american government and organization ps1301-164 monday, 15 september

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  • Slide 1
  • American Government and Organization PS1301-164 Monday, 15 September
  • Slide 2
  • Plan for the lecture - Review concepts briefly prisoners dilemma, free rider, collective good Begin on constitution As a document setting up institutions to resolve conflict of values, scarce resources As a document setting up institutions to resolve conflict of values, scarce resources
  • Slide 3
  • The Prisoners Dilemma Every successful political exchange must tacitly solve the Prisoners Dilemma. Each side, to get something, must typically give up something of value in return. Exchanges occur because each side recognizes that it will be made better off. But each side also worries that its partner could renege on the agreement once the partner has gotten what it wants.
  • Slide 4
  • Prisoners Dilemma: What you Gain YOUR CHOICE Others Choice CooperateDefect Cooperate Fairly good [+ 5] Good [ + 10] [ + 10] Defect Bad [-10] Mediocre [0]
  • Slide 5
  • Whats the Most Rational Thing to Do? Cooperate or Defect? [remember you dont know what the other person will do] If you cooperate and the other person defects you lose 10 points [-10] If you defect and the other person defects you both gain no points [0] If you defect and the other person cooperates you gain 10 points. What is the other person likely to do if they want to minimize the points they lose?
  • Slide 6
  • Rational Decision Your benefit depends on what the other actor does. Can you trust them to cooperate? If you and the other actor are rational, you would never cooperate. The rational decision is the one which best for you no matter what the other actor does. In other words, it wouldnt be rational for you to cooperate and expect the other actor to cooperate.
  • Slide 7
  • Go to this website to play a game based on the prisoners dilemma: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/playground/pd.html
  • Slide 8
  • Other concepts: Free-rider Collective good
  • Slide 9
  • Collective goods, action and the free rider Collective goods: - cannot exclude anyone from enjoying. E.g. public roads and highways, public schools, reduced tax rates, police protection (at least in theory). collective good vs. private good -- can be made available only to selected people, usually only those who pay for them. E.g. toll roads and bridges, private schools, and private security. The tendency to sit back and let others do the work to try to obtain a collective good is know as the free rider problem. Why should anyone put in time, effort or money to achieve something that others are working for or that others will benefit from?
  • Slide 10
  • Designing a Political System Articles of Confederation Our first government was a confederation a highly decentralized governmental system in which the national government derives limited authority from the states rather than directly from the citizenry. Our first government was a confederation a highly decentralized governmental system in which the national government derives limited authority from the states rather than directly from the citizenry. Majority Rule vs. Minority Rights Threat of tyranny Threat of tyranny Parliamentary system vs. Separation of Powers
  • Slide 11
  • The Legislative Branch Unicameral vs. Bicameralism Representation based on population vs. state
  • Slide 12
  • The Virginia Plan Its centerpiece was a bicameral legislature. Members of the lower chamber apportioned among the states by population & directly elected. Members of the lower chamber apportioned among the states by population & directly elected. Lower chamber would elect members of the upper chamber from lists generated by the state legislatures. Lower chamber would elect members of the upper chamber from lists generated by the state legislatures.
  • Slide 13
  • The New Jersey Plan These two groups coalesced around an alternative proposed by New Jersey delegate William Paterson in response to the Virginia Plan. Given its quick creation, it had its own faults: it failed to propose the organization of the executive and judiciary. It perpetuated the composition and selection of Congress as it functioned under the Articles, but it did give Congress the power to tax. [why did small states liked this?]
  • Slide 14
  • The Great Compromise Fashioning the National Legislature The committee that the convention appointed to come up with a solution to the stalemate found one that was Solomon-like in nature. Each side got one of the two legislative chambers fashioned to its liking. The upper chamber (Senate) would be composed of two delegates sent from each state legislature who would serve a six-year term. The upper chamber (Senate) would be composed of two delegates sent from each state legislature who would serve a six-year term. Madisons population-based, elective legislature became the House of Representatives. Madisons population-based, elective legislature became the House of Representatives.
  • Slide 15
  • Great Compromise
  • Slide 16
  • Review Questions Why were small states suspicious of any plan to abandon the Articles? What were the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan? What sorts of states supported each plan and why? How did the Great Compromise attempt to satisfy both groups of states? Why is the electoral college so complicated? How did the Framers balance the powers and independence of the executive and legislative branches? Which issues were consciously left unresolved by the Framers? Why? Why did Northern delegates compromise with Southern delegates on the issue of slavery? What mechanisms for constitutional amendment were included in the Constitution? Why were multiple methods included? According to James Madison, what are "factions"? What problems do they cause for government? How can they be eliminated? How can the effects of faction be minimized? In Federalist No. 51, why did Madison argue that it was necessary to separate governmental authority among several branches?