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Name examples of socialist institutions/businesses in America
Public schools, government monopolies (Post Office, Amtrak, Metro)
Define: Goverment activism
programs designed to transfer wealth from rich to poor to achieve more equality in society
Define: Goverment subsidies
cash payments or tax breaks to encourage certain behavior
Examples of Goverment activism
affirmitive action, Title IX, welfare, public roads, housing, income security
Examples of Goverment subsidies
- 1. Encouraging farmers to plant certain crops at a fixed quantity (or not at all)
- 2. Encouraging businesses to install energy efficient light bulbs and windows
- 3. Corporate subsidies to American companies competing overseas.
- 4. Subsidized health care
Define: Goverment regulations
Programs that govern how a business operates.
Examples of Government regulations
- 1. Fixing prices for products sold to the public,
- 2. Setting rules for hiring employees,
- 3. Anti-discrimination laws,
- 4. Anti-trust laws,
- 5. Zoning laws
What three things point to socialist-oriented policy in America?
Government activism, government subsidies, and government reglations.
Define: free trade
Policy that allows foreign produced products to compete on equal terms with American produced products in America and other countries.
reducing government control over business
Name an example of deregulation
allowing airlines to set ticket prices
What thre things point towards a Capitalist-oriented policy in America?
Free trade, deregulation, and tax cuts.
Name 4 advantages of capitalism over socialism.
- 1. Technology
- 2. "Magic in the Marketplace" (capitalism eventually makes its own products affordable)
- 3. Greater opportunities for entrepreneurship (like Thomas Edison, Wright brothers, Michael Dell)
- 4. Flexibility (capitalism reacts much quicker to change than socialism)
What is a driving force in a capitalist system that has virtually no intellectual appeal to the public?
Capitalism kind of leans towards income inequality, which has no appeal to the general public (which is why some of our more socialist policies exist).
On which Heritage Foundation measures does the U.S. measure MORE capitalist than Canada?
Government spending, and labor freedom.
How does the U.S. compare to other top 10 most capitalist countries on "freedom from corruption"?
The U.S. ranks 9th in freedom from corruption.
Top 3 countries with the "best" scores on the GINI index?
- Tom's Answer:
- 1. Japan,
- 2. Denmark,
- 3. Sweden
- Russell's Answer:
- 1. Namibia
- 2. Lesotho
- 3. Sierra Leone
Differences between Americans and Europeans on issues presented on the graphic? (pre 1990)
- 1. Americans tend to hold more capitalist attitudes while Europeans hold more socialist attitudes.
- 2. The percentage supporting government involvement in guaranteed income, providing for the unemployed, and reducing inequality is much lower in America than Europe.
How does the federal reserve's monetary policy influence the economy?
The federal reserve controls the money supply and interest rates; it has power over the economy that the president and Congress doesn't.
What presidents most want to avoid while in office?
Recessions (they're blamed for it!)
When did the largest deficits as a % of GDP occur?
2009 - $1.42 trillion deficit, 12% of GDP.
Least likely option for reducing the US deficit?
Cutting government spending - it takes a benefit away from someone who is currently receiving the benefit.
Who can buy U.S. Treasury bonds?
Citizens, governments, and investment firms in the US and other countries.
What past presidents have done to reduce the deficit?
- 1. Carter and Reagan tried to cut spending and failed.
- 2. Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act of 1985 promised to balance the budget by 1991 (in 91 we had a $255B deficit)
- 3. Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 promised to balance the deficit by 1995 (Clinton)
- 4. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 steadily reduced deficit through tax increase.
- 5. 1997 Balanced Budget Act (small tax cut) projected a balanced budget by 2002, but there were surpluses in 1998 because the economy boomed, which resulted in more tax revenue than anyone had anticipated (deficits returned after 9/11)
- 6. 2009-2012: largest deficits in American history exist today
Person who cut taxes most?
President who presided over the most consecutive surpluses?
Your professor believes that WHO should get credit for balancing the budget in the late 90's?
Define: means-tested program
Program qualification based on income and wealth (must be poor to qualify)
Define: non-means tested programs
programs who's qualifications are not based on income or wealth
The effect higher tariff rates have in America?
- 1. Importers have to raise their products to recap the cost of the tariff - consumers in America pay more for foreign goods
- 2. In the long run, a much smaller economy and lower standard of living.
The Walmart model for turning a profit?
Walmart lowers prices and makes more profit by doing so because it sells more good at a lower price (volume sales)
What discredited Keynsian economics?
Keynsian economics didn't predict stagflation and consequently was discredited as an economic theory - high unemployment and high inflation was not supposed to occur at the same time.
Obama's stimulus package - Keynesian or Supply-Side economics??
- Both - 1/3 tax cuts (supply side)
- 2/3 government spending (Keynesian)
What is unusual about America compared to the other 30+ countries in regards to expenditures on health?
U.S. spends the most on health care, but has a lower life expectancy and the infant mortality rate is lower.
