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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.

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POS 101
R. R. Pope
Citizens & Governance
Fall 1999

1st Exam- Fall 99 Exams

After placing your numerical answers on this exam, please transfer them to the op scan sheet. Please be sure to enter your name and social security number on the op scan.


I. Given the view of "human nature" we have discussed in class, which of the following would qualify as realistic goals (1), which are clearly not realistic (2), and which may or may not be realistic (3)?

 
  1. ___Finding ways to improve the current welfare system.
  2. ___Eliminating welfare fraud.
  3. ___Implementing a world-wide political system ("world government")- even though it would clearly not be without problems.
  4. ___Improving our criminal justice system to the point where there are almost no repeat offenders.
  5. ___Persuading only honest people to run for political office.
  6. ___Significantly decreasing, over time, corruption in a highly corrupt political system.
  7. ___Finding at least a few highly qualified people and persuading them to run for local office.
  8. ___Coming up with and successfully implementing a nearly perfect way to fight crime in Chicago.
  9. ___Ultimately finding a way to significantly diminish the current conflict over immigration policy.
  10. ___Eliminating disagreements over the best way to reform our current healthcare system.

 

II. Which of the following are examples of "power" (1), "influence" (2), possibly both (3), neither (4)?

  1. ___A lone police officer asking a large crowd of college students to disperse-and the students ultimately disperse. (There are too many students for the single officer to be able to give them tickets.)
  2. ___A group of students discussing whether or not to go to a movie or study for an exam on Monday.
  3. ___A political candidate urging people to vote for him for the U.S. House of Representatives because of his experience and "track record" as a member of the State Senate.
  4. ___The mayor of a city encouraging businessmen to support him-in return for certain important concrete favors he can do for them, or refuse to do.
  5. ___A parent instructing a young child to "Eat your vegetables, or no desert."
  6. ___A parent encouraging a teenager to "Please finish your homework before you turn on the TV."
  7. ___The commander of a heavily armed NATO peace keeping unit ordering a hostile crowd to disperse in Kosovo.
  8. ___Being ordered to give up your money by an armed mugger.
  9. ___A professor encouraging his students to "read more than you have to read" in the Christian Science Monitor "because this will help you be better informed-and will enhance your chances of getting an interesting job."
  10. ___A group of students playing a friendly game of basketball-and not keeping score.

 

POS 101

R. R. Pope
Citizens & Governance

Fall 1999

2nd Exam

After placing your numerical answers on this exam, please transfer them to the op scan sheet. Please be sure to enter your name and social security number on the op scan.

I. The appropriate "label" for each of the following is "dictionary" conservative (1), "dictionary" liberal (2) "political" conservative (3), "political" liberal (4). (By "political" is meant the current definition of these labels in the U.S.-as opposed to the "dictionary definition.")

If something could be both "dictionary" and "political" put (1) for "conservative" and (2) for "liberal."

  1. ___Feels that the current situation is probably as good as it can get and that changing anything will probably make things worse.
  2. ___Opposes major expansion of control of the educational system by the Federal government.
  3. ___Feels that the Federal government should try to make significant improvements, for example, in the healthcare system.
  4. ___Feels that society can be improved.
  5. ___Wants to get government "off the backs" of business.

II. Select the appropriate "label" for each of the following: feudalism (1), fascism (2), capitalism (3), socialism (4), communism (5)

  1. ___A system that emphasizes individual economic freedom and gain.
  2. ___A system that has a dictatorial government and doesn't claim to treat everyone the same, but in fact generally favors one allegedly "superior race" over others.
  3. ___A system that has a single political party which claims that it is "building" a society in which everyone will share equally in what is produced.
  4. ___A system in which a single ruler is supposed to protect his/her subjects-in return for their support and loyalty.
  5. ___A system in which the democratically elected government attempts to redistribute "wealth" to the benefit of everyone in the society by, for example, providing free (or nearly free) medical care.
  6. ___A non-democratic system that claims to have a "collective leadership," but in which in fact one person almost invariably has substantially more power than others.
  7. ___A system that generally puts considerably more emphasis on individual rights than on "group welfare."

