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exam 1 | exam 2 | exam 3 | exam 4 | exams- fall 99 | exams- Spring 00

NOTE: The following exams are provided for your information. There will be all new exam questions this semester-which may include changes in the format of the questions.

POS 101                                                                                                                       
R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance                                                                                              

1st Exam- Fall 2000

 

1.  Based on what the instructor has said in class, which of the following, if any, is not  a realistic goal of this course?

  1. Help students learn to think critically about what is "realistically possible" in politics"and what is not.
  2. Help students identify and understand the strengths and weaknesses of different "political cultures" and different political systems.
  3. Provide students with the key to understanding which type of political system is clearly the best for everyone.
  4. All of the above are realistic goals of this course.

2.  Which of the following, if any, probably does not  involve "politics" to any significant extent?
  1. Members of a fraternity (or sorority) discussing the election of new officers.
  2. Members of a political science class discussing the difference between "power" and "influence."
  3. Members of a non profit organization"s Board of Directors discussing changes in the organization"s policies.
  4. None of the above"they all involve a significant amount of "politics."
3.  Based on the discussion in class, which of the following can reasonably be seen as supporting (or encouraging) the development of "government""whether or not specifically mentioned in class?

 

  1. The perceived greater effectiveness, in general, of an "organized group" vs. an unorganized group of people, especially when dealing with problems.
  2. The ability of "government" to provide security more effectively than an unorganized group.
  3. The general "need" people seem to have for some sort of "order" in their relations with other people.
  4. All of the above.
4.  Which of the following, if any, is not  a function of government, especially in a political system like we have here in the U.S.?

 

  1. Taking the initiative in identifying and solving problems that affect the community as a whole.
  2. Providing assistance to citizens with their individual problems, such as helping families with handicapped children..
  3. Providing security for the community from, for example foreign military threats, international terrorism, and communicable diseases
  4. Providing "order" in society, for example, through passing and enforcing traffic and other laws and regulations.
  5. All of the above are functions of an American-style government.

5.  People who feel that the only acceptable "political system" is a "voluntary collective" with little or no government structure are called:

  1. "Democrats" with a small "d."
  2. Reformists.
  3. Anarchists.
  4. Totalitarians.

6.  Which of the following statements is least  compatible with the explanation of "human nature" we have discussed?

  1. A "perfect" political system is possible in theory but not in practice.
  2. Improvements can almost certainly be made in dealing with major issues such as health care and environmental protection.
  3. At least some major problems can be completely solved to everyone"s satisfaction
  4. A political system with limited governmental power and "checks and balances" is in fact possible.

7.  Which of the following statements, if any, is not  compatible with "human nature" as discussed in this class?

  1. If people were nearly perfect, we probably wouldn"t need laws forbidding specific types of behavior.
  2. Despite the imperfections of our nature, we are capable of organizing reasonably effective democratic political systems.
  3. Even the "very best and brightest" people are going to make significant mistakes"and at least some of the time they are going to find it difficult to recognize the fact that they are wrong.
  4. All of the above statements are compatible with "human nature" as discussed in this class.

8.  Which of the following statements is not  something the author of the article "Deeper Into the Brain" would be likely to agree with?

  1. The more we learn about the way our brain functions, the more we realize that it is impossible to fully comprehend "what makes us tick."
  2. Scientists should eventually be able to unravel the key elements of the brain"s functions and we should finally be able to understand "human nature."
  3. We should eventually be able to "correct" problems that lead to antisocial behavior.
  4. We should be able to greatly improve society based on our increased knowledge of how the brain functions.

9.  Which of the following is discussed in all three articles on "perception" on the class web site?

  1. The "halo effect."
  2. Projection.
  3. Sterotyping.
  4. Contrast effects.

10. Based on our discussion in class, which of the following, if any, is most likely not  a defensible statement?  It is reasonable to assume that "selective perception"

  1. helps to explain why society is imperfect.
  2. frequently interferes with our ability to fully understand other people"s point of view.
  3. always seriously distorts our understanding of other people"s political views.
  4. can be partially"but never fully--controlled for, provided we are aware of this tendency.
  5. All of the above are equally defensible statements.

11. Which of the following is the best example of "selective attention"?

  1. Concluding that when a "fellow Democrat" and someone whose opinion we respect is talking about George W. Bush"s proposal for Social Security reform, that he/she fully agrees with our complete rejection of the plan"when this is not in fact the case.
  2. Not attending a rally against "hate crimes" because it is being sponsored by an organization we don"t agree with.
  3. Not noticing the fact that a fellow student who usually just tries to crack jokes has just made a good point in class discussion.
  4. Laughing at a professor"s jokes"even when they are not funny.

12. Based on our discussion of "political culture," which of the following is the least  defensible statement?

  1. Large numbers of people in one society can be expected to frequently have different views on issues such as gun control, abortion, and healthcare in comparison with the views on these issues held by people in other societies.
  2. Different historical experiences tend to result in at least somewhat different views on what is "right" and what is "wrong," for example, with regard to "telling the truth" or taking something that doesn"t belong to you.
  3. Sighting "cultural differences" is nothing more than an attempt to justify attitudes or behaviors, such as a serious alcoholism problem in a society, which are counterproductive "and often immoral.
  4. An example of differences in "political culture" is the fact that no other political system is identical to the American system"and most, including the other major democratic systems, are in fact substantially different in at least some respects.
13.  According to the article, "Tribal Divisions Extend to the U.S.,"
  1. The "heart of darkness" is not a place in Africa, it is the "human condition."  (In other words, there are people everywhere who are capable of unspeakable brutality toward their fellow human beings.)
  2. It is possible to find "tribal behavior" everywhere in the world, that is some people treating others as "inferior" just because they are from a different group.
  3. The extreme mass brutality that can be found in places like Rowanda and Bosnia probably won"t happen in the U.S."provided we are sufficiently vigilant against discrimination..
  4. All of the above are stated"or at lease clearly implied"in this article.
14. Which of the following, if any, does Robert Bierstedt not  argue in his essay, "On Power"?
  1. Power (which is coercive) and influence (which is persuasive) can exist independently of one another, that is, one can have power but not influence, and influence but not power.
  2. Students do their assignments in large measure because teachers have the ability to fail them if they do not.  (This is an example of power and not influence.)
  3. Power is the ability to employ force.
  4. While power is not easy to define, if we carefully analyze this concept we can come up with a clear and precise idea of its meaning.
  5. Bierstedt argues all of the above.

15. Which of the following, if any, is not  an example of "power" as defined for the purposes of this class?

  1. The manager of a bar informing some loud patrons that it is time for them to either quiet down or the bouncer will have to escort them to the door.
  2. A professor informing students that they need to read a specific article"because there will be a question from that article on the test.
  3. A teachers" union threatening to go on strike if their demands for better pay and working conditions are not met.
  4. Students at a junior high school who have been complaining about the quality of the hot lunches trying to "get the attention" of the people in charge of the cafeteria by bringing their lunches instead of buying them at school.
  5. All of the above are examples of "power" at work.
16. Which of the following is an example of both  power and influence?
  1. A professor discussing with students the general value of reading a good newspaper in a course where the exams include questions on current events.
  2. A popular teacher who is monitoring the hall between classes reminding students of the stricter policy on tardiness that the new principal is insisting on enforcing.
  3. The President of the United States trying to persuade Congress to compromise on a bill designed to reform the Social Security system, threatening to veto the bill if the legislature doesn"t accept some amendments.
  4. All of the above are examples of both power and influence, that is, there is a degree of both persuasion and coercion involved in each case.
17. Which of the following, if any, is the best example of "influence"?
  1. A candidate for the U.S. Congress holding a "town meeting" at which he attempts to answer critical questions concerning his attitude toward "privitizing" a part of the Social Security system.
  2. A teacher attempting to persuade her class that she is in fact prepared to give all of them a low grade on the upcoming test if they don"t in fact know the material.
  3. A store owner discussing whether or not to add a new product line with a company representative.
  4. All of the above are equally good examples of "influence."
18. Which of the following, if any, is essential to democracy"both in theory and in practice?
  1. More than one political party.
  2. Holding competitive elections with a secret ballot for all major offices at least every four years.
  3. Allowing citizens to participate directly in all major decisions.
  4. Making a serious effort to protect the basic rights of groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi party.
  5. None of the above are essential to the long term preservation of democracy.
19. Which of the following, if any, in not  a significant strength of democracy?
  1. It provides a political arena in which it is possible to identify and respond to specific problems.
  2. It makes it possible to replace leaders who are not responding effectively to issues that most concern the majority of the public.
  3. It facilitates the development of a variety of ideas, some of which may eventually have a positive impact on society.
  4. All of the above can reasonably be considered strengths of democracy.

