Party Instability: Why American Politics Feels Broken



American politics feels more chaotic and unstable than ever our political parties have sorted into ideological opposites but there's a reason for all this turmoil America's political instability is occurring because of deep ongoing economic and demographic structural changes that are causing existing voting blocs to regroup and reconsider which issues motivate them and which party they support as a result control of the legislative and executive branches keeps shifting back and forth and notably these structural changes are affecting countries all over the world what is stable today isn't stable tomorrow and political parties have to adjust in order to find positions that win them a majority of voters luckily there's a reason to be hopeful this has happened before in our history for example in response to the Great Depression Democrats found a winning combination of issues with the New Deal they promised voters security from financial ruin made welfare a popular voting platform and as a result went on to control Congress for 60 years today political parties are struggling to find a winning combination of positions on the challenges that are causing people to change political allegiances including global trade immigration automation access to health care and inequality once one political party figures out a winning combination of policies that can consistently win them elections political stability will return you

Thomas Sowell – Worst President Ever



you let's let's let's politics of the day for a moment Thomas olan Donnell quote what is remarkable is that after six years of repeated disasters under a glib egomaniac in the White House so many potential voters are turning to another glib egomaniac to be his successor close quote oh come on aren't you being a little hard on both Barack Obama and Donald Trump I thought I was pulling my punches Donald Trump is simply not suited to be President I think that that's true as an understatement all right but Ron or is the current but I was going to say Barack Obama is the president yes glib ego mean how bad has he been who where does Barack Obama rank in your mind you who know so much history among with the worst American presidents he has displaced Jimmy Carter from that position the worst the worst worse than James Buchanan yes worse than Richard Nixon yes all right Richard Nixon did not after all put us in danger of nuclear attacks probably when the lifetime of people living today the Iran deal will do that yes we're committed to stopping the Israelis from stopping the Iranians from getting a nuclear weapon that's part of the deal when I interviewed George Gilder about six or seven months ago George Gilder known to both of us he contended that with the right policies the economy coming back to the international scene in a moment but the economy would actually turn around quite quickly the American economy can be revived quite quickly cut taxes peel back regulation and you'd see another version of the early 1980s you agree yes all we have to do is get out of the way in a certain sense yes I mean there was that when when Warren Harding took office in 1921 the unemployment rate was around 12 percent Warren Harding did absolutely nothing as the as the Guttman's revenue fell because of the downturn he cut government spending now but both those things are things that the drive the Keynesian is crazy right the following year unemployment had fallen to about half that level within a year yes and then a year after that it fell yet again people you know there is a history it the first time the federal government intervened in the economy to get us out of a downturn was in 1930 now which means that for more than 150 years the federal government just stood by and twiddle their thumbs while the economy recovered on its own and all that time there was never a depression as bad as the 1930s depression where there was all kinds of intervention beginning with who Herbert Hoover held in helpers and then amplified by Franklin D Roosevelt so in terms of you looking at what happened as a matter of fact again there was no there was no Federal Reserve prior to 1914 the Federal Reserve was created in order to one cut back cut back on bank failures reduce inflation and prevent deflation all of those things reached historic highs never seen before under the Federal Reserve so either the idea was wonderful it's only the reality that didn't cooperate

Can the Government Run the Economy?



