic the regime
  • competition cane be reduced in variety of ways....
  • 1. in U.S. and U.K: first past post system discourages 3rd party
  • 2. in Mexico and other places: elections appear with all party's, but dominate party wins.... dominate party has right to count ballot.
  • 3. Russia: legislation passed to have limited number of party's
  • 4. in a one party system its obvious who wins...

What type of electoral system?:
proportional representation or single member districts

  • if its single member, decided on plurality of majority
  • rules decide how votes cast, counted, and translated to legislative seats.
  • consequence: effects which political party or individual gain power, and sometimes degree of voting
  • all democracies divide population into electoral boundaries
  • boundaries have certain number of seats in legislature for representation
  • how boundaries are drawn has an effect
  • different districts with difference population sizes can cause problems
  • how votes are counted...
  • in a minority of democratic countries... (U.S. and U.K)
  • -first past post: single member district representives compete tobe sole representative... candidate with largest votes wins... not a majority... only plurality..
  • -votes cast for others are wasted
  • -amplified political power for some while weakening for another
  • -profound impact of number of political parties in legislature
  • -most unwilling to vote for smaller parites since they are unlikely to win... vote cast=vote wasted
  • -result= much more likely to produce legislatures dominated by two parties
  • some run variation of f.p.p systems...
  • -theres a 2nd ballot/run off ballot. winner has the majority
  • -haveing second ballot encourages number of parties
  • -majority vote of run off ballot gives winning a greater sense of legitamacy and winning the public
  • proportional representation
  • -majority of democracys world wide have it
  • -reduces 'wasted votes'
  • -increases number of parties in legislature seats
  • -relies on election boundaries with multi districts
  • -voters cast ballot for party, not individual
  • -percent of votes party receives in district determines how many party seats gained
  • -small percentages can resolve party winning a seatin in legislature
  • -based on multi level district
  • --each political party runs candidates, draws up list "party list" in advance in rank order, number of percent won is the number of people who go
  • -political party decides whose top on the list... lots of power goes with that
  • -voters more willing to vote for small parties
  • -many more parties in legislature than other countries with f.p.p
  • -minorities have better chance in prop.
  • -downside: candidates no longer liked in public can still be elected because of parties support
  • some countries (Russia and Mexico) tried to combine f.p.p and proportional rep.
  • - when voting you get two votes. one for party, one for candidate
  • - allows people to stay loyal to party and still pick their favorite candidate.

Friday January 16th

Parliamentary vs. Presidential System
-competition for power is inherent in democracy; if any side wins competition, democracy is threatened
-w/o separation of powers and checks and balances, power can be abused, thus they are beneficial for democracy
-oversight slows down decision making
-separation of powers does not guarantee checks and balances
-strong separation exists in presidential system b/c of electorate

-Nat'l ballots choose parties or individuals for executive office
-Electoral Constituency: districts
-1st past post: reduces competition by limiting parties, has single member districts (one winner), candidate with largest number of votes is chosen, losing votes essentially wasted, leads to 2 party dominated legislature, variation: runoff system- majority vote is needed and thus often requires re-voting
-proportional representation: used by most democracies, decreases number of wasted votes, multi member districts with number of seats distributed in accordance with percentage of votes gained, voters choose parties rather than candidates, results in very powerful political parties, voters are more likely to vote for a small party, helps minority find a voice in the gov't
-some countries combine the two
-some countries allow citizens to vote on policy through referendum, though others believe common people are unqualified to vote on policy
-competitive elections are essential to democracy, more competition=more democracy

Sunday, January 18, 2009

period 3 Tuesday, January 13

Sorry I'm so late on this. I doubt it will help anyone.
WE took a test today. yay

Thursday, January 15, 2009

pd.4 Jan 15, 2009 notes

What levels of government exist in a given countries system?

When we look at varying systems of government, we look at if they have things such as:

  • National gov't, State/ local systems, supranational govt.
  • There are many ways of decentralizing/centralizing govnernment power.

