Gov and APMacro: Smarter Balanced Assessment

smarterbalance-are-you-ready  Classes will be impacted by students missing class periods because they’re taking the Language Arts Smarter Balanced Test.

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APMacro: Practice FRQ

studyimage016  Review: loanable funds, interest rates, money market, and Phillips Curve.

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Gov: Public Policy

public-policy     Public policy refers to government actions or programs designed to achieve certain goals. Creating public policy is a multistep process. Government officials, policy experts, political parties, interest groups, and concerned citizens all take part in policymaking.

The first step is to identify problems and issues that need to be addressed. A crisis can bring an issue to public attention or public officials can also raise awareness of an issue.

Government officials cannot address all the problems facing the nation at any one time. They have to make choices, selecting the issues that seem most critical and setting others aside. Agenda setting requires officials to decide which issues should be part of the public agenda, or set of public priorities. Political parties and interest groups often play a role in setting the public agenda. Parties help by placing issues on their platforms, thus making those items a priority for the candidates they elect. Interest groups do the same by lobbying for certain issues.

Once an issue is on the public agenda, government officials work on formulating a policy to address it. This step may take place within any branch of government. Legislatures make policy by passing laws or statutes. Executive officials or agencies make policy by setting new rules and regulations. The judicial system can influence policy through court decisions and rulings.

Many policies are formulated as legislation. These bills must first pass through legislatures to become law. This process often results in substantial revisions. A policy proposal may be changed to gain the support of a majority of legislators. Or it may be modified to avoid legal challenges or a threatened veto by a governor or president.

After a policy is adopted, it must be implemented. Usually, implementation is assigned to a specific government agency. That agency then becomes responsible for making the new policy work.

The final step in the policy process is evaluation. Government officials and concerned interest groups assess whether implemented policies have met their goals. If changes need to be made, the policymaking process begins again.

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APMacro: AD-AS Review

AD-AS Full Employment

  • Aggregate demand (AD) and aggregate supply (AS) curves look and operate much like the supply and demand curves used in microeconomics. However, macroeconomic AD and AS curves depict different concepts, and they change for different reasons than do microeconomic demand and supply curves. AD and AS curves can be used to illustrate changes in real output and the price level of an economy.
  • The downward sloping aggregate demand curve is explained by the interest rate effect, the wealth effect and the net export effect. The wealth effect is also called the real balance effect.
  • Shifts in aggregate demand can change the level of output, the price level or both. The determinants of aggregate demand include consumer spending, investment spending, government spending, net export spending and money supply.
  • The aggregate supply curve can be divided into three ranges: the horizontal range, the upward sloping or intermediate range, and the vertical range.
  • Shifts in aggregate supply can also change the level of output and the price level. The determinants of AS include changes in input prices, productivity, the legal institutional environment and the quantity of available resources.
  • In the short run, economists think that equilibrium levels of GDP can occur at less than, greater than or at the full-employment level of GDP. Economists believe that long-run equilibrium can occur only at full employment.
  • In a dynamic aggregate demand and aggregate supply model of the economy, changes in wages and prices over time induce the economy to move to the long-run equilibrium.

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Gov: Political Parties

democrats_republicans_head_to_head_hg_whtA 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.

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APMacro: International Way of Thinking

GlobalEconomyReview of the interaction between the domestic economy and the international economy.

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Gov: Interest Groups

Interest Groups3     There are thousands of interest groups in the United States. Although they differ in many respects, their basic goal is the same: they all try to persuade elected officials to take actions to support their interests. Special-interest groups fall into several categories, depending on their membership and goals. Americans join interest groups for various reasons. Some join for the information and benefits the groups offer. Many interest groups publish newsletters and host workshops and conferences for members. Some offer training that helps members qualify for higher-paying jobs.

All interest groups need both money and people, but they are organized and financed in many ways. Most interest groups have an elected board of directors or trustees who set policy and decide how the group’s resources will be used. Many groups have both national and state chapters, each led by their own boards or trustees. Funding methods vary among interest groups. Many economic and single-issue groups get most of their operating expenses from dues, membership fees, and direct mail fundraising campaigns. Some public interest groups get their primary funding from foundations or government grants.

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