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Download PDF by James Q. Wilson: American government : institutions & policies

By James Q. Wilson

Acclaimed for the scholarship of its favourite authors and the readability of its narrative, American executive: associations and Policies units the normal for public coverage assurance whereas conserving concentrate on 3 basic themes: the significance of associations of yankee govt; the ancient improvement of governmental tactics, actors, and guidelines; and who governs within the usa and to what ends. scholar involvement within the fabric is strengthened through confirmed pedagogical good points reminiscent of studying targets framing every one bankruptcy, "Constitutional Connections" pertaining to present concerns to founding rules, and "How issues paintings" packing containers that illustrate vital ideas.

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But because the costs are widely distributed, affecting many people only slightly, those who pay the costs may be either unaware of any costs In interest group politics, a proposed policy will confer benefits on some relatively small, identifiable group and impose costs on another small, equally identifiable group. For example, when Congress passed a bill requiring companies to give 60 days’ notice of a plant closing or a large-scale layoff, labor unions (whose members would benefit) backed the bill, and many business firms (which would pay the costs) opposed it.

The Constitutional Convention in 1787 was an effort to see whether a new, more powerful federal government could be made legitimate; the succeeding administrations of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were in large measure preoccupied with disputes over the kinds of decisions that were legitimate for the federal government to make. The Civil War was a bloody struggle over slavery and the legitimacy of the federal union; the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt was hotly debated by those who disagreed over whether it steadily expanded, others stress how they were denied to so many for so long, and so forth.

4 An issue may be more apparent than real; for example, people might fight over two tax plans that, despite superficial differences, would actually distribute tax burdens on different groups in exactly the same way. Or an issue may be as real as it seems to the conflicting parties, as, for example, it is in matters that pose clear-cut choices (high tariffs or no tariffs; abortion legal in all cases or illegal in all cases). And an issue might be more about conflicts over means than over ends. For example, on health care reform or other issues, legislators who are in the same party and have similar ideological leanings (like a group of liberal Democrats, or a group of conservative Republicans) might agree on objectives but still wrangle bitterly with each other over different means of achieving their goals.

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