20. According to the Washington Post article on democracy in China,

  1. under the watchful eye of the Chinese Communist Party, local government officials are consistently doing a good job of managing truly democratic local elections"for the first time in recent Chinese history.
  2. none of the recent local elections have been conducted in a truly open and fair fashion.
  3. while the goal of Communist Party leaders in promoting these local elections is to strengthen the Party"s control over the population"by using the elections to oust corrupt and/or ineffective local leaders"the end result may very well be more "real democracy" than they intend.
  4. None of the above are in fact stated"or implied"by this article

 

Exam 1 Answers | Back to the top


POS 101 R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance

1st EXAM- Summer 2000



1. Which of the following is the best (most complete) statement of the basic goal of this course?

  1. Assist students in understanding American politics, including why we frequently fail to elect the best possible candidates to public office..
  2. Provide students with an understanding of the relationship between "human nature" and government, especially with regard to the limits human nature puts on our prospects for developing an ideal government.
  3. Provide students with a basic understanding of the "possibilities of politics," that is, what seems to work best and what doesn't work, as well as what appears to be realistically possible given past experience and the apparent "limitations" imposed by "human nature."
  4. Provide a clear and specific set of guidelines for developing the best possible political system, taking into account past experience, human nature, and available resources.

2. Which of the following is most clearly an example of "politics at work"?

  1. A discussion among students of the merit-or lack of merit-of the political science class they are taking.
  2. A U.S. Senator discussing with his wife and young children what they can look forward to doing on their vacation to Disney World..
  3. Management of a family owned business discussing whether or not to expand into a new market; the children want to take the risk, but the father has serious misgivings.
  4. The members of a chess club discussing their club's prospects for winning an upcoming tournament.


3. Which of the following, if any, does not qualify as a type of "government"?

  1. The elected leadership of a trade union.
  2. The board of directors of a theater company.
  3. The leaders of a drug cartel.
  4. The "village council" in a small community.
  5. All of the above can be considered examples of "government."


4. Based on the class discussion, which of the following, if any, is a reasonable explanation for the existence of government?

  1. Government exists only because some people have a compelling need to control the lives of other people.
  2. Government's primary function is to protect the property of the rich against the demands of the poor.
  3. Over time government makes it possible to fully solve society's problems.
  4. Government appears to be necessary to provide a reasonable degree os security and order in society.

5. Which of the following, if any, is not a fair statement to make about "political anarchy"?
  1. If it is in fact possible, it could well be the most "democratic" political system yet devised..
  2. It probably isn't possible because human nature seems to require some sort of "structured control"before society can function reasonably effectively.
  3. It has never been successfully implemented on any significant scale.
  4. All of the above are reasonable statements concerning "anarchy."


6. It is reasonable to assume from the article, "Tribal Divisions Extend to the U.S.," that the author probably would not agree with which, if any, of the following?

  1. We human beings are capable of unspeakable brutality toward people that we consider to be "outside" of our group.
  2. Both some blacks and some whites in the U.S. are promoting attitudes toward people of the opposite color that could eventually make the type of large scale brutality that is occurring in other parts of the world possible here.
  3. From the argument presented, one might conclude that we human beings are bad enough to make something like what happened in Kosovo possible to begin with and, at the same time, good enough to make the effort to bring the brutality to an end possible.
  4. The author would probably agree with all of the above.


7. Based on the discussion of "human nature" in this class, which of the following, if any, is a reasonable statement? Human nature is

  1. to a significant extent assumed to be genetically determined, that is, "changing the environment" won't fundamentally change at least some basic aspects of human behavior.
  2. assumed to include both "positive" and "negative" components.
  3. assumed to place limitations on what can be expected of government.
  4. All of the above are reasonable statements.


8. Assuming that the view of human nature discussed in class is reasonably accurate, which of the following, if any, is probably not realistic?

  1. Making significant improvements in the old U.S. welfare program.
  2. Reducing crime in places like Washington, DC, which regularly wins the title of "murder capitol of the U.S."
  3. At long last electing a president who will not have any major personal or political shortcomings.
  4. Working out, in theory at least, a political, social, and economic system that is significantly better than the current American system.
  5. All of the above are clearly realistic.


9. All three articles on the class web site on the subject of perception mention the "halo effect." Based on these articles, which of the following, if any, is it not correct to say about the "halo effect"?

  1. It involves our perceptions of a person, for example, being influenced by the combination of his or her best features, such as their sense of humor and how well they dress.
  2. It can result in our coming to incorrect conclusions about a person.
  3. It can be difficult to change an incorrect impression of someone that is based on the halo effect.
  4. All of the above can be said about the halo effect.


10. According to the lecture (and the readings), our perceptions of the world around us are imperfect/inaccurate because of which of the following-if any?

  1. We can be misled/tricked and confused, and we can fail to perceive all the relevant aspects of reality.
  2. We are guilty of selective perception and/or selective attention at least a part of the time.
  3. Reality is more complicated than we often realize.
  4. All of the above are reasonable statements.
  5. None of the above fits with what was covered in the lecture and/or the readings.


11. Which of the following, if any, is not an example of selective perception?

  1. A professor tells a generally good student that the paper he has just turned in is not well written, but instead of recognizing the validity of the comments, the student decides the professor is being excessively critical.
  2. Even though economists argue that the tax cut George W. Bush is promising if he is elected President is excessive, Bush's supporters still believe that "their man" has the best possible plan for the economy.
  3. Possibly because of the fact that you generally do good work, your boss doesn't seem to notice that the latest report you gave him is not well argued-much to your relief.
  4. Because he does not "look like a mayor," it appears likely that the best candidate in the upcoming election won't win. His supporters are afraid that a lot of people won't recognize that he in fact has a lot of relevant experience and a lot of good ideas.
  5. All of the above probably involve at least some selective perception.


12. According to the lecture, we largely acquire our basic political views-through which we then "filter" relevant information for the rest of our lives-

  1. when we are in college.
  2. when we are in high school.
  3. after we leave home.
  4. before we start school
  5. None of the above.


13. Which of the following is an example of "selective attention"?

  1. At a party the person you are talking to begins to criticize a political leader you happen to admire. You excuse yourself from the group.
  2. You turn on the radio in your car to a station where a commentator you generally don't agree with is on the air. You turn down the volume and return to your attempt to remember what it was you were supposed to get at the store-but forgot.
  3. You are invited to a roundtable discussion on reforming the campaign finance laws, but because you find "politics" boring, you decline to attend.
  4. All of the above can reasonably be considered to be examples of "selective attention."


14. With reference to "political culture" as discussed in this class, which of the following is not a reasonable statement-or at least is the least reasonable statement?

  1. Differences in political culture can help to explain different attitudes toward "individual rights" in Russia, China, and the U.S.
  2. Russian opposition to the NATO bombing of Serbia can be explained to a significant extent by Russian political culture.
  3. It should be possible to accurately predict what another country will do in specific situations once we have a clear idea of the nature of their political culture.
  4. Russians and Americans have different attitudes and/or behave differently in a number of areas because of "cultural differences."


15. According to Robert Bierstedt in his essay "On Power,"

  1. power is involved in most social relations, including love, but probably not, for example, in a casual conversation at a party.
  2. while prestige may be frequently connected with power, it can exist independently of power.
  3. force and authority are closely related to power.
  4. Bierstedt argues all of the above.


16. Which of the following, if any, is not an example involving a significant element of "power" as defined in this class?

  1. A young lady attempting to convince her boyfriend to help her with her homework in return for her helping him clean his apartment.
  2. Two good friends deciding whether to go fishing or water skiing.
  3. A police officer giving a young driver a ticket for speeding.
  4. A school board deciding whether or not a group of students should be expelled for fighting at a basketball game.
  5. All of the above involve a significant element of power.


17. Which of the following is the best example of "influence" as discussed in this class?

  1. A political science professor encouraging his students to work on their writing, pointing out that poor writing will adversely affect their grade.
  2. A police officer informing a group that is blocking traffic the consequences they will face if they don't move on.
  3. Your boss explaining to you why he disagrees with what you want to put into a report that top management has requested.
  4. A judge attempting to convince a group of reporters that a very unpopular decision he has just handed down is in fact the best possible decision.


18. Which of the following, if any, is not important to the preservation of democracy?

  1. Protecting the right of even unpopular groups to organize and present their views.
  2. Trying to make sure, for example, that voters in Chicago aren't pressured to vote for Democratic candidates.
  3. Protecting a reporter's right to collect information on what elected officials are doing.
  4. Protecting the right of "preacher Dan" to express his views on the "sinful nature" of ISU students.
  5. All of the above are examples of things that are important to the preservation of democracy.

19. Which of the following is essential to democracy-and isn't an exaggerated statement?

  1. More than one political party so that competitive elections are guaranteed.
  2. Formal "separation of powers," so that elected officials can't ever abuse their power.
  3. Freedom of the press so that we will always know exactly what those "political crooks" are doing.
  4. Freedom of association and assembly so that people can band together to try to bring about changes in the system.
  5. All of the above are at least exaggerations.