III. The following statements are primarily associated with which systems: democracy (in general) (1), capitalism (2), socialism (3), communism (4).

  1. ___The system "failed" because it didn't work effectively-and it failed to work effectively in part because there was a lack of critical feedback which meant the problems were generally not identified and fixed.
  2. ___Many countries in this "category" have reduced government benefits because they found too many people were willing to take advantage of a "free ride."
  3. ___This political system assumes that popular participation in the decision making process is a good idea-even though this sometimes results in "bad policy."
  4. ___This system attempts to achieve at least approximate equality, that is, for example, those who earn more are taxed more heavily.
  5. ___This system puts a premium on "individual initiative"-and in turn readily accepts significant differences in wealth.
  6. ___A significant weakness of this system is that the public isn't always right.
  7. ___A significant weakness of this system is that its claim to "perfection" makes it very difficult to identify and correct problems.
  8. ___This system assumes that the "quality of life" can be significantly improved, generally with the involvement of the government.

POS 101 R. R. Pope
Citizens & Governance Fall 1999

3rd Exam

The following statements best fit which type of system: capitalism (1), socialism (2), communism (3), capitalism / socialism (4), socialism / communism (5)?

  1. ___The economic welfare of the group is supposed to take precedence over the economic welfare of the individual.
  2. ___Tends to assume that individuals pursuing their own interests generally produce the best results for society as a whole.
  3. ___Encourages the production of some goods and services that serve no useful purpose-because a market for them can be "artificially" developed.
  4. ___Can encourage the conclusion that it's better when the rich invest in order to get richer than when they try to help the poor through charity.
  5. ___Wasn't able to make a "command" economy work.
  6. ___Encourages production to meet a goal decided by bureaucrats vs. production to meet the needs of the end user.
  7. ___Tends to encourage the production of poor quality and/or "inappropriate" goods (goods that don't meet real or perceived needs and that people won't buy if they have any choice at all).
  8. ___Assumes that the best results for the community as a whole are usually achieved through the "invisible hand" controlling the search for private gain.
  9. ___Generally allows private enterprise while at the same time the government plays a major role in providing services in particular and in general tries to "regulate" the economy for the presumed benefit of the community as a whole.

Each of the following multiple choice questions on "power elite" is also worth 2 points.

  1. The basic assumption of the "power elite" concept is that a small group of people
    1. has ultimate and complete power, even a democracy.
    2. who generally are "upper class and wealthy," manages to determine most of the "rules of the game" in even a democratic society.
    3. regularly and consciously conspires to make all the important decisions.
    4. has all the available power.
  2. According to Neustadtl, power elite proponents tend to emphasize the importance of (p. 55)
    1. social background, formal relationships between businesses, and "policy organizations" such the Business Roundtable which are dominated by members of the elite.
    2. class status, overlapping ownership of businesses, and membership in organizations that attempt to influence policy decisions to the benefit of businesses.
    3. class status, personal wealth, and snob appeal.
    4. 1 and 2 are both correct, they simply use different wording to say the same thing.
III. Which of the following statements are accurate / true (1), which inaccurate / false (2)?

  1. ___According to Machiavelli, the ends can never justify the means. (p. 25)
  2. ___According to Brand, despite the tremendous shortcomings of the Soviet system, Gorbachev wanted to reform "socialism" (make it work), rather than abandon it. (p. 10)
  3. ___According to Brand, one of the most important factors in the Soviet economy was increasing capitol productivity. (p. 15)

