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Melissa Del RosarioGVPT170 MIDTERM #1 The Logic of PoliticsPolitics: the process of agreement, while individuals often disagree on the intended goals, must decide on how to allocate resource in the face of competing values, MANY OPINIONS TO RECONCILE.- The process in which a group of individuals reach agreement on a course of common goodCollective Action:-The difficulties individuals or groups of individuals come across while trying to agree on a certain goal- Coordinationo Even with a group agreement and willingness to coordinate… How to coordinate efforts with those of others? E.g. rebuilding a house (all agree and want to contribute) but need to decide how to go about doing it, coordination of actions is needed.o Problems arise and are caused by; Uncertainty  Insufficient informationo Even if we compromise  how do we actually go about approving andimplementing the general goal?- Free Ridingo If citizens think their contribution to collective effort is: Perceived as small Will not affect success or failure- If 149 other people are there to build the house then you don’t really need to show up to build- But what if everyone thinks this…? Then no one will be there to build the houseo Enjoy collective benefit without individual contribution leads to: Failure to provide a collective goodo Type of cooperation problem that if people act out of self interest, it will undermine the collective good Nothing will get done even though the goal was agreed upon. - Cooperationo What if individual willingness to contribute is in doubt?  Self interest trumps collective effort Ex. You have overcome coordination but now people would rather not participate in building, they feel like doing something else or would rather do something else Individual outcomes depend on choices of others Coordination is necessary for the best collective outcome. - Tragedy of the Commons1Melissa Del Rosarioo Collective good can be in danger of being squandered… unless group members cooperate to preserve it. o The destruction of a collective good E.g. crab fishing- No crabs are left to reproduce if there is over fishingo Too much self interested behavior can destroy a collective goalSolutions to collective action:- Recurring issue: self interest- Voluntary cooperation (self governing)o Reduces costo But often unrealistic solution Recognize that behavior is bad and change- Privatizeo Assign ownership or allocate resources Only certain parts is fishable - External force or governmento Coerce compliance with costs or incentives- Rules- Monitor compliance- Sanction Violationso All solutions require some form of governing body/institutiono Example: taxes, but if they don’t monitor or do something to enforce it, problems will still arise (IRS)Transaction v. Conformity Costs (TRADEOFF) - Transaction Costs: increase as the number of participants rises, more complex  more people to deal with, more opinions to take into account- higher cost- Conformity Costs: the difference between individual preference and the collective outcomeo Quite often you may not be pleased with the decisiono More than anything you dislike decision=higher conformity cost- Often inversely relatedo Conformity costs will increase as transaction costs decrease and vice versa- Dictator v Direct democracyo Dictator will have a higher conformity cost, but then rising transactioncostso Direct democracy will have high transaction costs but you did vote so the majority will be happy with the decisionDelegation- Assigning decision making authority - Smaller number of people that act on behalf of a larger group- Easier, process of decision making is easier- Lowers transaction costs2Melissa Del Rosario- Principals  agents o Examples: car mechanics because you are not trained to fix cars, insurance agents work for clients on behalf of larger insurance company- Does make decision making easier and lowers transaction costso However may increase conformity costsDangers of Delegation- Agent does not act in your best interesto Hidden actiono Hidden information- Madison’s dilemma o You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself.The ConstitutionArticles of Confederation 1781-1789- No executive branch- Each state had one vote- Major laws required 9/13 votes- Constitutional amendment required 13/13 o E.g. direct taxationProblems with Articles- Currency- War debts  economic troubles- Public order (Shay’s Rebellion) - Bottom Line: plagued by free rider problemso Virtually 13 separate governments following the revolutionary warConfederation= national government derives limited authority from the states (but not the citizens)- Worried about free riding- Power was not centralized enough to make important decisions Constitution- Framers had two basic goals1. Solve a set of collective action problems: more centralized authority-delegation2. Minimize the dangers from delegation: PLACE LIMITS ON THE GOVERNMENT- Compromises were made to craft an appropriate balance of power (political tradeoffs)o Large v. Small states (population) Representation by individual states, reflecting populations (modern day house)o Northern v. Southern States Slavery protecting Compromises on the issue3Melissa Del Rosarioo Governmental power v. people Discerning the right amount centralized authority while still protecting individual freedomso National v. state power How much centralized authority while retaining some power for the state,  Not willing to completely give up powerVirginia Plan (FAVORED BY SOUTH)- Two chamber legislature- Representation based on state population- Lower chamber of legislature elected by the citizenry, upper chamber, executive and courts elected by the lower house- Legislature can make any law and veto any state legislature- Council of revision (composed of executive and court) can veto legislation, but legislature can override by majority voteNew Jersey Plan (FAVORED BY NORTH)- Single house chamber; equal representation for each state regardless of population- Legislature has same power as under articles, with added authority to levy taxes and regulate commerceo Can exercise supremacy clause over state legislation- Plural executive can be removed by legislature (on petition of a majority of states); courts appointed by executive- Supreme Court appeals in limited number of casesGreat Compromise (SATISFIES NORTH AND SOUTH)


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UMD GVPT 170 - MIDTERM #1

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