test2notes - 1 American Political Culture Despite their...

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1. American Political Culture Despite their ethnic, religious, racial, diversity, Americans tend to have a common set of values, ideas, beliefs about how government and/or society ought to operate. Collectively we refer to these values as the political culture of a society. These values form the context within political decisions and policies are made. Ex. what is the view on poverty of this country? How do most Americans, or who do most Americans hold responsible for poverty? Answer: the people themselves. If you are poor it is the result of the lack of effort on your part or your parent’s part. It is not the system, it is not the government, and it is you! Why do Americans view poverty that way? Because one element in the culture that stands above all is called individualism. A.Individualism Is the belief that your success or failure in life is the result of your own efforts and no on else’s. Americans tend to have this belief more than Europeans or Japanese. In 2002 68% of Americans believed that they controlled their own success. What is the corresponding number in Germany? 32%. Italy 34% .France 46 %. Individualism places emphasis on the success and the rights of the individual above the success and rights of the group. B.Equality Americans say they believe in equality but there are 2 types of equality. 1. Equality of opportunity and 2. Equality of results . Equality of opportunity: there should be no legal barriers that prevent individuals from achievement. Equality of results: the belief that government must intervene, tax the wealthy, and create social programs that benefit the less advantaged and therefore promote equality. Americans in large numbers believe in equality of opportunity rather than equality of results in comparison to Europeans, Europeans are the opposite. C.Limited Government Americans say they believe in limited government. Limited government means that government should be small and should have the least amount of responsibility and power. But if you look at the data, here is what we find: in Aug 2002, 49% of Americans believed (almost half) that freedom of expression goes too far, and that government should limit it. In 2003 55 % supported those who are “suspected” of being terrorist.
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In 2004 44 % favored restricting the rights and liberties of Arab and Muslim Americans. In Aug 2006, 60 % of Americans favored racial profiling of Middle Easterners. Google PEW. D.Free Enterprise What are the principal tenants of capitalism? US has a capitalist society what does that mean: 1. In capitalism the means of production (what you use to produce goods and services) are primarily and overwhelmingly owned by the individual corporation. 2.
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test2notes - 1 American Political Culture Despite their...

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