20. It can be reasonably argued that democracy is the best system so far devised because

  1. it is based more on persuasion than force-which in turn encourages creative contributions to society.
  2. it encourages widespread participation in decision making-which increases the odds that good, or at least reasonably decent decisions will be made most of the time.
  3. it at least attempts to protect the rights of minorities-which may in fact have positive contributions to make to society.
  4. through competitive elections it provides the opportunity to "throw the bums out" when current officials aren't providing effective leadership.
  5. All of the above can reasonably be considered "strengths" of democracy.

exam 1 answers | Back to the top


POS 101                                                                                                                        
R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance                                                                                                

2nd EXAM-Fall 2000

 

1.  According to the lectures (and the readings), which of the following, if any, is not  a reasonable (or not an accurate) statement about fascism?

a.   Nazi Germany, Italy, and Russia all claimed that they were "fascist" prior to WWII.

b.   Fascist regimes tend to be racist.

c.   Fascist governments insist that the interests of "the state" take precedence over individual interests.

d.   Fascist governments allow private property.

e.   All of the above are reasonable/accurate.

 

2.  Which of the following, if any, is not  common to both "feudalism" and "fascism"?

a.   Leaders who are not accountable to the democratic process.

b.   Difficulty in persuading the leaders that they have made a mistake.

c.   Difficulty in removing leaders who make significant mistakes.

d.   An assumption that the "leader knows best."

e.   All of the above are common to both feudalism and fascism.

 

3.  Among the main elements of "capitalism" is/are:

a.   an emphasis on allowing individuals and private companies to get as much profit as the can legitimately earn.

b.   the assumption that "greed" generally benefits society as a whole.

c.   the assumption that the protection of "private property" is essential to the welfare of the society as a whole.

d.   All of the above are "key elements" of the "capitalist philosophy."

 

4.  Which of the following, if any, is not  compatible with the concept of "West European-style socialism"?

a.   The assumption that the government needs to play a major role in society in order to promote the general welfare of all citizens.

b.   The belief that the "profit motive" is pretty much always going to be in conflict with the best interests of the public as a whole.

c.   The belief that the government needs to provide a substantial "safety net" for everyone in the form of, for example, "free" medical care and generous unemployment and retirement benefits.

d.   All of the above are compatible with "socialism."

 

5.  In theory, "communism" includes which of the following?

a.   The greatest possible emphasis on the general welfare.

b.   Maximum possible economic efficiency.

c.   Maximum possible protection of "genuine civil rights."

d.   Maximum possible "fairness."

e.   All of the above.

 

6.  Which of the following areas where the Communists could legitimately claim significant success were those achievements made at considerable personal cost to many of the people directly involved?

a.   Science

b.   Arts

c.   Athletics

d.   Healthcare

e.   Education

 

7.  Which of the following, if any, is not  among the reasons the Soviet system failed?

a.   Changes in communications technology which made it easier for Soviet citizens to learn the truth about how their system in fact "stacked up against" Western countries.

b.   The ultimate failure of the Soviet educational system to turn out any truly decent scientists and engineers.

c.   The Soviet government"s serious exaggeration of its claims about its alleged superiority over Western capitalism.

d.   With its lack of competition, the Soviet economy was not able to either keep up with technological innovation or adequately meet consumer demands.

e.   All of the above are significant reasons the system failed.

 

8.  A political/economic system that places an emphasis, at least in theory, on the "general welfare" is called

a.   feudal

b.   fascist

c.   socialist

d.   communist

e.   In fact, fascist, socialist, and communist systems all have claimed that they are doing what is best for the "general welfare."

 

9.  Which of the following, if any, is it reasonable to say about "capitalism" vs. "socialism"?

a.   A capitalist system is invariably more democratic than a socialist system.

b.   Even strong supporters of "capitalism" are forced to acknowledge that socialism is fairer to more people than capitalism; however, they counter with the claim that "capitalism" is more "efficient" than socialism.

c.   Capitalists are more inclined than socialists to assume that society can in fact be improved.

d.   None of the above is an accurate comment.

 

10. The article, "Socialism: More than Ever"A compelling Need," states, or at least clearly implies, which of the following?

a.   Capitalism is making life increasingly harder for the working majority.

b.   Democracy is badly distorted by the domination of politics by "big money."

c.   Capitalism has produced unprecedented advances in knowledge, technology, and wealth, but the lion"s share of the benefits from these advances are being enjoyed by fewer and fewer people.

d.   All of the above are stated or implied in this article.

 

11. According to the article, "Is "human nature" up to it?"

a.   The promotion of "capitalist greed" is not in fact the best way to run a society"the majority of ordinary working people are perfectly capable of working together for their mutual benefit.

b.   "Human nature" in fact limits the extent to which true socialism is possible.

c.   Unfortunately, socialist principals have been thoroughly discredited by recent events.

d.   None of the above.

 

12. According to Kristof, "China Sees "Market-Leninism" as Way to Future,"

a.   corruption has become increasingly important in China, threatening to ruin the Communist Party itself

b.   the current situation in China resembles fascism under Mussolini in Italy and Franco in Spain.

c.   the communist leaders want to have a "market economy" while avoiding anything like real democracy.

d.   All of the above.

 

13. According to the article, "Capitalism: Frequently Asked Questions,"

a.   capitalism is the only political-economic system based on the primacy of individual rights.

b.   a "free market" encourages individuals to do things that in fact benefit everyone else.

c.   under capitalism, as the rich become richer the poor also benefit.

d.   All of the above.

 

14. Which of the following, if any, is not  argued in the article "Socialism vs. Capitalism: Which is the Moral System?"

a.   Under socialism the state takes from those who work the hardest and produce the most and gives to those who do the least.

b.   Capitalism rewards hard work and achievement.

c.   The free market does a much better job of meeting the needs of society than government regulations.

d.   All of the above are argued in this article.

 

15.  According to Albert Einstein,

a.   socialism is a better system than capitalism, but science cannot in fact prove this.

b.   socialism is the best available system, as demonstrated by scientific research.

c.   science can in fact provide us with answers to political/ethical questions

d.   None of the above.

 

16. Which of the following, if any, was not  stated (or at least implied) in the Washington Post article on North Korea?

a.   A few years ago North Korea was at "the crossroads of life and death" but it has managed to avoid the worst"thanks first and foremost to food aid from the West, particularly the United States.

b.   Despite recent diplomatic openings, North Korea remains among the world"s most isolated and opaque countries.

c.   Recent improvements notwithstanding, North Korea will remain dependent on outside food aid for the foreseeable future.

d.   According to a U.S. congressional study, "The United States has replaced the Soviet Union as a primary benefactor of North Korea."

e.   All of the above are either directly stated in this article or clearly implied.

 

17. Which of the following, if any, is not  an argument presented in the "Greed" video?

a.   While the "profit motive" is a great motivator, and therefore, people have a "right" to get rich, those who are successful should give something back to society.

b.   The best thing the most successful people can do with their money is to reinvest it and thereby create more jobs"they are good at doing this, and new jobs will benefit society more than giving to charity.

c.   The profit motive encourages efficiency and innovation, that is, a for profit company is more likely than a not-for-profit organization to find "a better way"....

d.   Competition does the best job of ensuring society"s needs are met.

e.   All of the above are argued in the video.

 

18.  The main difference between a "political" and a "dictionary" conservative is

a.   a political conservative is more interested in limiting the role of government than in avoiding major change in the status quo.

b.   a dictionary conservative is more inclined to try to lower taxes.

c.   a political conservative is more inclined to challenge liberal policy proposals.

d.   a dictionary conservative is probably going to be more willing to support a plan to eliminate the inheritance tax.

 

 

19. A "political liberal" tends to believe

a.   that society"s problems can be solved, or at least best dealt with, through government action.

b.   the conservative emphasis on "individual initiative" and the "profit motive" is self serving.

c.   the effort to achieve fairness cannot reasonably be left to an "invisible hand."

d.   All of the above.

 

20. Which of the following, if any, is not  an example of "ideological inconsistency"?

a.   Governor Bush advocating mandatory school testing.

b.   Vice President Gore advocating voluntary school testing.

c.   Governor Bush advocating serious restrictions on legal abortions.

d.   Vice President Gore advocating the addition to Medicare of prescription drug benefits.

e.   All of the above are examples of ideological inconsistency.

 

exam 2 answers | Back to the top


POS 101 R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance Summer 2000

2nd EXAM

1. A political system that claims "superiority" over other nations and which requires that citizens support the state.

  1. Feudalism
  2. Socialism
  3. Democracy
  4. Fascism


2. The major characteristic of a feudal political system is its emphasis on

  1. protecting the welfare of all of the population.
  2. "loyalty" in return for "security."
  3. individual rights.
  4. technological change.
  5. political and economic efficiency.


