POLS 207: Ch 13
What is significant about the differences between the states?
It is difficult to asses whether these differences are caused by political, institutional, or policy differences.
What are some differences between state/local government and the federal government?
Weaker powers/fewer support and resources
No close elections
Why are there such large differences between state/local government and federal government?
Media focus is on Congress and the President, and students in school typically learn about national government.
How does the past American government affect our present American government?
Many of the ideas we have today about politics were shaped hundreds of years ago.
Why has the scope of American government grown over the centuries?
Americans have called for the U.S. government to grow as new problems are faced by society.
Why do state/local governments matter to us?
They make many decisions and provide many services that affect us daily.
Name three services that state and local government provides.
Highways and streets
Can one "best" state be determined?
What is the relationship between the strength of interest groups and their influence?
No definable relationship.
Can we determine whether geographic based selection of legislators is representative?
What is the relationship between professional legislatures and policy?
There is no definable relationship. Just because there is a professional legislature doesn't mean that there will be more successful policies.
What is the relationship between representation of minories and policy?
There is perhaps a causal relationship.
Are most policies proactive or reactive?
They are reactive.
Why is causality difficult to determine?
Because it is difficult to measure government performance and its impact.
What three elements of our democracy/republic have we changed over the centuries?
Suffrage for all
What two factors contribute to the difficulty of recognizing successful innovations?
Lag time between action and result
Is America shifting toward small or large government?
What role do state and local governments play in the shift toward large government?
They work to protect the interests of their residents.
What will be the role of state and local governments as we approach a time in which the number of older Americans will far outweigh young people?
They will be expected to provide leadership.
What is the concept of the Philosopher King?
Is an individual making the right decisions or are they making the decisions someone is telling them to make.
What is the difference between legislators and the state executive when it comes to passing legislation?
Legislators are often out for themselves because they want to be reelected, but the state executive can afford to look out for everyone.
Define Principle Agent Problem.
There is no way of keeping track of someone to whom authority has been granted.
Define Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
The idea that the very act of observation changes behavior; the threat of observation changes behavior.
Define Peter Principle.
In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.
What are the three parts of organizational theory?
Define path dependence.
Taking the past and applying it to the future.
What principle does the merit system rely on?
The Peter Principle
Power and ability to decide property rights.
What are the 3 purposes of the Texas legal system?
What 2 principles make the bureaucracy inefficient?
The Peter Principle
The merit system
Where are the least successful legislatures?
Where there are many interest groups
What are 3 ways to recognize policy?
set of norms or expectations
codified rules or regulations
there are penalties for deviation
In a world of finite resources . . .
we must choose between the welfares of different people.
Define Scarcity Law.
If you have more of something it makes it less valuable.
POLS 207: Ch 13