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Flashcards in Politics Deck (63)
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Where is it written that expropriation is legal?

- the fifth amendment to the constitution states that private property can be taken by the govt without the property owner's consent as long as there is just compensation.


Expropriation examples?

- In the 1970s, Salvadore Allende, in Chile, took several US businesses.

- (Expropriation often happens when a country takes a foreign business)


What is eminent domain?

- allows the govt to seize privately-owned property without their consent. (to be used for govt purposes)

- the person must be compensated (according to US law)


What is nationalization?

- the opposite of privatization.

- when a company goes from being privately-owned to being government- owned.

- the business-owners aren't always compensated.

- most common in developing countries subject to frequent regime changes. New dictators or presidents will nationalize industry to expand their wealth and power.

- has rarely happened in the US.


Give an example of US nationalization.

When the govt took over airport security after 9/11.


What is deregulation?

The reduction or elimination of govt power in a particular industry.


What is Medicare?

- A federal health care program attached to social security.

- available to all US citizens 65 or older. Also covers people with certain disabilities.

- pays health care coverage for hospital, medical, and some prescription drugs.

- paid for by payroll taxes and deductions from social security.


What is congress?

- the legislative branch of the US govt.

- balances out the power of the executive and judicial branches.

- congress lays and collects taxes, borrows money, regulates commerce, and declares war.

- impacts the economic world directly so every large industry has lobbyists in Washington pushing their agendas.


What is bicameral?

- Legislature consisting of two separate chambers: House of Representatives and the sensitive.

- US govt is bicameral (at both the state and national level).


What is expropriation?

- the act of taking privately-owned property by a government to be used for the benefit of the public

- in the US the govt. has the right to take property through eminent domain.



a.k.a. relative majority

In the context of voting refers to the largest number of votes received by one candidate out of the entire group of candidates.


What is the presidential nomination process?

Voters cast ballots for members of the electoral college, who then in turn elect their party's presidential nominee.


State Legislature

Legislative body of any of the 50 states.

They are bicameral (consist of senate and House of Representatives)

State legislature performs state duties at the state level in the same way Congress performs duties at the national level.

The governor is the state legislative officer (president is the national legislative officer)


How does state legislative lawmaking take place?

Begins with the introduction of a Bill in either the house or senate.

Bills have to get approved by each house and then be signed by the governor to an Act (a law).



Person currently holding office.



Of or relating to a state governor or the office of state governor.


Absolute majority

a.k.a. simple majority

When a candidate has over half the votes.


Indirect vote

What the US presidential election is.

Voters do not directly vote the President and VP into office. Voters cast ballots for members of the electoral college. These electors directly elect the President and VP.


Is the US a democracy?

No, it's a republic. Because we don't directly elect our leaders. We have an indirect vote.

Also, because a democracy is technically when all policy issues are are settled by referendums and direct votes where the entire electorate decides.


Magna Carta

Signed 1215

Agreement that King John was forced to sign. He was a tyrant known for arresting people for no reason.

Magna Carta established habeas corpus (illegal to arrest people without cause or in secret, guaranteed due process).

The right to a fair trial (established in the Magna Carta) was written into the 5th amendment.


What countries were members of the Warsaw Pact?

East Germany
Soviet Union



North American Free Trade Agreement

A regulation implemented in 1994 by President Bill Clinton

Eliminated tariffs between US, Canada, and Mexico.

Meant to encourage economic activity and create jobs.


Where do one-fourth of all US imports and exports come from and go to?

Canada and Mexico.

What we import from Canada and Mexico: crude oil, machinery, gold, vehicles, produce, livestock, processed foods.

What we export to Canada and Mexico: vehicle parts, machinery, plastics, minerals).


Social conservative

Advocates positions similar to the religious right:
pro-life, anti-gay marriage, etc


Fiscal conservative

Someone who likes lower govt spending and taxes.

They want federal/state/local govt spending to be a smaller percentage of GDP than a fiscal liberal.


Social liberal

Pro-choice, pro gay marriage, etc



Form of government where power is vested in a few.



Govt under the immediate direction of God (or priests or ministers doing God's will).


Health insurance marketplace

a.k.a. Health insurance exchange

Created in 2010.

Part of the Affordable Care Act, (Obamacare), President Barack Obama's health care reform agenda.

Organizations that facilitate structured markets for purchasing health coverage.

There are four kinds (based on how much of your health care they cover): bronze, silver, gold, platinum.



The affordable care act

Signed into law in 2010.

Barack Obama's health care reform agenda.

Has three main parts:

1). Expansion of Medicaid
2). Establishment of health care exchanges
3). Prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions.


How much money did the govt claim Obamacare would save us?

When it was enacted the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would reduce the federal deficit by 145 billion in the first 10 years and between .25% and .5% of GDP thereafter.

Additional costs associated with Obamacare were offset by numerous taxes, such as increased taxes on:

- eyeglasses
- hearing aids
- indoor tanning


Why did the US enter the Korean War?

To counter the Soviet Union's support for a unified, communist Korea. They backed North Korea. We backed South Korea.


Who won the Korean War?

No one. They called a seize fire that is still in effect to this day.


What countries does the US have sanctions against? And why?

