Political Science 201 Study Guide

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1. Using what you have learned in the class, develop a political/citizen strategy for yourself to address some, all, or one of the big problems we face.  (Make sure to include some discussion of the politics and/or government section of the class that came after the Story of Stuff.)

Problems: power of corporations, divided gov and lack of majority control, uninformed voters, need good media Paradigm shift: redefine growth, end war, internalize externalities so they reflect real value, value time over stuff

2.  Californians have the ability to make laws and affect the budget directly through the initiative process.  Explain some of the problems with the process and consequences of the initiative system and use examples to illustrate.  What should Californians do to address some of these problems?

Prop 25 removed the 2/3 majority vote to pass budget
Prop 13 required a 2/3 vote to raise taxes and proper tax at 1% = mobility limited, regressive tax, decrease in revenue local gov relied on sales tax. Is driven by interests groups not the average citizen

Require a lot of money and short time frame to get initiatives on the ballot

Budgeting problems: 65 + population growing, people lack a good sense of budget, structural deficits, ballot box budgeting, party fights 2/3 stop budget. Expenses: K-12 education, higher education, prisons, health

Revenue: personal income, sales tax, corporation tax

3.  Congress is responsible for passing legislation (laws) and overseeing the executive branch bureaucracies.  Why in doing these jobs is Congress often more responsive to minority interests rather than the majority of voters?  What could be done to address this problem?

Leadership determined by majority committees,
Roles: legislation and oversight
Passing a bill: sponcership, assingned to a sub committee, committee, rules committee, floor for debate and legislators vote, senate, conference committee and back to house, president Lots of opportunities for it...
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