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Political Science 120: Recorded lecture "in my own words" example

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

Summary Intro: Chapter 1 Logic of Collective Action *Smaller groups are better organized than larger groups When a large group, such as students, can't organize enough to get the necessary help needed from a (school) institution to the number of people within the group and full-time teachers, who exist in smaller, more manageable numbers. This means teachers can get equipment like new computers every two years, unionize, get sick leave, salary pay, ten years, and full-time benefits to help their livelihood. This also includes the president of the college, giving himself a $20,000 raise.


When it comes to the larger unorganized group of students, they continue to stay in-empowered while being subjected to paying more money in tuition fees for poorer education, i.e., less full-time teachers hired; therefore, these teachers having to work at three different colleges to pay their bills with no salary position and less or no benefits. This impacts the students because less time can be given to those students who need extra help and communication to achieve optimum success.


Students also pay a higher cost in book fees, parking fees that didn't exist 10 years ago, higher health fees, a technology fee, skyrocketing tuition fees... ending up in thousands of dollars in debt on a promise for a better (maybe) future. Due to the large size of students attending college, they have little to no ability to organize to fight back against a student penny-pinching system no matter how outrageous the cost for higher education; even though the complaint within the student collective about this exists, nothing can be done about it. Moral hazard *Encouraging a behavior when it's bad for your health When students continue to take out money for a degree, it won't help them become more employable in the workforce. They do this because, at an early age, students are told over and over again in a brainwashing manner: in school, T.V. ads, their parents and society, that more education and higher degrees (no matter the money cost) is what one needs to survive in this competitive job market - A.A.'s, B.A.'s, Masters, PhDs. They then get that degree, spending and borrowing money that will take them into retirement age to pay off, just to discover that they are now nothing more than a garbage collector right out of college instead of a professor at some fancy institution.


This has happened because the job market has become flooded with students with that same degree competing for the same jobs. In California, this problem is more magnified -being one of the most expensive places to live - since even people making six figures can't afford to buy a house in a place such as Palo Alto, even though they work at NASA. This is double impacted by a society that says, "If you don't own a house, your value in this American materialistic society will be considered of lesser value." Along with owning a new car right off the lot, the latest iPhone and gadget to keep up with the Joneses. They then accumulate more debt on top of student loan debt to "keep up with the Jones," in a losing financial battle. They follow the moral hazard of society to depict what matters most to become "successful" in this American culture. At least the garbage collecting job is a government one with benefits. Institutions *Set of Rules When a set of rules is established within a system such as a government agency, Wall Street, schools, corporations, and family structures must be followed, or consequences will occur. These rules are established to help keep order, fairness, keep people and situations in-line, and organization intact. Counterintuitive Thinking Thinking one thing then doing another.

When the solution is a problem. Just like moral hazard, except this refers to how you approach thinking about things.

*Private vs. Public interest When in politics, a politician expresses values and concerns to the public about what they will do for "the people" and "the whole" community if elected. Once elected, though, they end up focusing instead on the people who gave them the money and the main community that helped them get elected, leaving out the rest of the community at large. This could be building a new school in the school districts with the highest voter and money turn out for that winning politician. However, completely ignoring the district with a meager turnout or higher turnout for the losing candidate.

Sectors of Economy Agriculture (Farming) Manufacturing ( Making shirts, shoes - factories) Services ( Hospitality, supermarkets, food service...education) Knowledge/Information (robotics, genetic engineering, fiber optics, etc)


A SOCIETY

Politics and Gaining Power Politics is about coming up with a set of rules, forming an institution that will help govern a person who will have the ability to resolve conflict within the institution called the United States of America. There are different types of governments that resolve disputes in different ways. The start is gaining power within the institution to help shape one's ideas and behaviors to help control what could become an out of control situation. A situation that may go against one's moral cause, such as abortion, will help establish the glue that keeps the power over people intact. The more power one has, the more one can make things go in their favor and use coercion to implement and inflict penalties, punishment, and even death when not followed.


Legitimate power can use scientific truths, such as proof that cigarettes do cause cancer; therefore, a warning label must now be placed on a cigarette package. One can only buy them at age 18 or older, and restaurants / public spaces are now smoke-free zones in California. One can also use legitimate power as a moral right, such as life starts at conception; therefore, abortion in many states is becoming harder to come by. Planned Parenthood is being attacked to almost losing government funding for helping to promote this as an option. The moral right argument also includes a recent threat by the GOP to do a government shutdown to help stop Planned Parenthood funding. The Democrats in the Senate did a sit-in on needing more Gun Control laws in place after another recent mass shooting. Using scientific truths and right moral arguments help make laws and policies go through the government to control the people's behavior in a society who must now follow these new regulations based on these "truths."


There are three types of powers that occur to help accomplish this goal. (1) Shamus (police officers - investigators CIA, FBI...), money and groups. Shamus being people whose job it is to help uphold the laws put in place by the government. These people have permission to use force if resisting arrest. This also includes taking one's life if need be if the officer/investigator's life gets threatened or believes to be endangered. They can fine someone for going through a red light while not following traffic laws or for not paying one's taxes.


(2) Money affects a person's decision making because, without money, one can't run for office and buy that million-dollar dream home or the latest Gucci bag. One's status and career, especially in politics, can't exist without significant "donations." That's why Wall Street and big corporations hold such an influence on government policies and not "the people" - the main body of America.