3. The appropriate label for a political system that in fact makes it a priority to try to provide equally good quality medical care to pretty much everyone in the society is

  1. Totalitarian
  2. Democratic
  3. Fascist
  4. Communist
  5. None of the above.


4. A significant difference between "capitalism" and West European-style socialism is

  1. the level of taxes-which are generally significantly higher in a "capitalist" system.
  2. the emphasis on individual rights-which is greater under socialism.
  3. the official encouragement of "greed" by the government-which turns out to be higher under socialism than under capitalism.
  4. the assumption under capitalism that an "invisible hand" can guide the economy vs. the assumption under socialism that the government needs to play a major role in "guiding" business activity.
  5. None of the above-all of the above state the opposite of what in fact is the case.


5. Which of the following is argued or at least implied by the article, "Capitalism: Frequently Asked Questions"?

  1. The essential nature of capitalism is social harmony through the pursuit of self-interest.
  2. The only purpose of government in a capitalist society is to protect citizens from force or fraud.
  3. Capitalism is in fact a more truly "just" social system than socialism.
  4. An absolute democracy, which means unlimited majority rule, is incompatible with capitalism and freedom.
  5. All of the above are argued or implied by this article.

6. In his essay, "Why Socialism?" Albert Einstein does not argue which, if any, of the following?

  1. The "scientific method" cannot be depended on to provide us with a definitive answer to the question of which type of social system is best for society.
  2. Private ownership-and the competition it encourages-creates "economic anarchy" which is harmful to society.
  3. Only a socialist economy can eliminate the "grave evils" of capitalism.
  4. Einstein argues all of the above.


7. In the article "Socialism vs. Capitalism: Which is the Moral System?" the author does not in effect argue which, if any, of the following?

  1. Socialism is a form of "legalized theft."
  2. Under socialism the state takes from those who do the work and gives to those who don't work.
  3. Because the consumer is free to judge what has "value" and what does not, capitalism guarantees the greatest degree of "true justice" that is realistically possible.
  4. The one exception to "justice under capitalism" is the role played by genuine bad luck such as having your business destroyed by a hurricane.
  5. The author argues all of the above.


8. Which of the following, if any, is/are not included or at least implied as a reason for the failure of the Soviet system in the article "Why the Soviet Economy Failed"?

  1. The inability of the system to incorporate new technology.
  2. A highly ineffective planning system.
  3. Reliance on overlarge enterprises that were inflexible and inefficient.
  4. Failure to meet consumer demand.
  5. All of the above are either stated or implied reasons for the failure of the system.

9. Out of the following, in which area is there the greatest difference between Western-style socialism and communism

  1. The degree to which the government attempts to control the system.
  2. The emphasis, at least in theory, on equality.
  3. The effort, at least in theory, to maximize the public's economic welfare.
  4. There are no significant differences between socialism and communism in any of these areas.


10. According to the "Greed" video, which of the following, if any, is not supported by our experience with private enterprise?

  1. The profit motive encourages businessmen to try to find ways to "do a better job" of meeting consumer demand.
  2. Meeting consumer demand more often than not results in genuine benefit to society.
  3. More often than not private enterprise does a better job than government.
  4. Investing to make a profit may very well benefit society more than giving to charity.
  5. All of the above are argued, or at least suggested by the "Greed" video.


11. Which of the following, if any, would someone who strongly supports the argument presented in the "Greed" video probably not agree with?

  1. There are some significant things which could in principal be "privatized," but which government nonetheless should take care of such as postal service and medical care for the elderly.
  2. Encouraging economic competition benefits society.
  3. Encouraging experiments in education such as the private for-profit Edison project is a good idea.
  4. A strong supporter of the "greed" argument would probably agree with all of the above.

12. Based on the lectures, which of the following, if any, can reasonably be considered a shortcoming of capitalism?

  1. The "profit motive" encourages the production of at least some goods and services which do not really benefit society.
  2. Competition can result in superficial efforts to make one product appear to be at least different if not better from similar products.
  3. Economic competition doesn't always result in the best idea or product "winning."
  4. All of the above can reasonably be considered shortcomings of a capitalist system.


13. Based on the lectures, which of the following, if any, can reasonably be considered a shortcoming of socialism?

  1. It is much more difficult for a socialist system to be democratic than a capitalist system.
  2. All socialist systems severely restrict all private initiative.
  3. Socialism attempts to undermine "family values."
  4. Socialism tends to encourage at least some people to try to "get by" without making their fair contribution to the economy.
  5. All of the above can reasonably be considered shortcomings of a socialist system.

14. According to the lectures, which, if any, of the following did not make a significant contribution to the failure of the Soviet system?

  1. Claims that the Soviet system was superior to other systems that increasingly could not be backed up by what the Soviet public was learning as a result of, for example, increased tourism.
  2. The inability of the Soviet system to keep up with the rapid technological change that was occurring in the West.
  3. A growing gap between what the Soviet leaders promised and what the system in fact delivered.
  4. Frequent shortages of basic consumer goods, including even matches and toilet paper.
  5. All of the above made a contribution to the failure of the Soviet system.


15. It can reasonably be argued that the major shortcoming of all non-democratic systems is which, if any, of the following?

  1. An inability to achieve any major accomplishments.
  2. An inability to select capable leaders.
  3. The absence of consistently strong and effective restrictions on the exercise of power by the people running the country.
  4. The absence of talented people in pretty much all the top decision making positions.
  5. None of the above is in fact a significant shortcoming of non-democratic systems.

16. According to Shively,

  1. in the nineteenth century "socialists" believed that government should play a significant role in people's lives.
  2. nineteenth century "liberals" believed that government should interfere as little as possible in people's lives.
  3. nineteenth century "liberals" were very suspicious of the concentration of government power.
  4. Shively stated or implied all of the above.


17. Which of the following, if any, distinguishes a "dictionary conservative" from a "political conservative"?

  1. A "dictionary conservative" opposes a strong central government and a "political conservative" opposes significant political change, regardless of the nature of that change.
  2. A "political conservative" wants government functions to be performed at the lowest possible level of government, even if this means making significant changes in the current system while a "dictionary conservative" tends to oppose change of any kind.
  3. A "political conservative" wants a strong military while a "dictionary conservative" does not.
  4. None of the above distinguishes a "political" from a "dictionary" conservative.

18. Which of the following, if any, is a major reason not all Republicans are "conservative" and not all Democrats are "liberal"?

  1. What the majority of the voters in the state or district want has a major bearing on how "conservative" or "liberal" a candidate can afford to be-and still have a chance of winning the election.
  2. Some Republicans and some Democrats want to demonstrate their independence from the leaders of their respective parties.
  3. In the southern states a lot of people who were really Republicans at heart had to go with the Democratic party because Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
  4. All of the above are major factors explaining the lack of complete ideological consistency in both the Republican and Democratic parties.


19. Which of the following, if any, might reasonably be considered to be a legitimate reason for considering capitalism to be a better system than socialism? (An exaggeration should not be considered a "legitimate reason"....)

  1. The profit motive appears to be the most effective way to encourage innovation and efficiency.
  2. When you get right down to it, capitalism is clearly "more moral" than socialism in every significant situation.
  3. Capitalism guarantees the solutions to all significant problems-the "profit motive" gives people the incentive to do what needs to be done. (As the "Greed" video noted, "Where people are complaining the most is where the money is to be made.")
  4. All of the above are good reasons for considering capitalism to be superior to socialism-and are not exaggerations.

20. Which of the following, if any, might reasonably be considered to be a legitimate reason for considering democracy to be the best available political system? (Once again, watch out for exaggerations....)

  1. Thanks particularly to freedom of speech and press, especially over the long run, democracy generally does a better job than non-democratic systems of identifying and dealing with problems.
  2. By protecting the rights of minorities, democracy makes it possible for good ideas that are initially unpopular to ultimately win majority support.
  3. By protecting the rights of individuals, democracy promotes a sense of fairness that makes a positive contribution to the legitimacy of the system.
  4. All of the above can reasonably be considered to be strengths of democracy.

Exam 2 Answers | Back to the top


POS 101                                                                                                                                    
R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance                                                                                                       

3nd EXAM-     Fall 2000

 

1.  Which of the following, if any, most clearly qualifies as "bureaucratic"?

a)   A "public service club" such as Rotary or Kiwanis.

b)  A youth organization such as the Boy or Girl Scouts.

c)   A large retail enterprise such as Wal-Mart.

d)  A special interest organization such as a garden or photography club.

e)   None of the above is "bureaucratic" to any significant extent.

 

2.   Which of the following, if any, is not  an explanation for the existence of bureaucracy?  (Keep in mind that an answer can be "correct" even if we didn"t discuss it in class.  You need to apply "logic.")

a)   The complexity of modern society requires large scale organization, and this, in turn, inevitably leads to "bureaucratic organization."

b)  We can"t survive outside of an organized society.

c)   When large numbers of people try to work together to perform reasonably complex tasks, organization is necessary.

d)  All of the above help to explain the existence of bureaucracy.

