1. Do you agree with the “logic of collective action”? Do you think that people have nothing to gain by joining interest groups? What do you think people get from participating in interest groups like the Sierra Club or the National Rifle Association?
2. How much government intrusino into daily life is acceptable? Is the reduction of personal freedom worth the benefits that the policy provides to society? What kinds of policies are acceptable and unacceptable in the United States? Is this the same in other nations? Consider these questions in relation to the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that mandates individual purchase of health care insurance, or proposals to regulate the use of cell phones by drivers.
3. Of the various evaluative criteria discussed in the chapter, effectiveness and efficiency are most often discussed. Why is equity not considered as often? For what types of policy issues should equity be a primary concern? Using these examples, how would you evaluate equity concerns?
4. The federal government inserted itself directly and massively into the economy during the economic crises of 2008 and 2009, largely by trying to bail out or rescue corporations at risk of failure, including many banks and other financial institutions and the U.S. auto industry. Discuss the economic, political, and moral reasons behind the govrnment’s decision to do this. How has this debate changed in 2012?
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