For the essay, you are to answer one of the questions listed below. The essay should be typewritten, double spaced and should be 3-4 pages. Put your name on the back of the last page. Use class definitions to define terms or points will be deducted from your grade. Research is not necessary. The class materials( the text, handouts and class notes) should provide you with sufficient information for answering the question. Cite at least one item from the reading assignments.
1. Are workers who are the majority of the population better served by the U.S government than the rich? Explain. Cite specific examples and government policies that illustrate your arguments. Counter the ideas of one who would disagree with you. Discuss and tie your arguments to government funding of public K-12 schools and community colleges.
2. Were people to organize and create much stronger labor unions, impose heavier rates of taxation on the rich while lowering the taxes imposed on all others, significantly raise the minimum wage, force the adoption of government policies that guarantee free higher education and health care for all, and address environmental problems, would the U.S be a more democratic country? Explain. Be sure to define democracy and discuss the impact the above proposals would have on the characteristics of democracy. You may want to take into account the policies of the Trump administration.
3. Place at the top of your essay three or more amendments you would add to the Constitution that would make the U.s. a more democratic country. After reading your essay, the reader should be convinced that your proposals would result in advancing democracy. Be sure to discuss the meaning of democracy and, where relevant, how its characteristics would be more fully realized. If you propose eliminating the electoral college system, spell out in detail its replacement and how it would work, and explain how this proposal would advance democracy. If your proposal is for the winner to be the candidate who gets the most votes, addresses the issue of that candidate possibly receiving less than 35% of the vote in a race with many candidates.
4. Do the current conditions in the U.S reflect the characteristics of democracy? Explain. Describe the characteristics of democracy and discuss to what extent that are the current practices of the U.S. You must discuss how power is distributed in a democracy and how it is distributed in the U.S. Address the issue of the quantity of power exercised by the rich and corporations, especially in comparison to the amount held by working people, the majority of the population. Does this pose a problem for democracy in the U.S? Do businesses seeking to maximize profits undermine democracy? (Don’t discuss elite and popular democracy.)
5. Does voting make a significant difference in what happens in the U.S. and in determining who has power in the government and in other institutions such as corporations? Is voting a means by which the majority of the population can shape the direction of society and U.S. government policies? Do the choices on the ballot reflect a wide range of views? Should people vote? why/why not?