U.S. Political Economy Basics
Are Political Systems About Power or
Totalitarianism holds total authority over
Political Systems involve governments and politics.
Republic government exists when a constitutionally determined
government of elected leaders operating according to laws which
protect individual rights associated with equality, liberty, property and
necessity of consent.
a. There are many applications. What constitutes a right and
their relative importance has been continually debatable.
b. John Adams said "a government, in which all men, rich and
poor, magistrates and subjects, officers and people, masters
and servants, the first citizen and the last, are equally
subject to the laws."
c. In United States v. Cruikshank (1875) the Supreme Court
ruled that the concept of "equal citizens" was inherent to
d. Colonial America developed in an untamed vast wilderness
far from the governing country. This unique historical
circumstance resulted in American Exceptionalism.
divides powers among member units so that
Kinds of Democracy
Democracy begins with Majority Rule
Presidential Democracy has a president and the legislative
Parliamentary Democracy as practiced in Great Brittan
Democratic Republic vs. Parliamentary Democracy
Making Laws in a Democracy
Direct Democracy also known as pure democracy has the
electorate vote directly on policy initiatives.
Indirect democracy or representative democracy is when the
electorate temporary delegates power to officials who make laws
on their behalf.
Initiatives and Referendums exist in some U.S. States.
a. Part of the early 20th century Progressive Movement
b. Allowed voters to put a proposed law on the ballot for
approval and also to void existing state law.
c. DC and 27 states have this direct democracy tool.
Constitutional Amendments expanded "We" of
"We the people..." which moved U.S toward Republicanism.
a. The 1911 17th Amendment changed the election of U.S.
Senators from the House of Representatives to voters.
b. The 1919 19th Amendment gave women voting rights.
c. The 1971 26th Amendment lowered voting age to 18.
d. Electoral College elimination would move the process closer
to the people, Republicanism and a direct democracy majority.
7. Capitalistic Democracy Profitable Government
Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power 2012 J. Meacham 8p
Turning Points in American History Over 400 Years Five 2-page parts
Presidential Courage Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 by M. Beschloss 8p
7. Political Economy Book Reviews
Seven Bad Ideas How Mainstream Economists Have
Damaged America and the World
Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets
Education and Income Inequality,
By Christian Caryl. Basic; 400 pages
argues that 1979 belongs to the select club of real turning-points:
"The Shock Doctrine: The evil of “Disaster
Guns, Germs, and Steel - the fates of human societies '...attempts to explain why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered others, while attempting to refute the belief that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, moral, or inherent genetic superiority."
How You Can Kill Al-Qaeda in Three Easy Steps
One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and
the Future of Foreign Policy