  4. ___According to Shively, an advantage of government involvement in the economy is that it allows the political leaders to collect what economists call "rent," that is "taxes" which are then used to benefit deserving groups such as farmers through farm price subsides. (p. 91)
  5. ___According to Shively, corruption frequently is "productive" in that it helps "grease the skids" and in general it creates many fewer problems than most people realize. (p. 102)
  6. ___According to Kristof, China's leaders now realize that they need to restrict both "central economic planning" and the Communist Party's monopoly of political power. (p. 19)
  7. ___According to Domhoff, "he who has the gold rules," that is, the wealthy set the rules within which society functions. (p. 27)
  8. ___According to Neustadtl, the key to undermining the excessive influence of "money" in American politics is to reform campaign finance, specifically, curtail the influence of "PACS" (Political Action Committees).
  9. ___According to Shively, the market does a very good job of insuring that "justice is done," that is, that goods and services always go to those who need them the most. (pp. 126-27)

POS 101
R. R. Pope
Citizens & Governance
Fall 1999

4th Exam

Which of the following statements are accurate / true (1), inaccurate / false (2), or not relevant to the subject in question--as discussed in class and/or the readings (3)?

 

  1. ___For an election to be "effective" or "democratic," there has to be more than one political party.
  2. ___The fact that someone's boss can find out how he or she voted shouldn't undermine an election system in any way.
  3. ___The "essential requirements" for "meaningful elections" include, competition, a secret ballot, a free press, and a guarantee that all the voters are paying close attention to the issues.
  4. ___Without freedom of association, it is probably impossible to have fair elections.
  5. ___According to Shively, from the perspective of individual voters, it clearly makes sense to vote in every election. (pp. 215-17)
  6. ___Bureaucracy is inevitable in every type of society-even a small primitive tribe in the Amazon rain forest has to have substantial bureaucracy.
  7. ___According to Shively, on the whole government bureaucracy is relatively efficient. (p. 317)
  8. ___Parkinson's Law states that in a bureaucracy people rise to the level of their incompetence.
  9. ___According to the Pope Proposal, one of the best ways to improve the efficiency of bureaucracy is to encourage media coverage of "bureaucratic stupidity," thus forcing bureaucrats to work more efficiently.
  10. ___A certain degree of bureaucratic inefficiency is inevitable, but extreme "bureaucratic stupidity" can be dealt with in a variety of ways, including making it easier to demote or fire incompetent people, encouraging the media to expose serious problems, and helping bright young people to learn how to "play the game" effectively.
  11. ___A Political Science class can never qualify as an "interest group."
  12. ___An interest group consists of an organized group of people working together to try to influence the general public to support them against the government. This is the only thing that an interest group tries to do.
  13. ___According to Shively, interest groups can be organized primarily to influence government (e.g., a labor union) or organized primarily for some other purpose but also regularly attempt to influence government (e.g, the Sierra Club). (p. 247)
  14. ___According to Brian Bernardoni, the guest speaker, elected officials, especially at the local level, are more inclined to take seriously someone in their district who is registered to vote than someone who can't vote for them.
  15. ___The methods or resources available to interest groups seeking to exert influence include money (to hire lobbyists, make campaign contributions, etc.), prestige, numbers, contacts with influential people, and good organization. (If just one of the previous items isn't a "method or resource" the answer should be "false.")
  16. ___The primary goal of the commercial media is always to make as much profit as possible vs. trying to responsibly and effectively inform the public.
  17. ___The media's need to "sell advertising" can result in an emphasis on the sensational and on "sound bites" rather than on significant issues that the public needs to know about.
  18. ___For the media to make an effective positive contribution to society it needs to be sure that its advertisers don't exaggerate the claims they make for their products.
  19. ___According to Michael Emery, the credibility of the media is undermined when, for example, reporters rely on anonymous sources for important stories, or when they violate the privacy of individuals. (p. 77)
  20. ___The media has been referred to as the "fourth estate" in our type of political system because it acts as a check on possible abuses by other powerful/influential groups and individuals in the system.


NOTE: When more than one item is included in a question, the entire statement needs to be correct/accurate for you to answer "true" (1). If just one item is incorrect, the answer should be "false" (2).

 

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