(3) Groups also have power if the group becomes big and-or organized enough, such as the NRA, GOP, Democratic Party, and Republican party within our government. Outside of government, this can also include protesters against a situation when wishing to change, such as the TPP not passing, immigration policy changes, environmental and work related issues, and getting women and other "lower classes" the right to vote. Political Ideologies What is Political Ideology? Political Ideology is an ordered set of beliefs and ideas about human nature, the role of government, and agents. Ideologies can be liberalism, fascism, communism, conservatism, etc...


These ideologies stem from classical liberalism, which considers human nature based on the idea that people should have freedom of choice and can learn from one’s mistakes. This also incorporates the idea that we should have a small and limited government so that self-interested people cannot become too powerful. People’s fear was rooted in the idea that a self-interested person, who gained too much power, would be able to rule the country only on behalf of their own self-interests, which wouldn’t have the betterment of the people as a whole society in mind.


After fighting a war, this idea was set into action to break off from England who was governed by a self-interested King where the people had no say in politics and rules within this Monarch institution. The conclusion was, in the United States, it was best to keep government small while breaking it up into many branches to help distribute the power within government, instead of concentrating it to just one branch, or a few, that could become corrupted. How much debt is the United States in? 20 Trillion dollars. This is mostly spent on the military, government institutions, grants, welfare, creating jobs, over-budgeted bridges, wars, bailouts, etc.…


What is “Permanent Campaigning” and how did we get there? Permanent campaigning has been created due to many different separate elections on federal, state, and local levels. This gives less time between elections to help one understand what one is voting for. Most countries like France only vote every six years. We vote every four in the primary elections, just for the presidency, and more elections for all the other government institutions, interests, and public policies. This has created low voter turnout rates and decreasing voter knowledge on what one is actually voting for - against and why. This has become harmful in government, as politicians sacrifice long-term goals for short-term electoral advantages, even if the short term policies may not be as beneficial as one that takes more time to develop and implement, even if it's better for the overall country and community. By using short term goals to their advantage, the politician can then use that to get re-elected. This forces politicians to focus on more persuasion and selling tactics, then education and deliberation when creating these policies. Educating themselves on what a policy really is and what it will really do long term while deliberating the ideas – it's pro and cons to the fullest extent to make the best decision, instead of, perhaps, a bunch of government quick fix backhanded deals.


The other challenge with permanent campaigning is building individualized and personal campaigning organizations almost from scratch as the decay of traditional party organizations becomes non-exist. They must raise millions of dollars to run for office as a candidate, such as one running for President, who travels around the country for the next two years, hitting all 50 states with a paid crew behind them: top-notch wardrobe associates, speechwriters, spokesperson, an office location, TV ads, posters, private jet (if possible) all being paid out of pocket. These pockets get filled through, usually, large corporations – Wall Street – big banks – big money interest group "donations" (like the NRA), who have their own interests in how the politicians will help, when they get elected. Without BIG money, there's no getting on the ticket. Without the ticket, there's no possibility to win a seat in any house. So politicians have to spend more time working on getting more money over a longer period of time instead of actually helping to run the country for re-election.


This big money in politics, along with social super speed media, has created political superstars with the ability to get constant feedback about potential election outcomes, especially for the President of the United States, that helps a political figure understand how to sway their "what I will do for you" speeches to the voters' wishes. All this has caused a breakdown in what's really important in conducting one's job to best help run this Country. This has turned politics into a Reality TV show with all the bells and whistles – comedy, drama, and horror wrapped up into one dramatic production. These superstar political positions have been created through a 24/7 social media stream. This is a plus when one wishes to quickly get ideas to massive amounts of people that now extend worldwide. Still, the consequences of this are that political mistakes fly through U-Tube videos at millisecond speed, which can haunt a politician for months and years to come. Privacy no longer exists as we now watch their every move, feel "we the people" own them for our own entertainment and political values on a more personal level, having become part of their personal day-to-day lives. This, once again, has a greater impact on their immediate influential short term behavior, instead of their ability to look at and contemplate more long term important goals in a more private and contemplative manner. Pros and Cons of being governed by the few and the many: Traditional Types of Democracy

There's the Delegate Style - "Prospective voting" - where the person who is voted into office works for "the people," not big money banks, corporations, or for their own self-interests. If the people say, "We want a big pink bridge made out of cardboard with green polka-dots." Then the delegate is obligated to make that happen.


The Pro of having such a delegate style representative is that if "the people" can understand and work towards putting into play, that can really be helpful to the community at large, without big money – self-interested influence.

The Con of the delegate style is that if "the people" are too uneducated about what is really needed to help implement constructive policies and "bridges," so unconstructive policies and "bridges" are asked for, the community can suffer more consequences on their own behalf, and the politician doesn't have the power to stop it. The Trustee Style - "retrospective voting" - where the person in office writes laws that serve themselves (and - or their self-interest donation groups) and "the people" aren't involved in the decision making. These people are voted in, hoping that they already have the voters' interest at heart.


The Pro of having a Trustee style is that the trustee usually has more information and education to make more informed decisions. The voters then don't have to research themselves to understand the pros and cons of law or proposition. The trustee is trusted to know how to do that themselves; therefore, laws are designed much better through a much more educated and knowledgeable process. Less work for the voters, more work for the trustee.


The Con of the Trustee style is that "the people" are putting all their trust in this one person. If this person has many BIG money friends and own self-interests, they are then given the power to play that card. They can say "this and that" to get elected and then do nothing for the people who elected them. There's then nothing "the people" can do to stop this. This person might want to build and bridge with sticks to help out his friends in the stick business while leaving the cardboard carpenters in the dust.


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