We the People�Chapter 1 - We the People-Chapter 1...

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We the People—Chapter 1 02:16 ddd What Government Does and Why it Matters Love/Hate relationship with government—people see the government as  something that oversteps its bounds when infringing on rights, and yet does  not intrude enough in their lives to make them better What Americans Think about Government Reluctant to grant government too much power Times of crisis = establishment of government instructions Duties o Oversees nation’s economy o Nation’s largest employer o Provides citizens with a host of services Trust in Government As popular dependence on the government has grown, American’s view of  government has turned more sour Public trust in government has declined—Americans now more likely to feel  that they can do little to influence government action o Important because politically engaged citizens and public confidence in  government are vital for the health of a democracy o After 9/11, increased trust in government—less of a true example of trust  than example of a want for hope By July 2003, back to normal Does it matter if Americans trust their government? o Most Americans rely on government for a wide range of services and laws  they simply take for granted o Long-term distrust in government can result in refusal to pay taxes o Low-levels of confidence may also make it difficult to attract qualified  workers to the field of public service o Harms our capacity to defend our national interest in the world economy  and may jeopardize our national security o Weak government can do little to assist citizens who need help in  weathering periods of sharp economic or technological change
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Political Efficacy Political Efficacy —the belief that citizens can affect what government does,  that they can take action to make government listen to them Widely felt loss of political efficacy o Bad for American democracy —leads to a self-perpetuating cycle of 
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We the People�Chapter 1 - We the People-Chapter 1...

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