Summaries for Final1-1

Summaries for Final1-1 - POL 1040 American Politics...

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Unformatted text preview: POL 1040 American Politics Professor Zilber Fall 2001 Some Summaries for the Final When Does the Air Stink? Corporate Power and Public Policy (Clawson, Neustadtel, and Scott)- #3 The article speaks about corporate hegemony and the impact of corporate political interest groups (PACs) on public policy. It shows how campaign contributions of these interest groups win access to members of Congress, resulting in loopholes and regulatory rules favorable to businesses. It also then discusses how business decisions in general have tremendous impact on our lives, more so than governmental decisions. This business power forces Congress do be sensitive to businesses, with or without PAC donations. Clean air acts- since the early 1970s clean air regulations have been pushed off. Even when they come through with some regulation there is always some loophole. One Bill said cars could only use a certain cleaner fuel. The auto industry complained and the head of GM got to decide which fuels should be allowed. Took federally funded org. 10 years to determine that Acid rain was a problem. Reagan administration argued no action should be taken until study completed. Quale Council set up by Bush. This council could override any regulation law. So if corps. have trouble with Congress, then with regulatory agency, they can ask the Quale Council. Businesses control the U.S., outside of Congressional issues. These controls include business decisions like when to have lay-offs, number of hors people work; Investment decisions like whether to expand a new plant, to close a plant; production and marketing like products produced, cost for which goods are sold; community and environment like level of pollution in the workplace, and pollution outside of workplace (a company if it wants can have tougher standards than governmental regulations. Citizenship and Liberal Individualism (Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler)- #6 Here the author states that modern Americans place too much emphasis on individualism, and this undermines idea of citizenship and the need to have a political community. He interviews middle class Americans and concludes that Americans are unable to find political participation and public involvement elements of good life. But then when we withdraw to the private and politics become controlled by those with power and money. He wants a return to civic community related discourses that historically have been subordinate to capitalist individualism. He provides an example of a program in Phili that aimed to address economic concerns of the lower class, and in the process kindled an active and empowering sense of citizenship. Civil Rights movement invoked biblical and republican themes and emphasized the economic and social dimensions of full citizenship on the international as well as national level. The movement received widespread public support, especially from the youth, and led to reforms throughout society. This is an example where political movements and public participation can make a difference in American life. Philadelphia has suffered sever racial tensions and has many poor and working class neighborhoods. They developed self-help programs that built ties with labor Downloaded from: POL1040ZilSumFinal1.pdf Page 1 of 2 POL 1040 American Politics Professor Zilber Fall 2001 Some Summaries for the Final education programs, church groups, and college and University faculty. End of story- local initiatives most important The Incredible Shrinking Sound bite (Adatto)- #29 Reflecting on the transformation of the presidential elections over the past 30 years, the author argues that candidates deliberately stage pseudo-events and coin phrases in hopes of winning a sound bite on television news coverage. And the media is all too willing to be accomplices in the proliferation of that image. Bush kicked off his campaign with a Labor Day appearance at Disney Land with the "Disney gang." Dukakis was seen riding a tank. Since he was looked at as weak, they stuck him in a tank. In 1988 campaign v. 1968 one we see a 300 percent increase of visuals of candidate unaccompanied by words. We also see a jump concerning the evening news taking excerpts from candidate commercials jumping from 2 to 125. When Bush had a campaign speech and slipped, saying Pearl Harbor's anniversary was September 7th, all the TV stations focused on the slip and mentioned nothing of the content of the speech. Now we see 8.4-second sound bites of candidates v. over a minute 30 years ago; the media cares little about having the running talk for a while on TV- they would just rather show pictures of them and make comments on seemingly unimportant issues. One news program showed a Dukokis commercial complaining about the Bush campaign lying about his defense policy and misunderstanding Dukakis' media event of his riding in a tank. So we have a news picture of a picture of Dukokis complaining about another picture misunderstanding a picture of an event. Crazy. Making Every Vote Count: A case for Proportional Representation (Amy)- #30 Our current system in the U.S. for representation is based on "winner-take-all." This author proposes proportional representation. In winner-take-all, if 49% of a district votes for one candidate and 51% votes for another, 49% of that district will not be represented. In proportional representation that is not the case because districts are multimember, not single member, districts. The candidates who win legislative seats are determine by the proportion each party receives. Having proportional representation will increase voter turnout because people will think that their opinion will now be represented, whereas before it might not have been. Also, minorities are now represented. Furthermore, large numbers of voters, who normally would not have been represented, are now represented. Take Iowa for example with 5 seats- in 94 the democrats received 42% of the vote, and yet they received no seats in the House. Also small parties like Libertarians, the Greens, and the rainbow coalition would have a real chance of representation with P.R. Our societies are becoming more heterogeneous and yet our legislature is still made up of the old same Republican and Democratic Parties. Downloaded from: POL1040ZilSumFinal1.pdf Page 2 of 2 ...
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