1. Weeky Discussion: Federalism (I need this in 12 hours)
This week’s readings has me thinking about how the American government is designed to help solve collective action problems. Please choose one of the following questions and react to it briefly below. You need to reply to 2 other student’s post.
When you submit answer, please begin by pasting the question you are responding to in the text field. Then write your answer below.
Discussion question options:
- Consider our reading on Federalism and the Coronavirus this week. In your view, what are the advantages and disadvantages of having state and local governments take the lead in pandemic prevention policy? Can you imagine a better way to produce new policy ideas and more efficient coordination?
- If you could make a recommendation to help the national and state governments coordinate their responses to Coronavirus, what would it be? Why would this be an important recommendation?
- Over the last two weeks we have learned about how our Constitution was created to help coordinate and resolve collective action problems. What collective action problems do you see now in American state politics? How can the federal government help resolve the problem you’ve identified ? (You can think about collective action problems in clean air, immigration, medical supplies, or anything else.)
Before You begin:
- Posts and responses should be thorough and thoughtful. Just posting an “I agree” or “Good ideas” will not be considered adequate. Support statements with examples, experiences, or references. Be brief — keep each post and response to one or two short paragraphs. Keep in mind that fellow learners will be reading and responding to you, too.
- Posts should be within a range of 75-150 words.
- Make certain that all posts and responses address one of the the questions, problems, or situations as presented for discussion. This does not mean you should not extend the topic, but do not stray from the topic.
- Discussions occur when there is dialogue; therefore, you need to build upon the posts and responses of other learners to create discussion threads. Make sure to revisit the discussion forum and respond (if necessary) to what other learners have posted to your initial responses.
- When relevant, add to the discussion by including prior knowledge, work experiences, references, web sites, resources, etc. (giving credit when appropriate).
- Contributions to the discussions (posts and responses) should be complete and free of grammatical or structural errors.
2. Question set: Collective Action, the American Constitution, and Federalism
Please respond to each of the five short response questions posted below. Your answers should be short, focused, and complete, ranging from one to three paragraphs. Please make sure to answer each specific part of every question. Successful answers will provide details and context that support your arguments and explain your position to the readers. You may also want to provide real world examples taken from the readings, lectures, group discussions, or your own independent thinking.
For example, in your answer on collective action you may find it useful to talk about specific examples of collective action problems that governments solve. In your response to the questions on federalism you may wish to identify and discuss historical examples of conflict or cooperation between the national and state governments. These illustrations can be from the course materials or your own ideas. Providing this context and being able to apply the material to YOUR OWN understanding of politics really shows us that you have mastered the material.
- Briefly identify and describe two types examples of collective action problems that our government helps solve. Why did society face this collective action problem? How was government able to help resolve each specific problems? Do you believe government’s use of power to resolve this problem of collection was justified and beneficial? Why or why not?
- How does the Constitution differ from the Articles of Confederation? (highlight at least three main differences) What problems does the Constitution solve that the Articles of Confederation was susceptible to? How?
- The United States is a representative democracy. Why did the Framers view this as necessary? What does Madison say about this in Federalist #10? Does Madison argue for addressing the problem’s causes or effects? Why?
- What are some benefits of having a federal system? What are some drawbacks? In addition to the logical arguments, provide an example of federalism being beneficial, and an example of it being problematic. Drawing on these arguments, do you think a stronger national government would be better or worse? (Be clear about what you mean by “better” or “worse” and why)
- The role of the national government (relative to state/local governments) is (somewhat) clear in the constitution. Why has the national government expanded over our nation’s history? Make sure and draw on both historical and logical reasons, and describe particular pieces of the constitution that have aided in this expansion.
You should read the following course reading materials before you begin:
- The Logic of American Politics: LogicChapter1Selection.pdf (the file I uploaded)
- American Government Chapter 1: American Government and Civic Engagement. (Links to an external site.)
- American Government Chapter 2: : The Constitution and Its Origins (Links to an external site.)
- Federalist No. 10 (American Government Appendix C (Links to an external site.))
- Constitution of the United States (American Government Appendix B (Links to an external site.))
- American Government Chapter 3: American Federalism (Links to an external site.)
- Federalist Papers #51: (American Government Appendix C (Links to an external site.))
- Povich, Elaine. “Governors Leapfrog Feds on Coronavirus Response (Links to an external site.).” Governing, March 25, 2020.
- Feldman, Noah. “U.S. Federalism Isn’t Great at Handling Pandemics. (Links to an external site.)” Bloomberg, March 19, 2020.