 

3.  Which of the following, if any, does not  help to explain "bureaucratic inefficiency"?

a)   The tendency bureaucrats have to go with the first minimally acceptable solution they find to a problem.

b)  The tendency bureaucratic organizations have to try to keep doing what they always have been doing.

c)   The fact that it is generally very difficult to demote or fire poor workers in large organizations.

d)  The need for "rules and regulations" on the one hand, coupled with the fact that they don"t always effectively "fit" the problem at hand.

e)   All of the above help to explain "bureaucratic inefficiency."

 

4.  Your supervisor seems to be out of his or her depth, that is, they clearly have problems dealing with their responsibilities.  This is most directly an example of:

a)   the Peter Principal.

b)  Parkinson"s Law.

c)   the Pope Problem.

d)  the Civil Service system.

e)   None of the above.

 

5.   Which of the following, if any, is not  compatible with the Pope Proposal?

a)   Encourage Congress to change the Civil Service law, so that it will be easier to demote or fire bureaucrats who are clearly doing a poor job.

b)  Help a group of newly hired government workers to learn how to present their ideas effectively to their superiors.

c)   Encourage a new bureaucrat to take a special course on "effective writing."

d)  Organize a course on "how bureaucracy functions" at ISU.

e)   All of the above are compatible with the Pope Proposal.

 

6.   In his chapter on bureaucracy, in what way does Shively apparently significantly disagree  with the instructor in this course?

a)   Shively believes that, all in all, government bureaucracy is about as efficient as private sector bureaucracy, whereas the instructor argued that government bureaucracy tends to be less efficient, in part because of a lack of "competitive pressure."

b)  The instructor believes that bureaucracy tends to be "inherently inefficient," whereas Shively believes that bureaucracy is almost always highly efficient.

c)   Shively believes that government bureaucrats exercise significant influence over how laws are implemented, whereas the instructor has argued that it is elected officials, and they alone, who make all the important decisions.

d)  Shilvely and the instructor disagree on all of the above issues.

 

7.  According to Fred Riggs in his article, "Bureaucracy and Constitutional Democracy,"

a)   there is a clear conflict between "democracy" and "bureaucracy," they are simply not compatible.

b)  bureaucracy is essential to democracy; without an efficient governmental apparatus, policies cannot be effectively implemented and democracy, in any form, can"t function.

c)   it is essential that elected officials exercise effective control over the bureaucracy, otherwise bureaucrats will tend to abuse power, and/or become lazy and inefficient.

d)  Riggs argues all of the above in his article.

 

8.  The article, "Big Government"Lack of Checks & Balances," claims which of the following?  The Post office

a)   is a government-mandated monopoly.

b)  provides a series of government-subsidized products.

c)   has a freewheeling bureaucracy with special legal powers.

d)  is the most dangerous type of monopoly because it is backed and favored by government sanction.

e)   All of the above.

 

9.  Parkinson"s Law includes which of the following assumptions?

a)   Bureaucrats tend to rise to the level of their incompetence.

b)  Bureaucrats tend to "satisfyce."

c)   Bureaucrats tend to generate a lot of internal paperwork.

d)  Bureaucrats prefer to keep doing what they always have been doing"even when that no longer makes any sense.

e)   Bureaucrats have to "follow the rules."

 

10. Which of the following, if any, cannot  reasonably be said about interest groups?

a)   They play a useful role in a democratic system in that they facilitate effective public input into the political process.

b)  While interest groups, in general, play a legitimate role in society, some groups can manage to exercise undue influence on decision making.

c)   The right to form an interest group is protected by the U.S. Constitution, even when what that group wants is contrary to the best interests of the society as a whole.

d)  All of the above can reasonably be said about interest groups.

 

11. Which of the following can a very wealthy individual probably manage to do about as effectively as a well funded large interest group?

a)   Get the attention of an elected or appointed official--and "get results""through a letter or an e-mail.

b)  Pursue an issue through the legal system.

c)   Stage a demonstration.

d)  Lobby.

 

12. Which of the following, if any, is not  a legitimate method (under U.S. law) an interest group can use to try to exert influence on the political process?

a)   Publish a full page statement in major newspapers.

b)  Organize and pay for a golf outing for government officials in Hawaii as a thank you for past support.

c)   Organize a "seminar" on the issue they are interested in and invite public officials to make presentations"and cover their travel expenses.

d)  Organize a very large demonstration in front of the U.S. Capitol"which makes security personnel very nervous.

e)   All of the above are legitimate means of exerting influence under U.S. law.

 

13. Which of the following, if any, is not  a legitimate method that can be used to keep interest group activity "under control"?

a)   Encourage "countervailing" interest groups.

b)  Encourage media scrutiny of interest group activity"on the assumption that exposure of "unfair" efforts to exert influence will undermine the effectiveness of those efforts.

c)   Pass laws that restrict the otherwise legitimate activities of specific unpopular interest groups that are clearly doing harm to the public interest.

d)  All of the above are legitimate.

 

14. According to Shively,

a)   the role of interest groups in a society can vary based on the degree to which the population is organized into groups.

b)  within the industrialized nations the public in some countries is much more organized into groups than in other countries.

c)   government officials often have to depend on interest groups for information and expertise.

d)  in some countries, interest group representatives are members of government committees.

e)   All of the above.

 

15.  Which of the following can we least  expect democratic elections to accomplish?

a)   Make it possible for the general public to have a significant say in who the political leaders will be.

b)  Provide a reasonable guarantee that those leaders will always do the best possible job for the country.

c)   Help to "legitimize" the political system and, therefore, help make it easier to enforce the laws.

d)  Help make it possible to change government policies by changing the political leadership.

     

16. Based on the lectures, which of the following, if any, cannot  reasonably be said about elections?

a)   It is possible for someone who knows very little about the candidates or the specific issues to still vote "responsibly."

b)  Low voter turnout can result in an unrepresentative minority winning an election, especially at the local level, and then imposing policies that do not have the support of the majority.

c)   Those in power when election districts need to be redrawn can be expected to try to draw the new district boundaries in a way that will unfairly benefit them.

d)  All of the above are reasonable statements"based on what was said in the lectures.

 

17. Gerrymandering refers to:

a)   the drawing of election district boundaries in a effort to be fair to all the groups in the community.

b)  an effort to find a way to avoid losing Congressional seats after the 2000 census.

c)   an aspect of the struggle for political power that we can all be proud of.

d)  None of the above.

 

18. In his article, "Freedom and Responsibility of the Media," Michael Emery argues all but  which of the following?

a)   Freedom of the press ultimately rests on public support.

b)  The press frequently deserves to be criticized.

c)   There are situations, even in peacetime, when it is appropriate for the government to substantially curtail press freedom"for the sake of national security.

d)  Public figures can try to "blame the press" when their actions or policies are criticized.

 

19. Based on what was said in the lecture, which of the following, if any, is it not  reasonable to say about the media?

a)   They play a very important role in providing the public with information and in fostering informed debate on the important issues.

b)  In the pursuit of profits, they can be guilty of emphasizing "soundbites" and the sensational"vs. the important issues, which can be relatively complicated and boring.

c)   Even if most people aren"t well informed on the important political issues, the media still provides a source of information and a forum for debate for "opinion leaders."

d)  All of the above are reasonable comments.

                                                           

20. The two articles under the general title of "Drugstore Across the Border" in the October 16 issue of the Washington Post illustrate which of the following?

a)   The role that interest groups can play in bringing an issue such as cheaper drug prices in Canada and Mexico to the attention of political leaders and the general public.

b)  The value of "media attention" when it comes to encouraging people to focus on an important issue.

c)   With reference to the previous section in this course, the difference a "socialist approach" to healthcare can make.

d)  The fact that the "bad guys," in this case American drug companies, can in fact have a decent argument on their side.  (The drug companies" "interest group" pointed out in one of the articles that Canadian drug manufacturers are developing fewer new drugs than American companies because the Canadian government"s price controls make the sale of drugs significantly less profitable than in the U.S.)

e)   All of the above




Exam 3 Answers | Back to the top


POS 101 R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance Summer 2000

3rd EXAM

1. Which of the following, if any, definitely qualifies as a bureaucratic organization?

  1. A large group of students that meets regularly to study for their political science class.
  2. An auto repair shop with two partners and three employees.
  3. A chess club.
  4. The staff in a relatively large library.
  5. None of the above qualifies as a bureaucratic organization.

2. Which of the following, if any, is not a reasonable statement to make with reference to bureaucracy?

  1. A significant degree of "inefficiency" is for all practical purposes built into the system.
  2. Modern society cannot function without bureaucratic organizations.
  3. Bureaucracy and "anarchy," as discussed in this class, are not compatible.
  4. Bureaucrats tend to make work for each other.
  5. All of the above are reasonable statements.


3. In general, administrators in bureaucratic organizations are probably not going to be significantly concerned with which, if any, of the following?

