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POLI 2608 (6)
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Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 2608
Professor
John Makransky
Semester
Spring

Description
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL  RELATIONS Posc 150  A CASE FOR GOVERNMENT  I. CONTENTS: 1. Wrapup 2. Question: how much government? 1. Some possibilities C. Being a rational human D. “Tragedy of the Commons” II. WRAPUP: 1. Three among many, many developments that greatly affect politics and government. 2. èGrowth of the have nots and a frustrated middle class. 1. TDespite growth in government wealthy as wealthy as ever. 2. TStagnating wages and family incomes. 3. TPersistent poverty. 3. èEthnic diversity. 1. T Hispanics rapidly becoming the largest minority. 2. What does this mean for traditional political alliances and the American creed? 4. èGlobalization 1. The shifting balance between production of information versus material goods creates imbalances and especially anxieties in labor markets. 2. Disruptions in labor markets. III. HOW MUCH GOVERNMENT: A. In this age of rapid and far-reaching social, economic, and political transformations a key question is how much government is needed and consistent withAmericans’hopes and aspirations? 1.âInterpretation: a large, active national government is desirable and necessary. B. Other answers: 1.èAnarchy i. Justification for government is not self-evident. Government power (that is, legitimate coercion) runs counter to nature. 2. èNight watchman state i. Aminimal position: the only role of government is to protect natural political rights. ii. èThere is no such thing as social and economic entitlements. 3. èLibertarian position Posc 150  Class 2 ­ Case for Government  i. No laws against drugs, abortion, gambling, prostitution. 1) People must be responsible for themselves. ii. Abolish income tax. iii. No censorship; total privacy. iv. Cut government to bones and even more. v. See Libertarian party web site: http://www.lp.org/lp.html 4. èClassical liberal position i. Government is a necessary evil. ii. Less government the better. iii. Low taxes, reduce regulation, states’rights iv. See Cato Institute (http://www.cato.org/) 5. èSocialism: i. The classical definition: government ownership of means of production ii. See, for instance, the Marxism page: http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/marx.html Page 2  iii.èHardly any one believes in classical socialism these days. 1) è Unlike Europe there has never been a real socialist movement in the United States. 6. èProgressive: i. Democracy and capitalism require maintenance ii. Political and economic power should be distributed as equitably as possible. iii. èEconomic and pol
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