Approximate % split of socialism/capitalism in the U.S. health care economy today?
Health Reform Law passed in 3/2010 will tip the capitalist/socialist in favor of socialism, though the exact % split is not clear today.
What does T.R. Reid think of how elements of America's health care system reflects the systems in other countries?
He says we resemble mainly Britain and Cuba.
How countries with universal health care systems contain costs?
These systems tend to have low costs per capita, because the government, as the sole payer, controls what doctors can do and what they can charge.
Why there is so much resistance for universal health care in America?
- 1. Much of the profit is taken out of the system
- 2. mandatory participation has an authoritarian quality.
Which demographic in America receives universal health care?
The poor, through Medicaid
Which program is increasing in costs most rapidly?
Why is financing Social Security an almost constant concern?
The costs of Social Security will exceed the money raised through its taxes by 2020.
The liberal and conservatives in the EITC and TANF programs?
- 1. Form of government assistance
- 2. It encourages work
- 3. Refunds social security tax
- 4. Offsets harships on state taxes through low income workers
Arguments of PROPONENTS of welfare reform?
The 1996 law worked, it has moved former welfare recipients from the welfare rolls to the workplace!
Arguments of CRITICS of welfare reform?
Yes, more people are working, but at what kind of wages? They're still very poor with the jobs they've received.
Trends in the poverty rate since 1970
The poverty rate hasn't changed much since 1969. Great society programs helped some in the late 1960's but have not had an impact since then.
The reason affirmative action programs are challenged?
For example, Bakke (a white student) was denied entry even though he scored higher on tests than minorities who were accepted because the school set aside a certain number for minorities - court ruled quotas unconstitutional.
Current legal constitutional standard for affirmative action?
Affirmative action is alive and well. U.S. has issued a ringing endorsement of the value of diversity in preparing students for the challenges of American life.The Court also provided a clear statement about the appropriate use of race in admissions, holding that the consideration of race must be the hallmark of a carefully designed admissions policy that promotes educational diversity.
Principle underlying Obama's "Race to the Top" education initiative?
- 1. It gives more federal money to schools that perform better and show commitment to math and science - it's like states are competing for a prize.
- 2. Race to the Top rewards states that commit to enhance education in general (large list of things that help).
- 3. Race to the Top reqards the winners - incentivized model premised on competing for a prize.
What is the meaning of Obama's quote "I think that it is important for Europe to understand that even though I'm now president... al Qaeda is still a threat, and we can't pretend somehow that because... [I'm] president, suddenly everything is going to be okay."
There are factors that determine international relations beside the influence exerted by the new leadership in the most powerful and influential country. Forces in the world are not just influenced by the U.S. president.
If "toughness" is valued by the American people, why did Obama win in 2008?
The economy was the most dominant issue…McCain was viewed as stronger on dealing with the terrorist threat, but terrorism was not an issue for voters
Timothy Smeeding found that one can more easily go from "rags to riches" in welfare-state Europe than America, why?
"One reason may be that the U.S. has lost his historic lead in education, including the percentage of citizens with college degrees. European countries, many of which offer free preschoole ducation and free university education, have caught up and surpassed the United States, measured by college degrees and test performance."
What the Scandinavian countries do differently (than GB or France) to maintain higher economic growth rates and lower unemployment?
- 1.) Scandinavian countries don't try to guaruntee job security with rigid rules against firing, like the French, but offer serious job retraining along with unemployment insurance to ease the transition to new jobs.
- 2.) Scandinavian countries also put much more money into social and public services.
Main differences in Europeans and Americans views n Government's role
- 1.) Americans seem to think much more than Europeans that people are rewarded for their effort. (25% difference)
- 2.) Americans do NOT think that the government is responsible to fix income inequality compared to Europeans (nearly 40% difference).
- 3.) Americans think that people are rewarded for their intelligence and skills (30% more than Europeans)
What reforms are the British government proposing to address its budget deficit and overall debt?
- 1.) Delay in retirement ages
- 2.) Harsher work requirements on welfare
- 3.) Capping on housing benefits
- 4.) Punishments for those on welfare who do not accept job offers.
What the election of Francois Hollande as France's next president signals regarding how to deal with debt, deficits, and the cost of social welfare in Europe?
Basically this guy Hollande (the new president in France) is making a 75% tax on all income above $1,000,000. That is his main plan of attack, or at least what is getting the most media attention. He thinks this will solve these things, much to the dismay of his critics (and probably the rich).
Cultural influences on U.S. foreign policy?
- It all has to do with demands for a growing economy! This leads to:1.) Globalization efforts of free trade and capitalism which leads to...
- 2.) Resistance of our economic power and globalization efforts, and
- 3.) A dependency on foreign oil. We're the largest economy in the world and therefore we depend so much on oil, but all the other countries have it.
Reasons Obama has had difficulty in improving America's image in the Muslim world?