  1. The efficiency of their organization-to the extent that they will decline to add additional staff if this will undermine the ability of the organization to do the most cost effective possible job.
  2. Finding the best possible solution to each problem that arises-vs. going with the first minimally acceptable solution that turns up, so that they can "get on with the job."
  3. Demoting someone as quickly as possible who can't effectively perform the tasks required by a position to which they have recently been promoted-before they undermine the organization's reputation for efficiency.
  4. Actively exploring innovative ways to increase the effectiveness of their organization-vs. sticking with the "tried and true."
  5. An administrator in a bureaucratic organization is probably not generally going to be significantly concerned with any of the above.


4. According to Shively, which of the following, if any, is not true of American bureaucracy?

  1. The fact that there are so many bureaucrats, and because the responsibilities of each individual bureaucrat are generally relatively unimportant, it is not possible to keep them completely under control.
  2. Bureaucrats generally do a good job of making the behavior of government predictable.
  3. Despite the general absence of competition, overall, government manages to be roughly as efficient as private enterprise.
  4. When all is said and done, American bureaucracy has managed to avoid major shortcomings more often than bureaucracy in other democratic countries.
  5. According to Shively, all of the above are true.


5. Parkinson's law states, at least in part, that

  1. in a bureaucratic organization people will be promoted until they reach a position where they cannot handle their responsibilities adequately-and they will then stay in that position.
  2. a bureaucrat who needs some assistance can easily be persuaded to accept a single subordinate after he or she understands that the department's budget can't cover the cost of hiring two assistants-something is better than nothing.
  3. government bureaucrats can readily be persuaded to cut back on unnecessary paperwork, especially in an election year.
  4. None of the above is a part of Parkinson's Law.


6. According to the Peter Principle,

  1. bureaucrats make work for each other.
  2. a bureaucrat who needs assistance will want to hire at least two people.
  3. bureaucrats are inclined to implement the first minimally acceptable solution to a problem that they can come up with, rather than continuing the search for the best possible solution.
  4. bureaucrats want to keep doing what they have always been doing, rather than change with the times.
  5. None of the above.


7. According to the Pope Proposal, one way to improve the efficiency of bureaucratic organizations would be to

  1. encourage the media, for example 60 Minutes, to expose unnecessary inefficiency.
  2. amend the Civil Service laws, so that it is easier to demote or fire bureaucrats who aren't doing their jobs properly.
  3. teach top administrators to write clearer, more effective memos.
  4. None of the above.


8. According to the article, "Bureaucracy and Constitutional Democracy" by Fred W. Riggs,

  1. bureaucracy cannot be internally democratic-effective officials cannot decide what to do based on a majority vote.
  2. the more powerful officials are, the more important it is that they are checked by effective institutions of representative government.
  3. a political system that is not effectively administered runs the serious risk of losing its legitimacy with the general public-and collapsing.
  4. All of the above.


9. According to the article, "Big Government-Lack of Checks and Balances," the US Postal Service has an unfair monopoly because it doesn't have to do which, if any of the following?

  1. Comply with state and federal antitrust and fair trade laws.
  2. Pay local, state, or federal taxes.
  3. Adhere to the licensing and regulatory requirements that govern private industry.
  4. All of the above.


10. Which of the following, if any, doesn't qualify as an "interest group"?

  1. The "Greek system" at ISU (i.e., the organization representing fraternities and sororities).
  2. The student government at ISU.
  3. The group of faculty at ISU that before the recent vote on unionization organized meetings, sent out information, etc.
  4. Supporting staff at ISU-which has formed a union.
  5. All of the above qualify as "interest groups."


11. Which of the following, if any, is it in general not accurate to say about interest groups? (In other words, of the following statements, which one, if any, is at least a serious exaggeration?)

  1. Interest groups play a key role in the "real world" of democracy.
  2. Interest groups are inevitably going to be in a position to facilitate the influence of small groups that in fact do not represent the "best interests" of society as a whole.
  3. A group with a combination of money, size, and prestige will generally be in a better position to get what it wants in opposition to a group that has only one of these three factors on its side.
  4. The AARP (American Association of Retired People) has considerable "political clout."
  5. None of the above is a significant exaggeration.


12. Which of the following, if any, is not a positive contribution that can be made to society by interest groups.

  1. Provide valuable information to both the general public and government officials.
  2. Act as a check on the behavior of other interest groups-and the government.
  3. Provide an effective means for minorities to present their views to the public and officials.
  4. All of the above qualify as positive contributions.
  5. None of the above is a positive contribution.


13. Which of the following, if any, is something that interest groups do not do?

  1. Attempt to get their own members elected to public office.
  2. Attempt to persuade both elected and appointed government officials to do what is good for them, even when what they want isn't good for the general public.
  3. Attempt to convince the general public at they are right and their critics are wrong-even when the opposite is true.
  4. Attempt to influence the outcome of elections in their favor-sometimes by unfair and even illegal means.
  5. Interest groups attempt to do all of the above.


14. Which of the following, if any, does Shively not say about interest groups?

  1. They generally do a better job of clearly presenting specific interests to government officials and the public than do political parties.
  2. They tend to not be terribly democratic in their internal organization.
  3. Some interest groups have special advantages over others and, as a result, all interests do not receive "equal representation."
  4. They tend to "get their way" to a degree that puts democracy at serious risk.
  5. According to Shively, all of the above are true of interest groups.

15. Which of the following, if any, can reasonably be said about elections?

  1. If a system holds regular elections it can be assumed to be democratic.
  2. Competitive elections can be depended on to consistently provide the best realistically possible leaders.
  3. Provided there is effective media oversight, misleading election campaigns can be avoided.
  4. Referendums are the best possible way to make complex decisions-because the public has had a direct say in the decision, the results will be accepted and therefore the policy will be workable.
  5. None of the above is a reasonable statement about elections.

16. The concept of "responsible electorate" suggests which, if any, of the following?

  1. It isn't necessary for all voters to be equally well informed for democracy to be workable.
  2. Thanks to the existence of "opinion leaders," we can be sure that the majority of the public will vote responsibly in essentially all elections.
  3. Because relatively few people vote in most elections, it is reasonable to assume that those who do vote will be well informed-and therefore will vote responsibly.
  4. None of the above is suggested by the concept of "responsible electorate."


17. Among the problems that are associated with even truly democratic elections is/are which, if any, of the following?

  1. It is possible for election campaigns to distract voters from the central issues facing the society.
  2. The side that wins an election cannot always be trusted to "do the right thing."
  3. Especially in local elections, so few people can end up voting that the result doesn't truly reflect the desires of the community. This can then undermine the legitimacy of the system.
  4. It can be so costly to run an effective campaign that potentially good candidates can decide that they can't afford to go into politics.
  5. All of the above can reasonably be considered problems with elections.

18. The existence of "gerrymandering" illustrates or suggests

  1. the difficulty we can expect to have when we try to make any aspect of our political system "completely fair."
  2. the fact that despite the Supreme Court's best efforts to make sure elections in the U.S. are fair, politicians can find ways to gain unfair advantages over their opponents.
  3. that there will be substantial political controversy when election district boundaries are being redrawn over the next couple of years in response to the latest census results.
  4. All of the above are illustrated or suggested by the existence of "gerrymandering."


19. According to the article, "Freedom and Responsibility of Media," among the important considerations connected with the media in a democracy is/are

  1. the need for the media to retain its credibility with the public-otherwise it risks having its freedom curtailed.
  2. the desirability of calling a Constitutional Convention to reexamine, among other things, the role of the media in modern society.
  3. the fact that, despite all the efforts that have been made over the years to curtail the media, the concept of "freedom of the press" has proven to be so well entrenched in American society that we don't have to overly concern ourselves about trying to maintain this essential element of democracy.
  4. All of the above.

20. Which of the following, if any, is a theme expressed in all three of the articles on the media in the Pope reader?

  1. As important as maintaining a free flow of information is in making democracy possible, we can expect significant problems ranging from self censorship, to the abuse of the tremendous communications potential of the Internet, to the influence of "outside forces" that can bias coverage.
  2. There are so many problems with the media's coverage of important issues today that it is reasonable for the public to demand that the government step and do something to improve the situation.
  3. The bias inherent in the need for the commercial media to make a profit makes it unreasonable for us to expect to press to report completely accurately and fairly on political issues.
  4. All of the above are a part of a theme that is expressed in the three articles.

 

Exam 3 Answers | Back to the top


POS 101                                                                                                                                       
R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance                                                                                                              

4th EXAM- Fall 2000

 

1.  In the current conflict over the presidential election results, the Democrats have in effect argued that "fairness" requires determining the "real winner" of the election in Florida by a hand count of the votes.  The Republicans have responded that hand counting the ballots cannot be "fair" because

a)     it is against the law to hand count ballots in Texas so this shouldn"t be done in Florida.

b)    all ballots were machine counted elsewhere in the country, so they should also be only machine counted in Florida.

c)     the way the ballots are being hand counted in Florida guarantees that serious mistakes will be made.

d)    it is not fair that the hand counting is going on only in heavily Democratic counties.