Ivory Coast: human rights violations

North Korea: human rights violations

Russia: because they annexed Crimea.
(Military actions against the Ukraine)

Cuba: ever since Fidel Castro came to power.

Iran: ever since the Iran hostage crisis.

Syria: for supporting terrorists

Burma (Myanmar): human rights violations. They're ruled by a dictator and a military junta.



Opposite of nationalization.

When a company goes from being govt-owned to being privately owned.



Leadership or authority


Military junta

A committee of military leaders that make political decisions.



North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Headquarters is in Belgium.

Military alliance created in 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War.

The course of the Cold War led to a rivalry with the Warsaw Pact.

28 member states (all capitalist) who agree to help if any other member state is attacked by an external force.


Warsaw Pact

a.k.a. WarPac

The communist counter part to NATO.

Military alliance made up of 8 communist countries. All member states agree to help out militarily if a member state is attacked.

All central and Eastern European countries.

Formed in 1955 as a response to NATO.

Based in Warsaw, Poland.



Attack on American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.

4 people were killed, including the US ambassador to Libya.

Hilary Clinton was Secretary of State and Obama was running for re-election.

Clinton was told security measures needed to be tightened but she did nothing.



Either left or right (not centrist).



A centrist.

Believes policy positions don't drive partisanship, but rather partisanship drives policy positions.

In other words: partisan voters will take whatever position is ascribed to their party, regardless of the specific policies that position entails.


Shuttle diplomacy

The action of an outside party serving as an intermediary between principals in a dispute, without direct principal-to-principal contact.

Negotiators often use shuttle diplomacy when one or both of the two principals refuses recognition of the other.


How are party platforms created?

They are written by each party's leadership or their policy experts or committee heads.


Pax Americana

Latin for "American Peace"

Term applied to the period of peace between major world powers after WW2.

The Marshall Plan, which spent $13 billion to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, is considered the launching of the Pax Americana.



"Real politics"

Politics or diplomacy based on practical and material factors rather than ideological or ethical concerns.

Concessions are often made to achieve a realistic, end goal.



A list of a political party's beliefs and goals.

All parties (democrat, republican, etc) produce a party platform.

When the party nominates a candidate to represent it, there's an expectation that the nominee will reflect the platform.



A political party's platform is made up of "planks", which are statements on the party's belief about policy issues.


What is our political party system?

A functional two-party system

Even though there are many different parties only two (democrat or republican) have a realistic chance of winning at the national level.


What is the goal of every presidential candidate?

To appeal to as broad a part of the electorate as possible.


Valence issues

Issues which are frequently agreed upon by both the left and the right.

They are used to help candidates appeal to as broad a part of the electorate as possible.

Statement everyone agrees on. Like: "I'm in favor of education"


"I support the environment"


Position issues

Unlike valence issues, these are issues where candidates differ.

These are frequently partisan issues like abortion or gay marriage.

Position issues are often found in a party's platform.



Every four year period


Emancipation proclamation

Executive order signed Jan. 1st, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln, declaring all slaves were now free.



To make (a treaty, agreement, etc) official by signing it or voting on it.



A direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to vote on a particular proposal.

May result in a new law.



To make or enact a law or laws.



Arab-speaking country in Western Asia bordered by Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Euphrates river runs through it.

Ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1500s to 1948, when it received independence.

Ruled by various people until 1970, when Hafez al-Assad and the Ba'athist party took over. They nationalized everything.

Al-Assad is ethnically an Alawait (who are a minority). Majority of the country is Sunni Muslim.

Became a military dictatorship, although because the Ba'athist party is secular it's one of the few middle eastern countries with religious freedom.

Hafez's son Bashir took over in 2000. He is not military and is an opthamologist educated in Europe.

He kicked out his dad's military guys and installed his buddies and relatives to run the country, who are a bunch of half-assed con men.

Things were good at first: he started privatizing everything and set up a stock market.

But in 2011, Arab spring hit and he cracked down brutally on anti-government protesters. Sparked a civil war.

He's been dumping barrel bombs full of chemical weapons (chlorine mostly) on his own people and Obama and NATO haven't done shit because he knew it would destroy his deal with Iran.


What countries are in NATO?

There are 28.
A few:



How did Arab Spring come about?

There was a spike in grain prices due to floods. Then China bought up all the surplus grain and there were more food price spikes.

Because the Arab states are Oligarchies (a few people at the top have everything, everyone else is poor), when there are food price spikes, people feel it.

A food vendor in Tunisia immolated himself after a cop illegally took his cart and it sparked a revolution. It was successful and they installed a democracy.

This emboldened other Arab states to do the same. Unfortunately, none had Tunisia's luck. Many were bloody and unsuccessful.

Egypt and Yemen both ran through two separate govts, each one worse than the last. Egypt went through Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood (who they've been executing right and left).



The body of persons entitled to vote.


Electoral college

A body of electors chosen by the voters in each state to elect the president and Vice President of the US.


The Cold War

Between roughly 1947-1991

A state of military and political tension after WWII between powers in the Western Bloc (US and it's NATO allies) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (Soviet Union and it's Warsaw Pact allies).

It was termed "cold" because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, although there were regional wars, known as "proxy wars" in Korea, Vietnam, and Afganistan that the two sides supported.