- Obama inherits a foreign policy establishment whose norms demand:
- 1.) A dominant US role in the world
- 2.) Support for Israel in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
- (these are exactly the policies Moderate Muslims want changed, and they go beyond the power of just Obama)
Why "preventative" self-defense is controversial?
It makes us look like the "bad guys" because we're initiating the "prevention".
Why America's oil dependency causes resentment in the Arab world?
- 1.) US doesn't promote human rights and democracy in these oil-rich countries.
- 2.) US government is not doing anything seriously to promote a new energy resource and conquer global warming.
- 3.) The military presence is annoying, they feel if we had an alternative energy source we wouldn't be all in the Middle-East's business.
US policies to encourage domestic production of ethanol but to also discourage imports of alternative fuels?
- 1.) The Copenhagen Accords (UN Conference on Climate Change) set a goal of raising $100B a year to help develop countries that reduce greenhouse emissions as they come out of poverty.
- 2.) The US is focusing on ethanol as an alternative to gasoline, and ethanol production is rapidly increasing.
What might be the downside of countries that transition from poverty to wealth?
As the world climbs out of poverty, increased economic activity will result in substantial increases in greenhouse gases, unless alternative energy sources displace fossil fuels.
Zogby international poll on what America should do to improve its image in the Arab world?
- 1.) Stop supporting Israel
- 2.) Get out of Iraq
- 3.) Help Palestinians
- 4.) Promote justice
- 5.) Change their Middle-East Policies
- 6.) Respect Arabs
Reasons why U.S. favors Israel?
- 1.) Powerful Israeli lobby in America
- 2.) U.S. considers Hamas (of Palestine) to be a terrorist organization.
- 3.) Since we took land from the Indians and won't give it back, we can sympathize with Israel...? (swear to God it says that in the notes)
- 4.) U.S. sees Israeli's right to exist while Palestine does not. The U.S. has the stance that when Palestine attacks Israel, it is an act of terrorism, and self-defense on Israel's part for any counter attacks.. (it is the opposite thinking in most of the Arab countries)
- 5.) We're more comfortable doing business with Jews than Muslims, historically. There is less conflict there.
Why the U.S. is not likely to be isolationist?
The U.S. will not withdraw from the world for fear of who may come to power in America's absence. (Nazi Germany? Imperial Japan?). Also the foreign policy dictates the establishment of a dominant U.S. role in the world.
What is ironic about Obama's foreign policy??
The irony is this: Obama is a peace advocate at heart, yet he has had great success as a wartime president (e.g. ordering the killing of bin Laden, the killing of alAwlaki, the killing of Somali pirates)
Military intelligence agency that collects intelligence for all military branches?
D.O.D. ... they have the NSA, CIA, and NSC.
Members of the UN Security Council?
Five permanent members: China, France, Russia, UK, and U.S.
Reason Europe is at peace today (versus past centuries of constant war)?
- 1.) Relationship with the US... we keep substanital military forces in the region.
- 2.) They have been helping us police the globe
(Happiet People - Denmark video) Danes have the "good life" but what is the downside of the socialism in Denmark?
The Danish pay 50% of their income to the government in return for free education, health care, etc.
(Cuban Economic Reforms video) Fidel Castro's comments about the Cuban model of government?
"The Cuban Model doesn't even work for us anymore!"
(Medical Tourism video) What is the story of the owner of the RV campground??
Owner had no insurance, had to pay for his quintuple bypass surgery or die ($100,000 in US). He decided to die without it and keep the money, but then saw an ad for a hospital in Thailand and found out that it would cost $12,000. He went and found a doctor who practiced in the U.S., and never even spoke with him until he got to Thailand. Everything was successful and cheap and glamorous actually. He was shocked at the amount of registered nurses on his wing working (much more than US).
(Medical Tourism video) The story of the woman from Florida who received an operation in India?
Stephanie went with her daughter to India for her hip surgery that wasn't offered in the U.S.. Her friends thought she was crazy, but the doctor in India had performed the surgery successfully over 300 times. She loved the service and attention in the Indian hospital.
(Bloom Box video) Compare the power produced from solar panels vs. bloom box at the Ebay facility?
"When you average it, the Bloom Box generate about 5 times as much as the solar panels."
(Bloom Box video) Fuels that can be used to power the bloom box??
"Our system can use fossel fuels, renewable fuels, and even solar."
(Global Warming video) Last time CO2 levels have been so high in the Arctic?
"We haven't seen CO2 levels like this in hundreds of thousands of years, if not millions of years."
(Myhrvold's Solution to Global Warming video) The natural phenomenon Myhrvold's proposed solution emulates to reduce global temperatures?
"Volcanic action can cause global cooling as much as 1 degree globally... Sulfur dioxide scatters light, reducing the amount of sunlight that comes through, decreasing temperatures." (Myhrvold plans to simply plug a hose up there that spws out sulfur dioxide, cancelling CO2 levels a bit and cooling the earth as it heats up)