Decentralize power federally

  • Federalism - significant powers (taxes, making laws) are granted to regional - subnational governments, usually defined in a constitution.
  • States can't do away with national powers, vice versa

Involve a Unitary system

  • Unitary - (all government power) in national government, local governments have limited authority.
  • System w/o significant state powers, mostly National.
  • Unitary (unlike federal) central government may devolve powers.
  • Devolution - i.e. National government can let local city governments decide real estate taxes (devolving powers to locales)
  • National government may take power back at any time (not constitutionally locked)

Is this country part of a supranational system (i.e. European Union)

How is the country's executive branch

There is some variation between the executive gov'ts.

  • i.e. single executive (prime minister or presidential). Both are very different.
  • Some may include both types of single-executive gov't.

Executive branch may hold two roles.

  • Head of state - Represents the country (people of the national or international level). Articulates goals of their Regime.
  • Head of Government - Runs the state day to day (policy execution. Keeps gov't going)

When looking at a government with a separation, expect a prime minister

  • Prime Minister -an elective member of the legislature, locally (parliament)
  • Normally chooses head of party with the most seats.
  • Because the Cabinet of the Prime Minister is largely formed by the Prime Minister's political party, the head of state will have a president/monarch.
  • i.e., The U.K head of state is a queen.

Contrasting, some (mexico, U.S.) forge roles of the heads into a one office (presidential) system.

  • Usually has a directly elected president.
  • President has domestic, international, and symbolic powers.

Pros/Cons of President vs Prime minister

Pro's of a Prime Minister

  • Prime minister is elected through legislature. If so, then executive and legislative conflict is largely reduced. It is hard to have a divided government.
  • Party can change Prime Minister easily.
  • Prime minister can get the legislation passed quickly.
  • "Vote-of-Confidence" system by legislature, resulting in a new Prime Minister.
  • If prime minister party runs out of favor, the parliament can go against Prime Minister's legislature, dissolving parliament.

Con's of a Prime Minister

  • Lack of separation between branchis is dangerous (much like a king). Too much power in one person
  • Both executive and legislature controlled by some party.
  • Also, system with lots of parties (6-8) need coalitions (shaky, many fall apart).

Pro's of a President

  • Most countries have "direct mandate from people"
  • He/she serves a fixed term.
  • Legislature can't remove president unless a law is broken (impeachment).
  • No "vote of confidence"
  • Some argue it is more democratic.

Con's of a President.

  • Combining "heads" may create too much power; limits competition and ideas. Threatens democracy, coupled with difficulty removing president.
  • Because of separation of powers, there is a possibility of divided government
  • Gridlock, policy making deadlock.

-Some countries try to take bits of both (prime minister and president).

-President is elected by the people. Prime minister is elected by the legislature. (there may be problems if they aren't of the same party)

Legislative branch: Look at the number of houses (bicameral, unicameral)

  • Bicameral - traced from old english history, European states.
  • At one time, there were representatives of the aristocracy and other merchant class.
  • Today, the U.K. distinction is apparent. The House of Lords and the House of Commons.

-Lords list most law making powers, weak in policymaking

-1999. Commons stripped Lords seats (who got their seats based on heredity/father-to-son). No longer can vote.

-Still bicameral in the U.K.

Some bicameral systems make the upper house the national unit of government (i.e. our Senate represents the states, the House represents the "good-for-everyone" view.

  • Second value of Bicameral system - they check each other and balance power. States have power to ratify constitution.
  • Third value of Bicameral system - Limits regional subnational government having excess power
  • Even in unitary system, the bicameral has competition which slows legislation.
  • Thus, it is difficult to pass laws quickly (Consensus building necessary).

Intro to negatives- Bicameral has a weak legislation, too many obstacles to pass legislation (which lowers government efficiency).

