PS 104- Sept 10 - Political Science 104 - September 10,...

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Political Science 104 - September 10, 2007 Current Events 1. Commander of MNF-I (David Petraeus) testifying to House on Iraq - Status of the “surge” -What is the next step? 2. NYT/ ABC poll -Bush job approval 30% (26% on Iraq; 23% approve of Congress) -94% said that it was very or somewhat important that presidential candidates share their view on Iraq Key Questions Why is “government” necessary? What are the foundations of government? What forms can a government take? How do citizens influence what government does? Why Have Government? Some things that individuals and groups have trouble doing on their own -Maintain order and security -Protect private property- places boundaries on individual behavior & enhances economic wellbeing -Protect individual autonomy- by restricting other people’s behavior, the gov’t can protect us Above three things give gov’t power to coerce -Provide “public goods”- we have tough time to produce on our own. Benefits everybody. Individuals serving in their self interest tend not to produce. A Definition What is Politics?- Controls what gov’t does. Specific allocation of resources (money) vs. more philosophical view -Classic definition: “Who gets what, when, and how” To whose benefit does the gov’t operate? When do they get it and how. -Limited resources in society, so there are always questions about how they should be distributed. Not enough stuff to go around-> Gov’t determines what source of interest goes around in this process. -Other issues don’t involve material questions, but matters of morality and philosophy
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Key Point: Government Power is coercive , and politics is about how this power will be exercised (and who gets to use it). Politics is worth fighting for because this creates incentive.
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PS 104- Sept 10 - Political Science 104 - September 10,...

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