Tutor profile: David L.
What is your definition of representation in American politics?
My definition of representation is how the interests of individuals or groups of individuals are presented by a person or an institution in politics. When we speculate representation in the American Congress, I consider that level of representation in Congress today is limited and seldom exploited for the benefit of the political officials rather than the people. Since this lack of representation is partly due to the structure of the Congress as well as many other characteristics, it is important to understand the Congress before delving into the topic of representation. The Congress in the US has the ultimate power of the purse, can pass a law even if the president vetoes it, and can alter, profoundly at times, how existing laws are administered through its oversight of executive agencies. Despite its overarching power in many facets of American politics, the Congress is now considered by many to be the system’s broken branch, badly in need of fixing . In terms of voting for the representatives, voters select the candidates in the primaries because of their personalities, positions on issues, or overall reputation. Thus, a congress tends to be made up of people who think of themselves as independent representatives of their districts or states and who, while willing to support their party on many matters, expect to vote as their beliefs and interests require . Nonetheless, representation in the Congress does not reflect the American population very well. Even in a demographic perspective, the Congress is not representative of the American people. While the members of the Congress are middle-aged white males with law degrees or political careers, most Americans are not similar to the members in the Congress. Other groups of individuals such as women are much less prevalent in Congress than they are in the nation as a whole. We can also speculate this pattern among the Democratic and Republican Parties. Ideologically, Republican members of Congress are more conservative than average Americans while Democratic members of Congress are more liberal than average Americans . While the demographic aspect of the Congress explicitly shows that it does not well represent the American people, this pattern is once again highlighted when we consider if the interests of the people are reflected in the actions of the Congress. While the Congress is in step with the public on most issues, on some, most representatives’ opinions are generally out of sync with mass public preferences. This makes the gap of the Congress and the people even bigger. For example, most Americans have favored protectionist trade policies while most members of the Congress have maintained their support for free trade policies . It is true that there are explanations such as the representation theory, which is based on the reasonable assumption that members want to get reelected, and therefore, they vote to please their constituents . This may seem to raise representation of the people in the Congress, but in fact, public opinion is not strong and clear on most measures on which Congress must vote. Many representatives and senators face constituencies that are divided on key issues , which make it impossible for them to represent every constituency in American politics. While I do believe that the Congress makes an effort to reflect and represent the people as much as possible, there are numerous limitations that suppress representation in the Congress, and it has a long way to go before the people in the US are fully represented in the Congress.
Suppose a worker in Germany can produce 15 computers or 5 tons of grain per month. Suppose a worker in Poland can produce 4 computers or 4 tons of grain per month. For simplicity, assume that each country has only one worker. Fill out the following table: Germany Poland 1 more Computer 1 more Grain
. Germany Poland 1 more Computer 1/3 Grain 1 Grain 1 more Grain 3 Computers 1 Computer
A bank dealing in foreign currency tells you that the foreign currency will buy you $0.80 USD. The bank has given you what?
A direct quote
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