SYLLABUS Spring 2008-2

SYLLABUS Spring 2008-2 - Introduction to American Politics...

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Introduction to American Politics Political Science 110 Spring, 2008 A. Introduction Consider the following: Despite the fact that ours is the oldest, and arguably the most successful political system in the world, most Americans hate politics. Why? What are the consequences of a disengaged electorate? In 2006, the richest one percent of the American people held approximately 41 percent of the nation’s wealth--up from 17 percent in 1979. What are the implications of this concentration of wealth for democracy? The national debt tops eight trillion dollars. That works out to about $30,000 per person. What impact will that—and prolonged budget deficits—have on the health of programs such as Social Security and Medicare? How do these things affect you? There are 80,000 lobbyists in Washington--twice as many as there were 10 years ago. Do they help or hurt democracy? What standards should we use for assessing prospective presidents? What character traits and skills should presidents have? Does George W. Bush, or Hillary Clinton, or Arnold Schwarzenegger have the “right stuff” to be president? Is America “ready” for a woman president? One of the most frequently debated issues in California politics is immigration from southern border. What, if anything, should be done about this issue? These observations illustrate that decisions made in the Oval Office, on the floor of congress, in the corridors of bureaucratic agencies, and in network news rooms, directly affect your life--how much of your paycheck will go for taxes, whether or not you will be able to get a student loan or mortgage, or whether you will be asked to fight a war in a foreign land. That’s why it is important for citizens to have a basic understanding of the American
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course BUS 215 taught by Professor Mcquiddy during the Spring '08 term at Chapman University .

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SYLLABUS Spring 2008-2 - Introduction to American Politics...

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