It is precisely this ability of govemment to command the loyalry of all its

It is precisely this ability of govemment to command

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It is precisely this ability of govemment to command the loyalry of all its citizens, to enact policies goveming the whole society, and to monopolize the legitimate use of force that encourages individuals and groups to work for enactment of their pref- erences into policy. The Corutitution of the United Stares establishes the firndamen- tal institutional strucrue for policymaking. It is "the supreme Law of the Land" (Article VI). Its key srructural components-separation of powers and checks and balances among the legislative, executive, and ludicial branches of the national govemmen together with federalismlividing power berween the nation and rhe states-were designed by the Founders in part "to form a more perfect Union." These irrstitutional affangements have changed signifrcantly over more than two centuries, yet no other written constitution in the world has remained in place for so long. Throughout this volume we willbe
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18 Chapter 2 Models of Politics FEDEML SYSTEM Federal government and states derive authority independently from the people. National Government FIGURE 2-1 An Institutional Modet: American Fedenlism Governmental institutionat arrangements affect public poliry, including federalism-the distribution of money and power among federat, state, and [oca[ governments. (Fotatia) concemed with the effect of these institutional anangemenrs on public policy. And in Chapter 5 we shall explore in some detail the effect of federalism, Federalism recognizes that both the national govemment and the state govemments derive independent legal authority from their own citizens (Figure 2-l): both can pass their own laws, levy their own taxes, and maintain their own courts. The states also have important roles in the selection of national officeholders-in the apportionment of congressional seats, in the alloca. tion of two U.S. senators to each state, and in the allocation of electoral votes for president. Most important, perhaps, both the Congress and three-quafters of states must consent to any changes in the Constitution itself. RAIIONALISM: POLICY AS MAXIMUM SOCIAL GAIN A rational policy is one that achieves "maximum social gain"; that is, govemments should choose policies resulting in gains to society that exceed costs by the greatest amount, and govemmen6 should refrain from policies if costs exceed gairu. Note that there are really two important guidelines in this definition of maximum social gain. First, no policy should be adopted if its costs exceed its benefits. Second, among policy alterna. tives, decision makers should choose the policy that produces the greatest benefit over cost. In other words, a policy is rational when the difference between the values it achieves and the values it sacrifices is positive and greater than any other policy altemative.
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  • Fall '19
  • Prof. Madya Dr. Norhayati Binti Daud

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