Comparitive Govt. 01/15/09

  • Unitary System- A system of govt that places most political power at National Level. It results in little power elsewhere.
  • National Govt is responsible for things such as policy making. However the Nat Govt can use devulution, which allows Nat Govt to devolve certain powers to smaller, local govts, but they can also be taken back.
  • How is Executive Branch organized? 2 distinct roles.
  • First: Head of State- symbolizes and represents people nationally and represents the goals of the regime
  • Second: Head of Government- Deals with everyday issues, such as bills, policymaking, etc.
  • Head of State is usually occupied by a symbolic ruler, such as a king or queen, while Head of Government is usually taken by someone like a Prime Minister
  • In the US, however, the President takes responsibility of both roles
  • Presidential Systems- Directly elected President that controls both roles
  • Parliamentary System- Prime Minister is head of Legislature (Legislature votes for the Prime Minister as opposed to the nation's citizens)
  • A Vote of Confidence can be used to remove a PM from office if he proves to be unpopular (PM's dont have fixed terms, so this and stepping down from office are the only ways to accquire a new PM), however it dissolves the rest of Parliament with it, so it hasn't been used very often.
  • Critics disapprove this system because it lacks a separation of branches (makes it very dangerous to have that much power all in one branch of govt).
  • Supporters of the Presidential system approve of having fixed terms, they can't be removed easily by the legislative branch, they approve the 1 person for both roles idea, citizen elections, and they feel the system feels "more democratic"
  • Critics of the Presidential System argue that both the roles in one man gives him too much power and that it could be a threat to democracy, that it's too difficult to remove a president, and that the divided govt takes too long to pass any bills.
  • Some countries, including Russia, have tried to incorporate the best of both systems into their own govts.
  • Legislatures are charged with making laws. But the problem is the decision to use one House or two...
  • The Bicameral system started out as a representation of social status: House of Lords & House of Commons
  • Since the establishment of Bicameral houses, aristocracy has declined in the system, as they were eventually stripped of their influence. In 1999, the U.K removed most of the influence from their own House of Lords.

And thats pretty much all we really went over today... Be there to pick up on 1 House Systems tommorow! I think... That'd make sense anyway...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


AP Comp Class format:

-WE will cover 6 countries
-Tests 65% of grade
-Government Country Questions 35%
-All notes will be given in lecture form
-Do not learn to rely on your book it is old and outdated

Comp Gov Overview:

The basic question is how do we compare governments?
& What kind of methods do we use to compare them?

Cause- change in one variable causes a change in another

Correlation two things seem to be correlated but correlation does not necessarily prove causation

In social science you cannot control the variables so the best you can do is compare and see how governments correlate

Politics the struggle in any group for power that will give a person/government the ability to make decisions for a larger group

Government- legitimate use of force w/y specified boundaries to control human behavior

State- the organization that maintains a monopoly of the legitimate use of force on a territory.

The organization into state and countries so state becomes the power exercised over a state or territory through a set of public institutions.

Nation a psychological concept of an area of shared culture and history

Sovereignty states have power and can exercise decisions

There hasn't always been a system of states
Ancient Greece had city states
Now their are more pressures on governments to move on to super natural systems (Ex: European Union)

Regimes the set of rules and institutions that control access to and exercise of political power--- typically endures from gov to gov----found in constitutions so a regimes only changes when a Constitution changes

Constitutions define limits and obligations of government with respect to rights of citizens

When a government exercises state power the need to justify the use of that power arises so we use legitimacy to define it (the popularly accepted use of power by the government accepted at "right and proper" by the citizens)

If we find a system that is not legitimate a public will disagree and need a government to maintain order/ Public is less likely to comply with a illegitimate government.

Belief systems- may form foundation of claims to legitimacy -- if government is founded on a belief system that strengthens legitimacy it will have a positive impact on government control EX: Iran religious belief systems influenced by Islam are the basis of the government

Tuesday Jan 13

Sorry for the lateness, computer issues.
Luckily all you missed was me saying we had a test!
Chapter 17-20 Test.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009





Monday Janurary 9th, 2009. Pd.3

In Class on Monday, We talked of current events then Mr.Gottschalk gave us a list of chapters most frequently used on AP exams. Then distributed our comparitive texts.

study for the test on tuesday!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Period 4 - January 12th, 2009

After discussing some current events, Mr. G showed us a chart of the distribution of the questions from the AP Exam. Here it is:

Where the AP US Government Multiple Choice Exam Hits
Janda Chapter - 20- - 19-
1 - 0 - 0
2 - 0 - 0
3 - 6 - 4
4 - 4 - 3
5 - 2 -1
6 - 1 - 1
7 - 6 - 1
8 - 3 - 5
9 - 3 - 6
10 - 2 - 3
11 - 9 - 14
12 - 6 - 8
13 - 2 - 2
14 - 6 - 4
15 - 3 - 4
16 - 2 - 3
17 - 0 - 1
18 - 2 - 0
19 - 0 - 0
20 - 0 - 0

The Mid-Term Exam will be a past AP Exam composed of 120 multiple-choice questions.

