Political Science 1100, Introduction to American Politics, April 21, 2014

Current events




1. How can you measure American prosperity?

  A. Economic Wealth: Gross Domestic Product, or GDP


  B. Jobs and Unemployment


  C. Prices and Inflation


  D. Trade


  E. Inequality

2. Markets and Politics

- The ideal of the "free market" is very attractive to Americans in theory -

                   Because it promises both freedom and prosperity


- Government are indispensable for markets (for example, government protects property rights and contracts)

    in practice, Americans constantly ask government to intervene in markets because:


Americans want  



Americans want  



The Submerged State: Americans do not realize how much they need and depend on government



The central question: Where to draw the line between politics and markets?



The Great Recession




    The consequences for the federal budget




Government and Individual Security

A. The Poverty Problem in America

    Single Parent Families run a high risk of falling into poverty

B. Social Welfare in The U.S.

The U.S. always has "spread the wealth"



The Social Security Act Of 1935



Two "Welfare States" in America

1). Non-contributory programs for the Poor

- (a) "In-Cash" Benefits:
        TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

- (b) "In-Kind" Benefits:
         Food Stamps, Medicaid, Housing Assistance,
         Job Training, Services

- (c) The Earned Income Tax Credit

2). Contributory Benefits For The Middle Class:

 - (a) "In-Cash" Benefits"
            - Social Security Retirement, Medicare,
                Unemployment Insurance

       - (b) Tax Expenditures
                (Example: the home mortgage interest deduction)


        Health Care