created by Glenn Tamashiro

Hello and welcome. This site was developed to keep you informed about the various lessons and activities that are held in our Government/Economics and Honors Government/AP Macroeconomics classes.


HGov: Political Parties


A political party is a group of people with broad common interests who organize to win elections, control government, and thereby influence government policies. Most nations have one or more political parties. In a one-party system, that party is the government, and party leaders set government policy. One-party systems are usually found in nations with authoritarian governments or in countries where religious leaders dominate. In nations with multiparty systems, voters have a wide range of choices on Election Day, and one party rarely gets enough support to control the government. Several parties often combine forces to obtain a majority and form a coalition government. Disputes often arise, and many nations with multiparty systems are politically unstable. The United States has two major parties, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Minor or third parties rarely win major elections. They often form over a single issue, such as right-to-life. Others form over an ideology, such as the Communist Party USA. A third type is a splinter party that often forms over a political figure. Third parties often influence politics by promoting new ideas.


HGov: Political Campaign Financing


It takes a great deal of money to run a successful campaign for a major political office. The great majority of candidates must reach out to their supporters for funding. Most campaign funds come from individual citizens. These donations are often raised through direct-mail or Internet fundraising campaigns and are typically in the $25 to $100 range. Candidates also host fundraisers to raise money from large donors. The amount of money an individual could donate to a single candidate is limited by law to $2,300 for the primary campaign and another $2,300 for the general election. Political action committees are another important source of campaign funds. PACs are organizations formed by corporations, labor unions, or interest groups to channel funds into political campaigns. Similar to individual donations, PAC contributions to a single candidate are limited to $5,000 for the primary campaign and another $5,000 for the general election. Campaign financing is heavily regulated and disclosed publically. Presidential candidates can accept federal funding from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, which gives money to each major candidate as long as he or she agrees not to accept any other direct contributions.

In 1974, Congress created the Federal Election Commission to enforce laws that limit campaign contributions. The FEC requires candidates to keep accurate records of donations to their campaigns and to make those records available to the public. Despite this oversight, campaign spending continued to spiral upward. Much of the money came from interest groups who had found loopholes in existing campaign finance laws. Calls for reform led to the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act in 2002, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act, which bans the use of soft money in individual election campaigns. It also limited how much soft money an individual could contribute to a political party. Parties could only use soft money to encourage voter registration and voter turnout. One side effect of the reform act has been the growth of 527 groups. These organizations are formed under Section 527 of the tax code. Because they are not tied to a political party or candidate, they are allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts to support or oppose candidates. 527 groups and their donors have found a loophole that allows the continued use of unregulated soft money in political campaigns.


Econ: Private Sector and Public Sector

Circular Flow income and expenditures

The U.S. economy is divided into a private sector, which includes households and businesses and a public sector or government. Households play a dual role in the economy. They supply the economy with resources and they purchase the greatest share of the goods and services produced by the economy. They obtain personal incomes in exchange for the resources they furnish the economy and from transfer payments they receive from government. Businesses make up the second major part of the private sector. Most businesses in the U.S. are characterized by the differences among firms in size and legal form, as well as in the products they produce.

The economic activities of the public sector are extensive. Government performs five economic functions in the economy. These functions are: providing the legal structure, maintaining competition, redistributing income, reallocating resources, and stabilizing the economy.


HGov: Introduce SSA Components

Content Objective:
You will identify, research, and clarify an issue or problem of significance to our government by gathering, using, and evaluating researched information to support analysis and conclusion.

A.  Frame: Defining and clarifying an issue so that its features are well-understood

 1. Identifies and provides a reasonable explanation of the significance of an issue or problem.
2. Introduces and defines most of the critical components of the issue or problem (who, what, when, where, why).
3. Communicates the purpose of the study throughout the analysis by establishing or reframing a question or thesis.

 B. Research: Using and evaluating researched information to support analysis and conclusion(s)

  1. Presents appropriate information from various primary and secondary sources.
  2. Uses and connects information from various sources throughout the analysis with appropriate acknowledgment (e.g. attributes, quotes, citations, references, etc.)
  3. Notes source credibility, biases, stereotyping, and/or misrepresentations.

C. Examine

  1. Identifying and analyzing characteristics, causes, and consequences of an issue or problem
  2. Identifies and objectively explains with some detail multiple points of view related to the topic.
  3. Explains several factors which influenced or caused the issue or problem.
  4. Explains some probable implications, effects, and/or results and their relationship to the issue or problem

D. Conclude: identify, compare, and evaluate outcomes, responses, or solutions; then reach a supported conclusion.

  1. Communicates a reasonable conclusion or resolution that responds to the original question/thesis and the analysis.
  2. Addresses and dismisses alternative interpretations, outcomes, or possible responses to the question/thesis.
  3. Justifies conclusion(s) and, if appropriate, makes recommendations, using some data, research, valid information, and/or knowledge

Palfreman, Jon. Sick Around America. Dir. Frontline. March 31, 2009. PBS. DVD
Reid, T.R. Sick Around the World.  Dir. Frontline. 15 April 2008. PBS. DVD


Econ: Compare and Contrast Food Prices v. Gas Prices

Compare and Contrast events in rising food prices versus falling gas prices. Students will identify and use supply and demand concepts.

Compare Contrast DS Food Price v Gas Price


HGov: Campaigns and Voting

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision changed campaigns in America. The ruling gave corporations and unions the green light to spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools, calling for the election or defeat of individual candidates. Today we watched Big Sky, Big Money which explores how the Supreme Court’s decision changed political campaigns in America, starting at its epicenter in Montana. It tracks the inner workings of a dark money group, Western Tradition Partnership, through boxes of documents initially found in a meth house in Colorado.



Econ: Supply and Demand Quiz

cat-sitting-deskGood luck. Supply and Demand Quiz.Paw - Integrity_sm


Find and identify supply and demand concepts in the article:

What Made Beanie Babies So Successful?
Beanie Babies article
Sarah Stephens has a passion – she loves Beanie Babies. Sarah is far from alone. She is one of millions of people – girls, boys, teenagers, and adults – caught up in the mania that made Beanie Babies the best selling collectible toy animal…..



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