After that, Mr. G distributed the textbooks for Comparative Government.

Kenny Singh

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Political risks associated with cutbacks are too great to expect a major change in the way Social Security works. Still, Social security reform is an important issue to people for elected officials.

1)Most Americans don't count on Social security as their main source of retirment income. Social security hasn't been a full retirement package for a long time.
--1700$/month or 20000$/year
2)In the 2000 and 2004 elections Republicans proposed to privatize Social Security by allowing individual workers to invest their own payroll taxes in the stock-market
3) The Democrats also preposed a private investment plan but theirs would be in addition to the existing program rather than a reform of it.

The US is the only industrialized nation without a universal healt-care system.
1) Medicare is for all people 65 and up.
-- Mediare is a three part system
-Compulsory hospitilization insurance for the eldery [Part A]
-Voluntary government-subsidized insurance for physician pees [part B]
-Comprehensive medical care for poor- [Medicaid]
.4)Medicare is expensive program that has massive public support from the eldery. Part of this massive support is no doubt due to the fact that medicare Part A is compusory and many private insurance plans offered by emploers dry up as workers reach age 65 even if they continue to work.
5) as medicare costs have risen the government has required certain incentives to cut costs; those incentives may reduce the quality o care.
6) Nearly everyone aress that the system needs to be imporived.
-About 16% of americans under the age of 65 have no insurance coverage
-America spends more money on health care than any other industrialized nation
-Clinton proposed a new plan, but had no support
-Equality ( terms of markets for health care and individuals ability to choose their own phsysicians)

Pressures in private health care industry:
1) Health insurance providers have extended coverage, preventative health care while limiting the individuals' freedom to choose when ad what type of specialists to see.
-Health Maintenence Organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are now the most carried forms of health insurance.
2)Substantial numbers of people aren't satisfied with coverage . Response-the Patient's bill of Rights which give patients some type of resource against insurace companies that denied treatments recommended by a physician.
3) Medicare has added a prescription drug plan within the past year when priviously medicare didn't cover.

Americans traditionally thought education could help individuals attain social and economic equality
(1) Elementary and secondary education act of 1965- 1st time the governemnt gave direct aid to the school districts
--head start offers a range of preschool activities for disadvantaged youth

-Gap between blacks and whites education is growing.
-There is a strong correlation between education achievement and economic success
-No Child Left Behind Act set standards of learning, ex: SOL testing

Government benefits:
2 types-
A. means tested benefits impose an income test to qualify
B. Non-means-tested benefits impose no such income tests. An example: Medicare provides equal benefits to wealthy and poor americans
- some say non-means-tested is fair and some don't
-transforming some non-means-tested benefits into means-tested benefits was allure during times of budget defeat.

Class Notes January 8,2009

The Political risks associated with cutbacks are too great to expect a major change in the way Social Security works. Still, Social security reform is a major issue.

1)Most Americans don't count on Social security alone as their retirment income. Only about 49% think it will help them at all when they retire. Keeping n mind that Social Security has NEVER REALLY BEEN a FULL tertirement package for some time now. Only 1700$/month or 20000$/year is not enough solely to live.

2)In the 2000 and 2004 elections Republicans proposed to privatize Social Security, allowing individual workers to invest their own payroll taxes in the stock-market to take care of Retirment.

3) The Democrats also preposed a private investment plan but theirs would be in addition to the existing program rather than a reform of it.

4) Congress has been unable to come to agreement on reform. President Bush's privitaization plan does not enjoy enough private support with the public to be pushed through Congress.

