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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. _X_ 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. _X_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. _X_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. _X_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. _X_ 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. _X_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. _X_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. _X_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. _X_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. _X_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. _X_ 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. _X_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. _X_ 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. _X_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. _X_None of the above is a reasonable statement about elections.

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

  1. _X_ 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. _X_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. _X_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. _X_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. _X_All of the above are a part of a theme that is expressed in the three articles.


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