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What is the major difference between modern american

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What is the major difference between modern American liberals and conservatives??? Is this important??? 1. Liberals . Generally prefer an active, powerful government in economic affairs (providing a broad range of public services, regulating business, protecting civil rights, protecting consumers and environment, provide generous unemployment welfare benefits, and reduce income inequality). They also want to limit the government’s power to regulate social conduct. So they oppose restrictions of abortion, oppose school prayer, favor decriminalizing victimless crimes, oppose restrictions on first amendment freedoms, etc. 2. Conservatives . Generally prefer limited noninterventionist government in economic affairs, a government that relies on free markets to provide and distribute goods and services, minimizes government regulation and limits social welfare programs to truly needy, keep taxes low, and reject equalizing incomes. But they favor strengthening the government’s role in regulating social conduct (abortions, school prayer, favor aggressive war on drugs and pornography, tougher criminal penalties). Generally, conservatives tend to favor less government interference in economic affairs and more government interference in social affairs. Liberals tend to favor the opposite, 2
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Power, Authority, and Exchange – ISS 225 Ideology more government interference in economic affairs and less government interference in social affairs. In policy terms, American politics is relatively conservative. Social and economic services are less developed than those in Europe. Government involvement in the management and ownership of economic enterprises (such as public utilities) is less. Americans tend to believe in limited government. At the same time, in some areas, such as regulating product safety and the environment, the U.S. is ahead of Europe. Social spending has increased dramatically in the United States since World War II. Americans have been referred to as “ideological conservatives” and “operational liberals.” In surveys, they tend to respond negatively to the idea of a large and active government, but positively to individual public programs (such as Social Security). For example, recent public opinion polls show that Americans are generally opposed to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), however they tend to favor the specific aspects of the Act. ( http://www.salon.com/2012/07/05/why_people_like_obamacare_salpart/singleton/ ) Americans tend to be more pragmatic than ideological. Pragmatism is the belief that one should do whatever works rather than follow a basic ideological or philosophical system. Americans and American political parties tend to be centrists and nonideological. The result is that politics becomes a clash of narrow programmatic issues rather than a clash of philosophical ideas. Consequently, policies tend to change slowly. Government tends to jiggle and poke policy but not produce significant change. “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.” III.Libertarianism Because of their emphasis on free markets, many libertarians are called conservative. But
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