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The article written by Lisa Rein discusses the expected job cuts in the U.S. Postal Service; in particular, the author reports that approximately 7,500 jobs are going to be eliminated in the near future (Rein unpaged).
To a great extent, this policy is aimed at reducing the administrative costs of the government; nevertheless, the representatives of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) argue that these reductions will result in numerous delays in mail delivery (Rein unpaged).
Moreover, according to the finding of PRC, the government will not be able to achieve the expected savings (Rein unpaged). On the whole, this initiative can pose a significant threat to the infrastructure of the country (Rein unpaged).
This article is closely related to the several the concepts discussed in Chapter One of the textbook; in this case, special attention should be paid to government corporations and regulatory commissions that perform different functions and interact with one another; for example, the Postal Service can be a government corporation that serves the needs of the population.
In turn, regulatory commissions like the PRC are supposed to control and monitor different economic relations within the country. The situation described by Lisa Rein illustrates the conflict between these agencies of the government.
Another important event that should be discussed is the intention of the U.S. Supreme Court to review the federal policies regarding same-sex marriage; this issue is closely examined in the article by Adam Liptak. According to the author, the U.S. Supreme Court may review and even reject the legal definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman; the judges may exclude the notion of gender from this definition (Liptak unpaged).
Adam Liptak emphasizes the idea that nowadays the decisions regarding the status of same-sex marriages are taken by the governments of separate states of the country; in contrast, a new definition of marriage can legitimize the wedlock of same-sex couples and the consent of state governments may not be required. These are the main implication of this case, but at this point it is too early to speak the changes in the legislation of the United States, but this legal debate indicates at a dramatic shift in the public opinion.
This event is linked to one of the concepts mentioned in the Chapter Two of the textbook, namely the division of the government into three branches. They have to perform different tasks such as the development of laws, the enforcement of these legal acts and their interpretation. The actions of the Supreme Court indicate that judicial and legislative branches of the government can interact with one another in effort to change the laws of the country.
The recent presidential campaign and the struggle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have attracted much attention of the press; in his article, Sean Sullivan examines the disagreement between these politicians regarding such an issue as the redistribution of wealth (Sullivan unpaged). In particular, Sean Sullivan refers to the words of Barack Obama who said that the government should ensure every citizen of the United States should have equal opportunities (Sullivan unpaged).
In part, this goal can be achieved through the redistribution of wealth (Sullivan unpaged). Mitt Romney responded to this argument by saying that such an approach could undermine the core values of the country, for example, the right to property and income (Sullivan unpaged). The events described by the author are closely tied to the ideas explored in our readings, for example, the classic and modern dilemmas of the government discussed in the Chapter Three.
The redistribution of wealth is related to the modern dilemma, namely the need to promote equality in the society and the need to ensure the individual freedom of citizens. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney represent two different to the solution of this dilemma; Obama places emphasis on equality while, Romney stresses the individual freedom of citizen and their right to property (Sullivan unpaged). Therefore, the concepts discussed in the readings have significant implications for modern-day politics.
The article written by Phillip Rucker describes the attempts of the Republican Party to reduce the role of the trade unions in Michigan (Rucker unpaged). In particular, the author focuses on the so-called right-to-work laws according to which employees are not obliged to join the union and pay any fees to these organizations (Rucker unpaged).
One can say that this legislation can almost entirely exclude trade unions from the negotiations between workers and private businesses; overall, this change is more likely to benefit the employers who can dictate their terms to employees (Rucker unpaged). The critics of right-to-work laws believe that these legal changes can undermine the rights of workers; more importantly, this policy can deprive the Republican Party of its influence in Michigan for a very long time (Rucker unpaged).
This article is closely related to the issues covered in the textbook; in this case, special attention should be paid to the role of interest groups that can attract the attention of policy-makers to certain problems or issues and promote legal specific changes. The situation described in the article illustrates the conflict between several interests groups, namely the employers and trade unions; in this case, they have very different goals and priorities that do not coincide with one another.
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In his article, Sean Sullivan discusses the recent disagreement between Democrats and Republicans; in particular, the politicians debate such issues as spending cuts and tax increases (Entitlement debate, unpaged). According to the author, the Republicans oppose to the increased taxes for the wealthiest citizens of the United States; in contrast, Democrats believe that this policy is necessary to fund governmental programs such as Medicare (Entitlement debate, unpaged).
In the opinion of the Republican politicians, such strategies are more likely to harm middle-class people, rather than benefit them (Entitlement debate, unpaged). In turn, Democrats believe that this strategy is not likely to reduce the income of many residents. On the whole, this debate is closely tied to the questions discussed in Chapter 5, for example, such concepts as pluralism and majoritarianism. This disagreement illustrates the principles of pluralism that stresses the needs of different groups.
It seems that pluralism ensures that the needs of particular groups are not disregarded by policy-makers who should remember that their decisions can have far-reaching implications for a great number of people. In contrast, majoritarianism in the Congress can result in the situation when there is no debate or discussion among legislators. This is one the main dangers that politician should avoid when discussing legal or social problems.
Liptak, A. “Justices to Hear Two Challenges on Gay Marriage.” The New York Times, 2012. Web.
Rein, L. “U. S. Postal Service announces sweeping job cuts, district office closures.” The Washington Post, 2011. Web.
Rucker, P. “In Michigan, heart of organized labor, Republicans push to limit union power.” The Washington Post, 2012. Web.
Sullivan, S. ‘Romney draws attention to Obama ‘redistribution’ remark from 1998.’ The Washington Post, 2012. Web.
—-. ‘Entitlement debate sparks disagreement along party lines.’ The Washington Post. Web.