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GE Signature Assignments are designed for students to be able to produce meaningful examples of their learning that document their progress and culminating skills and abilities. These assignments will
GE Signature Assignments are designed for students to be able to produce meaningful examples of their learning that document their progress and culminating skills and abilities. These assignments will be from five (5) to seven pages long and will incorporate, information, perspectives, insights and research from any of the social sciences touched upon and utilized in this class as appropriate. You may choose from one of the following topics: 1. Is great wealth concentrated in just a few hands a suppressant for democracy? 2. Is the political system of the United States in a crisis right now? If so why and how and if not, why and how? Please remember that your assignment should follow MLA guidelines: Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, 1” margins, proper heading, and citations of the sources you are analyzing. *Just choose one of the "question topics" and use any sources you can, just not wikipedia, please.
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United States Political System
2. Is the political system of the United States in a crisis right now? If so, why and how,
and if not, why and how?
It is not a new thing nowadays hearing about the government of the United States getting hit and
broken over because of corruption allegations. It is evident to most as to why the government is
corrupt because lobbyists write laws, politicians get bought, and this leads to many of the closest
issues being affected by corruption. What is worse, however, is the conviction that people have
that there is nothing they can do, one of the biggest lies the people of America believe
concerning their politics. The problem, however, is not that crude politicians are involved in
corrupt deals, the problem is that there is no law for them to break in the first place (Fairbanks,
An example of how corruption has become legal in America is when special interests and
billionaires give vast amounts of money to Congress members who regulate them
(Heidenheimer, 339). Those same members of Congress pass laws to help lobbyists who come in
handy when offering them an easy job when they leave the office. Notwithstanding, there are
other many legal ways that public officials are bought. The American Anti-Corruption Act
comes in and introduces a set of strict rules and ethical standards to be followed. Furthermore, it
means that if one is elected an official say in the Senate Committee, these people cannot take
money from lobbyists. Also, it requires full transparency for the people of America to know who
is buying the elected officials. Therefore, it changes the funding of elections, and the few
uncorrupted candidates win without compromising or selling to other billionaires or special
interests. All this is done while protecting the interests of the American people and their rights as
Corruption has, however, been destructive in the American political system. The government is
for the people, and the citizens pay for it. It is, therefore, only fair that the government works for
the citizens. It is even shocking when 4% of the citizens had great confidence in the Congress. It
is also not considered a full democracy because the country is in the middle of a political failure,
which is a system opposite to what the nations' founders had envisioned. But what is causing the
crisis, and how can the government be fixed?
With issues like education, health, or infrastructure, public opinion influences the laws made by
Congress. However, what has been happening for the longest time in American politics is that
even when issues as health and education are raised, there is usually zero support for such laws,
making there be a 30% chance of the bill getting passed by the Congress. In case such issues
were to get 100% support, though there still will be a 30% chance of the law getting passed, the
preferences of the American citizen will have some amount of impact on policy. Also, politicians
spend close to 70% of their time in raising funds for their re-election after they get elected into
office. The reason why is so that they can win a seat in the senate and some races, they have to
come up with $45,000 every day for six years to win. Also, it needs to considered that only
0.05% of Americans give a lot more than $10,000 to politics. It now becomes clear why
politicians are dependant on the .05% of Americans, including special interest groups and
All the while, lobbyists are writing laws and donating to the politicians suppose they pass. Such
vast influence over elected leaders makes up a corrupt system in which the Americans citizens
have a near-zero control over the government. What is worse, it is allowed to happen, causing a
failure in the most critical issues in the country. A lot in trillions is lost annually on abuse of
office and fraud, yet one in five American children is living in poverty (Fairbanks, 52). It is
unfair, as healthcare in the US is the most expensive. Prisoners are on the rise given that the US
has more per capita than in China and Russia or that jobs are getting lost to the world.
Notwithstanding, water and air are not as clean for the people of America. It hurts most, knowing
that America was created on the promise of provision and that of self-governance, yet it is not
the case today.
The question of how to make the system clean again arises. It is in fixing the system that there
will be more power to fix many other issues. According to the most brilliant people in the
country, passing laws to stop political corruption and bribery can work, as well as fixing broken
elections (Johnston, 339). Power will then move from those who are corrupt in the establishment,
back to the citizen’s hands. The way, however, to mend elections broken by corruption includes
ending gerrymandering, creation of ranked-choice voting for independents and the third parties
to also win elections, implementing automatic registration for voters as well as accepting voting
from the comfort of a person's home. When it comes down to stopping bribery in the American
political system, there should be an overhauling on lobbying and ethic laws as this closes
revolving doors making politicians not easily bribable, especially with the high paying jobs that
they are enticed with. Full transparency should be a mandate, especially in political spending, so
that it is clear who is trying to buy influence. Also, voters could be given maybe a $50 tax
voucher to prevent politicians from relying on the .05% of American citizens to get funds from.
It will make politicians spend time fundraising from their constituencies. As these are just among
some of the reforms that could help bring corruption to a halt, it will act by undoing the ring of
influence from politicians and begin to reinstate that the citizens are the most vital influences in
the government and over elected leaders.
All reforms make up what is called the American anti-corruption act, which has 87% of the
American citizens supporting its making. Though it is expected that Congress will pass it given
the support from the citizens, it gets tricky when though they won in the current system, they
have an incentive not to fix it. To fix this, however, the issue will need to go around Congress
and ought to get passed ni cities and states across America. As the US constitution gives States
the control on how to run elections, including Federal election, fixing gerrymandering or the
election laws will lead to the fixing of federal elections in each state. It also means that going
state to state, and there will be an immediate impact on how Congress is elected and will help in
holding them accountable. It has also been noted that, over time, major key events say court
decisions or grassroots campaigns have the most effect. Once they reach maturity, they trigger a
rush in State activity leading to the ultimate change in federal law.
Fixing the corruption problem in the United States is possible, and it needs progressives and
conservatives coming together to pass the anti-corruption law across the whole of America.
Three significant innovations can, however, be used, including calling out corrupt leaders and
corruption, right-left coalition, and the building of a movement to fix corruption. Also, all
Americans need to get enlisted to their respective parties to be able to support reforms. When it
comes to having a significant movement, it needs to comprise of all kinds of people across the
nation, all fighting for the same thing – against corruption or for the anti-corruption laws to pass.
After, they should make sure that the laws are implemented and protected. Liberals and
conservatives should come together and work against corruption by building a significant
movement to represent the people of America. It is also only fair that the people who elect the
politicians should have the same politicians working for them, and not just the billionaires or
Fairbanks, H. “The Feudalization of the State.” Journal of Democracy. 10.2, (1999), 47-53.
Heidenheimer, A. “The topography of corruption: explorations in a comparative perspective.”
International Social Science Journal. 48.2, (1996): 338-347.
Johnston, M. “The search for definitions: the vitality of politics and the issue of
Corruption.” International Social Science Journal. 48.3, (1996): 321-335.