 

2.  It can be argued that the fairer a political system is seen to be, the more legitimacy that system will have with the general public"which is clearly desirable.  However, according to Shively,

a)  what seems to be fair is not always efficient and what is efficient is not always fair, that is, "efficiency" (for example, the pursuit of the legitimate needs of the community as a whole) can result in some people being treated unfairly.

b)  treating everyone equally is not always "fair;" for example, this can result in some people working hard for what they get while others get the same without having to work nearly as hard.

c)  while the "market" generally results in people having to "earn" what they get, this approach still does not guarantee consistent fairness.

d)  Shively argues all of the above.

 

3.  If there is in fact a "power elite" in a country, then there should be which of the following?

a)  A relatively small group of influential people who know each other and who work together to promote their shared interests.

b)  A relatively small group of people who are able to influence government policy to their benefit"even when what they want does not benefit the rest of the society.

c)  A relatively small group of people who, for example, can manipulate the media into publishing what they want the public to know"even when this isn"t the truth.

d)  All of the above.

 

4.  One can argue that there is not in fact a true power elite in the U.S. because

a)  There are frequently competing elites which tend to counterbalance one another.

b)  The media actually has an incentive to publicize any "abuse of power" by those who are most influential in our society.

c)  There are interest groups that make a point of criticizing the policies of the "rich and famous."

d)  Regular democratic elections give the public the opportunity to get rid of political leaders who are found to be "giving in" to the demands of influential people to the detriment of the general public.

e)  One can argue that all of the above serve to limit the influence of any "elite."

 

5.  Which of the following would Machiavelli be least  likely to agree with?

a)  An effective ruler has to be concerned first and foremost with what people think of the way he goes about protecting the interests of the state.  If he uses "extreme means" he will loose legitimacy.

b)  Acting with moderation is generally not the best way to get the job done in politics.

c)  The ends justify the means.

d)  Cunning and deceit can be very effective political tools.

 

6.  Based on his article, "Who Rules America Today?" which of the following, if any, would William Domhoff not  agree with?

a)  The "power elite" has great influence over the federal government.

b)  Business leaders complain that they have little influence over what the government does that effects them.

c)  At the local level the "power elite" are those who own land and buildings and who, therefore, are generally in favor of economic growth"whether or not that benefits the community as a whole.

d)  In many countries the "working class" has more power than it does in the U.S."thanks especially to the effectiveness of labor unions.

e)  Domhoff would agree with all of the above.

 

7.  According to Alan Neustadtl, the best way to limit the influence of the "power elite" would be to

a)  require all members of the elite to report regularly on their political activities, so that the public will have a better idea of what they are up to.

b)  further restrict the amount of money that wealthy people can donate directly to political campaigns.

c)  provide public financing for political campaigns in order to put challengers on an equal footing with incumbents..

d)  ban political activity by the power elite.

e)  because it is controlled by the elite, restrict the use of television during political campaigns.

 

8.  The major difference between the Communist view of civil rights and the view of  Western democracies is

a)     Communists officially want to deny people all of their rights while Western democracies want to protect those rights.

b)    Communists emphasize the right to things like education and medical care while Western democracies emphasize the right to be informed and to question and criticize.

c)     Western democracies are completely above board in their defense of civil rights while the Communists have always lied about what they are doing.

d)    All of the above are major differences between the Communist vs. the Western approach to civil rights.

 

9.  Which of the following, if any, is the protection of Western style civil rights not   meant to accomplish?

a)  Make it easier to challenge those in power when they are abusing their power.

b)  Make it easier to uncover and correct mistakes.

c)  Protect the basic rights each individual should have"just because they are a human being.

d)  Increase support for the political system.

e)  The protection of civil rights can reasonably be expected to contribute to all of the above.

 

10. Which of the following alleged problems with civil rights can be best defended as a "real" problem?

a)  Individuals and groups can use those rights in ways that genuinely damage the society as a whole.

b)  People can use their freedom of speech to raise issues that will only lead to controversy.

c)  Liberal reporters can use the freedom of the press to undermine public support for conservative views.

d)  The protection of civil rights encourages anarchy.

 

11. From the information and arguments presented in the two articles about the efforts to protect minority students from verbal abuse by some white students ("Fighting Words: It Seemed Like a Noble Idea" and "Free Speech for Campus Bigots?"), it is reasonable to conclude which of the following?

a)  If properly drafted, "hate-speech codes" can have a major impact on eliminating racist slurs.

b)  It is necessary to carefully draft prohibitions against hate speech because, otherwise, the courts will declare them unconstitutional.

c)  The courts (and the ACLU) can go too far in protecting "freedom of speech."

d)  Probably the best way to minimize "hate speech" is to try to educate students to the point where "words that wound" become socially unacceptable.

 

12. In the article, "Sex, Obscenity, and Censorship," the author argues all but  which of the following?

a)  Despite the difficulty of defining "obscenity," a clear legal definition is needed if society"s legitimate interests are to be protected.

b)  There is clear evidence that obscene materials in fact contribute to behavior that harms society.

c)  The Supreme Court tried to leave it up to each state to decide exactly what is and is not "obscene""based on the "community standards" of that state.

d)  Artists, writers and others have a right"and a need"to know what they can and cannot do under the law.

e)  We have to be careful that the effort to protect society from "obscenity" doesn"t become the first step toward "stamping out" other "unpopular" views.

 

13.  In his article, "The Opening of the American Mind," Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. argues which, if any, of the following?

a)  Some things, like the American flag, are so "sacred" that the government needs to be protect them from desecration.

b)  There are in fact "absolute truths" that can be identified by reasonable people.

c)  It is always possible to separate "good" from "evil" in human activities.

d)  Huck Finn did the right thing when he initially decided to turn in the runaway slave, Jim"as required by law.

e)  Schlesinger does not argue any of the above.

 

14. Which of the following, if any, is not  a reason why the rule of law is important?  Without it,

a)  it is more likely that people who have power will be able to abuse that power.

b)  it is more difficult for a system to promote fairness and equality.

c)  it is more difficult to "challenge" those in power when they make a mistake.

d)  it is more difficult to protect the rights of individuals and minorities.

e)  All of the above are reasons why the rule of law is important.

 

15. Which of the following is the least  important problem with the effort to implement the rule of law  ?

a)  As illustrated by the current conflict over the election of the next president, it can be difficult to get everyone to agree on exactly what the rule of law means in specific cases, especially when a great deal is at stake.

b)  The fact that the application of the law does not always result in decisions that are fair to everyone concerned.

c)  The difficulty of persuading elected officials that they have to obey the law along with all of the rest of us.

d)  The difficulty of helping the public always understand the importance of, for example, protecting the rights of minorities.

e)  The challenge of upholding the law in the face of strong public opposition, as, for example, in the case of the decision to send Japanese Americans to camps during World War II.

 

16. Which of the following, if any, is it not  reasonable to say about countries which have made a significant effort to implement the rule of law in comparison with countries which do not try to implement this type of system?  Rule of law countries

a)  tend to have fairer political and economic systems.

b)  tend to have a higher standard of living.

c)  are more likely to be able to transfer political power without bloodshed or other major political disturbances.

d)  tend to have more legitimacy.

e)  It is fair to say all of the above.

 

17. Which of the following, if any, is not  argued in the article, "What Does the Rule of Law Mean to a Russian?  The rule of law requires

a)  predictability.

b)  respect for the individual.

c)  respect for the law.

d)  A lack of trust between the authorities and the citizens.

e)  The article argues all of the above.

 

18. In "The Rule of Law & President Clinton," Representative Bob Barr argues all but  which of the following?

a)     The President is clearly guilty of obstruction of justice.

b)    Even the most important people cannot be allowed to stand above the law.

c)     Americans are free to disagree with the law but not to disobey it.

d)    While there is sufficient evidence to warrant the charge of obstruction of justice, the case in question is not important enough to justify the conviction of President Clinton.

 

19. In the article, "The Rule of Law and Russian Culture"Are They Compatible?" the author argues, or at least implies, all but  which of the following?

a)  Russian culture, as it currently stands, is not compatible with the rule of law.

b)  Many of the problems with current Russian culture have their roots in the past.

c)  Russians are not "culturally inferior" to Americans.

d)  Despite all the problems, there is hope that significant positive changes can be made in Russian culture over time.

e)  Since the fall of the Communist system the problem with petty theft has diminished considerably, that is, there is less of a problem with theft today than under the Communists.