The US is the only industrialized nation without a universal healt-care system.
1) Medicare is the system for all people 65 and up.

2) despite entrenced opposition to the governments ntrusion in the field of medicine, medicare was passed in 1965

3)Mediare is a three part system
-Compulsory hospitilization insurance for the eldery comprizes Part A
-Voluntary government-subsidized insurance for physician pees comprizes medicare part B
-Medicaid is the last part, which is comprehensive health care for the poor.
4)Medicare is an expensive program that has massive public support from the eldery. Part of this massive support is no doubt due to the fact that maedicare Part A is compusory and many private insurance plans offered by emploers dry up as workers reach age 65 even if they continue to work.

5) as medicare costs have risen the government has required certain incentives to cut costs; those incentives may reduce the quality o care.

6) Nearly everyone aress that the system needs to be imporived.
-About 16% of americans under the age of 65 have NO insurance coverage
-Amerca spends more money on healt care than any other nation
-After years of resistence from established special interests the ussue of Universal healt care became a focal point of the Clinton administration, but no proposed solution has fained clear majority support.

The Pressures that affect medicare and medicaid have also affected the private healt care industry.
1) Health insurance providers have extended coverage to routine rpeventative health care while limiting the individuals' freedom to choose whena nd what type of medical specialists to see.
-Health Maintenence Organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are now the most carried forms of health insurance.

2)Substantial numbers of people aren't terribly staisfied with coerage . In response to patient dissatisfaction the Patient's bill of Rights was a popular compaign issue. Though Republicans and Democrats have differed on the details, the point was to five patients some type of resource against insurace companies that denied treatments recommended by a physician.

3) Prescription drug care coverage has become a hot issue as the number of aged and chronically ill people as grow. As a result, medicare has added a prescription drug plan within the past year when priviously medicare did NOT cover these needs.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

3rd Period: January 7, 2009

  • Government provides social insurance to protect individuals against laws, without regard to need.
  • The first social insurance program in the US was worker's comensations
  • The most common forms of social insurance offer health protection and guard against losses from worker sickness, injury and disability, old age, and unemployment
  • Social insurance programs are examples of entitlements
  • Social security is social insurance programs that provides economic assistance to persons faced with unemployment, disability, or old age
  • Unemployment and distress caused by the depression led to Social Security Act of 1936
  • It provides 3 types of benefits: 1.) old-age surviving spouse benefits and unemployment assistance 2.) Grants-in-aid to the states for assistance to the needy, blind (since 1950), and permanently disabled 3.) Health and Welfare services through federal and to states
  • Federal government collects taxes from employers and employees to pay benefits to persons retiring
  • Social Security is not a form of savings. It is a pay-as-you-go system. Today's workers support today's elderly.
  • Participation in SS is universal and compulsory by law
  • Declining birth rates or economic depression could end anger benefits now scheduled to be paid to future retirees
  • Political system must address the issues of who pays and who benefits from social security
  • Annual cost of living adjustments (COLAS) granted by Congress increased the benefits received by retirees. We say that Social Security is indexed to changes in the cost of living.

January 6, 2009

Chapter Nineteen Notes
Gov't policies and individual welfare
  • Promotion of social and economic equality through gov't policies is controversial because it requires gov't to redistribute income
  • Most every modern nation would be a welfare state providers and protector of industial well being through economical and social program
  • social welfare programs are designed to provide minimum living conditions necesary for all citizens
  • Both poor and non-poor americans agreed that gov't should protects its citizens against risks they are powerless to combat
  • In recent hisotyr, social welfare expenditures have increased steadily in order to provide minimum living standards

The Great Depression

  1. Market forces that had previously stemmed such declines were unable to check spreading unemployment
  2. Tens of thousands of dispossessed families were left without means of support

New Deal- policies advocated by Roosevelt

- sought to remedy depression

  1. New Deal leglislation compromised 2 phases
  2. 1st - armed at boosting form prices and covering unemployment
  3. Second helped forgoteen and dispossesed crown jewel-social security program

Americans were closely divided our New Deal policies until they become the status quo

