lecture2_constitution-1

lecture2_constitution-1 - The U.S Constitution The U.S...

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Unformatted text preview: The U.S. Constitution The U.S. Constitution PLS 100: Intro to American National Government Professor Lee Michigan State University The U.S. Constitution Building a Constitution Why representative democracy? Problems with the Articles of Confederation U.S. Constitution as a solution Other points of contention The U.S. Constitution Why a Representative Democracy? Costs of Collective Action There are costs involved when a group of individuals get together and try to make group decisions. 1 Transaction costs 2 Conformity costs The U.S. Constitution Why a Representative Democracy? Transaction costs Think about group decision-making as a transaction Costs are time, effort, resources (getting informed, time and effort in getting everyone together to deliberate and make decision, time it takes to actually agree on collective decision, etc.) As the number of individuals increases, cost increases. In particular, takes longer to reach agreement. I’m a dictator. Zero transaction cost. Delegate to representatives (members of Congress) to create policies. Direct democracy too costly. The U.S. Constitution Why a Representative Democracy? Conformity costs I may not like what the group decision was. We picked Thai, but I prefer pizza. Conformity cost increase as we decrease the level of support needed to choose a group decision. Dictator. One person decides for group (e.g., me). High conformity costs Unanimity. Everyone must agree. Low conformity cost. The U.S. Constitution Why a Representative Democracy? Balancing costs by varying how much support needed Dictatorship has low transaction cost but high conformity cost. Unanimity has high transaction cost but low conformity cost....
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2012 for the course PLS 100 taught by Professor Thornton during the Spring '07 term at Michigan State University.

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lecture2_constitution-1 - The U.S Constitution The U.S...

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