 

20.  In connection with the current struggle over who won the presidential election, both sides have invoked "the rule of law."  In what way do the Democrats and the Republicans differ  over exactly what "the rule of law" requires (or involves) in this case?

a)  The Democrats are arguing that the "law requires" that all votes be counted, by hand if necessary, while the Republicans are arguing that under existing law only machine counted votes can be fully trusted.

b)  The Republicans are arguing that the Florida Supreme Court has, in effect, changed Florida election law"after the election was held"which would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.  The Democrats are arguing that the Florida Court was merely interpreting the law in view of the fact that there is a conflict between the requirement that the election results be certified 7 days after the voting has been completed and the provision for hand counting ballots in the case of an extremely close election.

c)  Some Democrats at least are implicitly arguing that the winner of the popular vote ought to be the winner of the election, while the Republicans are pointing out that, under existing election law, the winner of the Electoral College vote must be declared the winner of the election.  (And Vice President Gore agrees with the Republicans on this issue.)

d)  Republicans and at least some Democrats disagree over all of these issues.

Exam 4 Answers | Back to the top


POS 101 R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance Summer 2000

4th Exam



1. Which of the following, if any, is it not reasonable to argue with respect to the question of fairness?

  1. If the view of human nature discussed in this course is reasonably accurate, then it is not realistic to expect society to ever be completely fair to everyone.
  2. In theory at least, it is not unreasonable to assume that socialism should be a fairer system than capitalism.
  3. It should be possible to make American society at least somewhat fairer in the future than it is today.
  4. All of the above are reasonable to argue.


2. According to Shively, the competitive market does not result in "justice" because

  1. wealth and income are distributed unequally.
  2. the market is not very effective in producing "collective goods" such as highways and general education.
  3. the market is not good at taking into account social costs and benefits such as the cost to neighbors when someone uses a part of their private property as a trash dump.
  4. Shively mentions all of the above.

3. According to Machiavelli,

  1. if you want to be sure something gets done, it is best to have one person in charge.
  2. in general, people obtain high rank by applying either force or fraud.
  3. moderation is risky.
  4. Machiavelli states all of the above.


4. According to Domhoff,

  1. government in the U.S. is mostly dominated by business.
  2. the "working class" in the U.S. generally has less political influence than does the "working class" in most European countries.
  3. when the "working class" has its fair share of power, the society will provide, for example, more public services and better old age and unemployment benefits than when the "power elite" is in control.
  4. All of the above.

5. According to Neustadtl, the one thing that can be done to make our system fairer would be to

  1. substantially reform campaign finance.
  2. eliminate PAC's (Political Action Committees).
  3. better inform the general public about the threat to society posed by the "power elite."
  4. None of the above.

6. According to the lecture, the concept of the "power elite"-as presented in the readings-is at least partially undermined if

  1. there are competing elites.
  2. the media is free to criticize what the elite does.
  3. there are counterbalancing elites, such as environmental groups that at least some of the time are able to "challenge" business interests.
  4. there are competitive elections.
  5. All of the above.

7. According to the argument and evidence presented in this class, for a political system to be reasonably effective it needs

  1. a media that pays attention to what government, interest groups, and powerful individuals are doing.
  2. competition in as many areas as possible.
  3. an honest effort to apply the rule of law.
  4. in general, effective checks and balances.
  5. All of the above.

8. Which, if any, of the following was not given priority, at least in theory, under the communist view of "civil rights"?

  1. The right to shelter.
  2. The right to an education.
  3. The right to adequate food and clothing.
  4. The right to be treated fairly by the system.
  5. The communists claimed that they promoted/protected all of the above "rights."

9. According to the "definition" article on the class web site, the rule of law is supposed to prevent all but which, if any, of the following?

  1. The exercise of power without restraint.
  2. Restrictions being placed on the rights of legitimate rulers.
  3. The acquisition of wealth by force.
  4. The majority from ignoring the legitimate rights of individuals.
  5. The rule of law is in fact supposed to prevent all of the above.

10. According to the lecture and/or the readings, which of the following statements, if any, does not apply to the rule of law-or at least is an exaggeration?

  1. It is essential to the success of democracy.
  2. It does not always guarantee "justice."
  3. An honest effort needs to be made to apply the law equally to every member of society.
  4. It cannot readily be applied in every culture; some basic attitudes have to be in place or the rule of law cannot function effectively.
  5. All of the above apply to the rule of law.

11. In "The Rule of Law & President Clinton," which of the following, if any, does Rep. Bob Barr argue?

  1. No man, no matter how prominent and powerful he might be, has a right to defy a court of law.
  2. Even a relatively "low key" effort (vs. a "frontal assault") to obstruct justice is destructive of the rule of law in our country.
  3. The evidence is clear that President Clinton is guilty of obstruction of justice.
  4. Representative Barr argues all of the above.


12. According to the author of "What Does Rule of Law Mean to a Russian?" among the important factors that must be present are

  1. respect for individual rights.
  2. predictability.
  3. trust, especially between the public and the government.
  4. All of the above are mentioned in the article.


13. Which of the following, if any, is not a good reason for protecting the civil rights of "unpopular groups"

  1. a. This is generally necessary in order to preserve democracy-a group that is very unpopular today may turn out to have some good ideas.
  2. b. The power to deny the rights of "dangerous" groups will almost certainly be abused sooner or later.
  3. c. Encouraging tolerance for unpopular views is an important part of the foundation of successful democracy.
  4. d. All of the above are good reasons for protecting the rights of unpopular groups.

14. The concept of "transparency" (i.e., the ability to "see through" to what is really going on) is important because

  1. in order for democracy to work reasonably well we need to know what the government is in fact doing.
  2. without a clear understanding of what, for example, interest groups are in fact doing, we can't do much to keep them from abusing their influence.
  3. for example, in the area of political campaign financing, we have a right to know who is giving how much to whom before we decide for whom we are going to vote.
  4. All of the above are good reasons to insist on transparency.


15. Which of the following, if any, is probably a good way to deal with problems created by the free exercise of civil rights?

  1. Attempt to curtail activities that clearly infringe on the legitimate rights of others.
  2. Within the law, go after groups that repeatedly violate the rights of others.
  3. Try to make sure as many people as possible understand the "threats" to society's legitimate interests inherent in the ideas and activities of some groups.
  4. Encourage the media to publicize the illegal and harmful activities of "extremist" groups.
  5. All of the above should help.

16. Even though at least some of these groups would take away the freedom of everyone who disagrees with them if they had the opportunity, under U.S. law right wing militia organizations

  1. have a right to exist.
  2. in general, have the right to express their views freely.
  3. can be restricted when they are attempting to infringe on the legitimate rights of others.
  4. legitimately can be denied the right, for example, to purchase bomb making materials and military type "heavy weapons."
  5. All of the above.


17. If the argument presented in the "Greed" and "Is American #1" videos is accurate, then which of the following, if any, does not logically follow?

  1. Efforts to "privatize" the public schools, like the Edison Project, are, at least in principal, a good idea.
  2. A "partnership" between private enterprise and government, with the government taking the primary initiative, will probably do the best job of dealing effectively with society's problems.
  3. Lowering the tax rate on the wealthiest people in the country should lead to improvements in the standard of living for everyone-because the wealthy will have more money to invest.
  4. The fact that the wealthy are able to flaunt their riches through "conspicuous consumption" is not all bad.
  5. All of the above follow from the perspective presented in the two videos.

18. The experiment in "communal living" discussed in the article, "The Town That Skinner Boxed," seems to suggest which, if any, of the following?

  1. In most instances, "human nature" seems to require some sort of "personal reward" in order to encourage maximum productivity.
  2. "Anarchy," that is, voluntary cooperation, might sound good in theory, but it apparently doesn't work very well in practice, especially on a large scale.
  3. Man is good enough to make experiments such as the one discussed in this article possible, but apparently "bad enough" to keep them from working very well over time.
  4. It is reasonable to conclude all of the above from the information presented in this article.


19. According to, or at least implied by, the article on anarchy, "Consent or Coercion,"

  1. among the problems with traditional hierarchical organizations is the fact that the people in leadership positions are quickly corrupted by power.
  2. laws only work if they are voluntarily obeyed; they cannot be effectively "enforced"-punishing people after they have committed a crime isn't very effective.
  3. only the parties who directly negotiated a political agreement, including a constitution, can be legitimately bound by that agreement.
  4. because people are not by nature unreasonable and irresponsible, effective "anarchy" is in fact possible.
  5. The article states or implies all of the above.

20. Which of the following would the instructor in this course probably be the least likely to agree with?

  1. Anyone who carefully thinks through specific issues is probably not going to be "ideologically consistent," that is, they are probably going to be more or less "liberal" on some issues and more or less "conservative" on other issues.
  2. Whenever possible, in most cases it is probably best to encourage "individual initiative" rather than try to deal with issues through government bureaucracy.
  3. Students who don't pay attention in their political science classes cannot be expected to make an informed and intelligent contribution to the discussion of specific issues such as campaign finance reform.
  4. Human nature appears to put limits on what we can realistically hope to accomplish in politics; therefore, any form of "utopia" is probably not achievable.
  5. For all of its flaws, democracy is still the best "real world" political system anyone has been able to come up with to date.

 

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