1.) Discuss how changes in states’ policy mood and specific opinion help explain the recent developments in morality policies such as abortion and LGBTQ rights. In your opinion, whose opinion tends to matter the most in the opinion-policy linkage and why?
2.) Discuss at least four different types of taxes a state could use as potential own-source revenue for their expenditure policies. What are some of the economic and/or social reasons why a state would decide to use one taxation method over another? In your opinion, should states develop a regressive or progressive tax system? Why?
3.) Compare and contrast the three different economic-development strategies a state could emphasize. What are some of the concerns about offering homogenous incentive packages to secure investments for these strategies? In your opinion, which is the best strategy and why?
4.) In what ways is a state’s pollution levels directly related to the structure of that state’s economy? Why should we be concerned about the spillover effect and how has the federal government tried to regulate this type of interstate pollution in recent decades? In your opinion, should the Environmental Protection Agency grant states administrative privacy? Why?
5.) If it is true that parent and student choices create competitive market pressures on the U.S. education system (K-12 and higher ed.), discuss what these choices are and the different theoretical ways public education institutions will improve. How can the federal and state governments facilitate a competitive education market?
6.) Explain how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United v. FEC (2010) impacted the amount of money being raised and spent in state campaigns and elections. Additionally, how did this decision alter the role party-allied interest groups play in these elections?
When grading the essays, I will look for…
• Your ability to show you comprehend the material and provide a logical (reasonable use of supporting evidence with clear definitions of key terms or concepts) & consistent (position is maintained throughout the essay) argument.
• Your ability to acknowledging and critique opposing arguments in a logical way (i.e., a thoughtful discussion about the differences between the majority and any concurring or dissenting opinions in a case).
• The ABSENCE of outlines or bullet points that are essentially copy-and-pasted directly from my presentation slides (please do not do this). You have a full week to prepare well-written essays, so you will lose points if you use an outline format in the exam.