Poverty and unemplyment remained until WWII, despite New Deal policies

Prez Johnson Great Society- included a variety of programs designated to redress chronic- political, social, economic

Public assistance is gov't aid to include who can demonstrate a needf or the aid, Directed toward those who lack ability or suources to provide for themselves

  1. 4 types of categorical assistance
  • old age
  • needy blind
  • needy families with children
  • totally and permanently disabled
  1. Until 1996- nat'l gov't disributed funds to states in proportion to number of people in state with income and poverty level
  • Poverty level= 3 times the cost of economy food plan
  • Through its imperfect, it's useful because it measures progress or lack of progress
  • critics argue poverty level calculations should also include income other than cash
  • POverty rate in u.s. has generally declined since mid 1960s
  • Still a problem-especially in children (20%)
  • Problem for women and dependents

2. 1996 Congress passed and Clinton signed a welfare reform bill that altered 61 years of natinoal welfare plicy

  • Reagan shifted emphasis in social welfare policy from economic equality to economic freedom
  1. Reagan proposed sharp cutes, enforced many others
  2. overal spending declined
  3. ending welfare as we know it
  • abolished aid to families with dependent children-affecting 1/5 of families with kids
  • New immiagrants were no longer eligible for most federal benefits
  • Individual adult recipients have 2 years to get a job
  • Families can only bhave 5 years of welfare
  • Law continues devolution of power to states
  • Rolls have fallen significantly
  • Real test- weakening of a strong economy

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January 6, 2009 Notes

Ch. 19: Social Welfare Programs
--->Controversial: take money from rich to give to poor.

Welfare State- apply to governments that provide these social programs for individual's well being.

Great Depression 1930's- before this we had social darwinism stance (strong survive and gov. shoulnd't do much about it). With Progressives in the 1900's looked at it but action towards better work places not actual social programs.

New Deal- Improve farm prices and jabs for people.

Second New Deal- Social Security.

Initially these new deals are controversial then people began to accept it. However they don't get rid of poverty or unemployment.

1960's Johnson's Great Society
-invisions less fortunate boosted by government programs.
-sub. project onto this is called the War on Poverty

War On Poverty
-directed at inner cities
-trained, educated, and provided jobs
-doesn't work well with income redistribution but made the poor more aware of their political power

Public Assistance- gov. aid to individuals that can show proof of need for aid.

Social Security Act- four types of categorical assistance programs which become entitlements which everyone has a legal right to.
  1. Old age assit. for need elderly (usually 66-67 start to draw out)
  2. Aid to needy blind
  3. Needy families with dependent children- families where assistance for moms not used to work force due to separate spheres
  4. Totally permanently disabled

Until 1996- national gov. gave money to states in proportion to the number of people with incomes fedrally defined poverty level.

Poverty level is 3 times the cost of an economy food plan- helps the gov. see how Americans are doing

Poverty- 20% of Americans under age of 18 live in poverty.

Single family poverty increase tend to be among women nationally

Welfare Reform Bill- Clinton signs in 1996 due to welfare being under criticism.

-Congress Responds

Reagan tried to overhaul Welfare first

-This law flat out abolised aid to families with depend. children

-made new immigrants not eligible for benefits

-most states stepped up to provide benefits however.

-people asked for welfare had two years to find a job

-person going on welfare on has five years total on his/her lifetime for welfare

-however states can do their own stuff which devels power to state gov. letting them do more and more which started with Reagan

-initial outcome: 1. number of people on welfare dropped 2. number of homeless rose

Monday, January 5, 2009

January 5, 2009

Today in Government we discussed numerous current events including economic policies, presidential endeavors, senatorial positions, etc. Also, we turned in the quiz that we had to complete over winter break. Numerous papers were passed back that Gottschalk had graded as well.

In regards to activites completed, we began a budget deficit acitivity, in which we were given a packet with numerous options to cut the budget to allow for the deficit to be alleviated for the next 10 years. We will continue working on this activity tomorrow in class.

I hope everyone has had a great day back from break.

Au revoir.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Friday, December 19 2008

Today we had a class discussion on current events.
Don't forget your assignment over the break and the extra credit thats due on the seventh!

Happy New year!