is our economy and machine like an automobile a train or a power plant one constantly hears phrases such as the economy's overheating or needs to cool off or could use some stimulus these aren't harmless metaphors they epitomize how economists have taught us to see an economy as something that can be manipulated guided or driven and guess who does the driving the government the government is supposed to make sure that the economy hums along at an even speed going neither too fast nor too slow but the economy is not a machine it is made up of people and no one can control what billions of them are going to do what gets overlooked underplate or simply ignored is the extraordinary churn in the activities of a free market new businesses open while others close constantly in the US during normal times a half a million or more jobs are created each week while another half million are cut entrepreneurs continually roll out new products and services most of which flop but those that succeed can greatly improve our quality of life what government can and should do is to positively influence the environment in which this hum of activity takes place through sensible taxation monetary policy government spending and regulation and in almost all instances the best prescription for economic health is less is more catastrophic mistakes by governments can poison the marketplace has happened during the Great Depression in the 1930s to a lesser extent in the 1970s and then again in the panic of 2008-2009 the government's recent mistakes have been compounded by tax increases and an avalanche of anti growth regulations from Obamacare the dodd-frank financial services bill and all those Washington regulatory agencies such as the FCC the EPA and the National Labor Relations Board if you want to understand why the American economy has been growing at the anemic pace of one to two percent a year look no further again the idea of going to me that purrs along like a well-oiled machine hurts not enhances wealth creation because invariably it leads to growth retarding government intervention which brings us to bubbles shouldn't the government the argument goes at least try to stop them from happening well it depends those caused by misguided government policies like the housing bubble of the mid-2000s yes those caused by the free market no bubbles have a bad name but not all of them are created equal there are healthy ones and unhealthy ones the good kind develops when a lot of people simultaneously recognize a great opportunity computers are an excellent example during the early 1980s there was a boom in personal computers followed by a severe shakeout when companies such as Atari and Commodore bit the dust in the late 1990s a number of companies recognized the importance of search engines Google emerged supreme with Microsoft and others relegated to fractional market shares more recently mobile phones went through its own shakeout with a dozen different brands competing for market share once Nokia was king but now the Apple iPhone and Samsung dominate good bubbles are a sign of a vibrant and innovative economy the excesses are ultimately squeezed out and capitals redeployed to more promising opportunities but bubbles artificially created by government policies such as the housing bubble are disastrous the housing crisis was largely created by government policies including pushing banks into giving mortgages to people who could not really afford them when large numbers of those borrowers stopped making their payments the market crashed and everyone got hurt by unnecessary government meddling finally there are business cycles shouldn't the government smooth those out economists have puzzled over business cycles the ups and downs of an economy for more than 200 years most have treated the phenomenon like an illness something to be cured instead of what it is Evan flow of the free more we're what people might want is created and what people don't want is destroyed trying to rest this free market process of creative destruction as it is known it never to be leaves the stagnation that is little or no economic growth for current examples see Japan and most of Europe here's a rule the more government tightens its grip the lessen economy grows that's because an economy is not a machine and government can't force it to act like one so let's free the free market that is noise has been the surest path to prosperity I'm Steve Forbes for Prager University – subscribe to our youtube channel click here to help keep our videos free donate here

Government Regulation: Crash Course Government and Politics #47



Hello, I’m Craig and this is Crash Course
Government and Politics and today I’m going to talk a bit more about economic policy.
Ran into the table there a little bit. Whoo! Economic policy can be dangerous. Specifically, we’re going to look at some
of the broad goals of economic policy and some of the things that the government does
to try to accomplish those goals. And we may even provide some examples of times
when the government DID accomplish them, so take that, skeptics. But, I have to admit,
a lot of the time the goals are just goals. [Theme Music] So all people have goals and aspirations (except
me) and the government, since it’s made up of people is no different. Well I do have one goal:
to punch the eagle again. And I did it. Accomplished. Well, actually the government's different
because it’s economic goals are much bigger and more important than, say my goal of punching
the eagle again. Although I would argue my goal is pretty important. So what are these,
goals of economic policy? The first goal is promoting stable markets.
We talked about how the government structures the market system in the last episode,
so I probably don’t need to repeat it. At least I hope I don’t. You should’ve been
paying attention. But since nobody wants a malfunctioning market,
most of the things the government does to create a market system also work to make the
system stable and predictable. Maintaining law and order and minimizing monopolies
are examples of government actions that make the market system stable. I didn’t know the government
maintained Law and Order – oh not the tv show, OK. One of the more interesting ways – ok interesting
to me – that the government keeps markets predictable is through national regulations
of things like automobile fuel efficiency standards. If there were no national regulations, and
states were allowed to set the rules, then it might be possible for car makers in Detroit
to build cars that live up to the mileage standards in Michigan, but not in California,
and that would be anarchy. Well, maybe not anarchy exactly, but it wouldn’t
be good, and it’d make it much more difficult for manufacturers to know what kind of cars
to make. Also, do you really want California, the state with the biggest population, making
rules for the rest of us? Of course you don’t. The second major goal of economic policy is
promoting economic prosperity. Here’s another example of a situation where many people will tell
you that the best way for the government to promote prosperity is to get out of the way, and they may
have a point, but the government doesn’t stop trying. So what does the government do to promote
prosperity? For one thing, it tries to keep a positive investment climate and build
confidence in the economy. One way the federal government can accomplish
this is through regulating financial markets through the Securities and Exchange Commission
since people won’t want to invest in the securities markets if they think the game's
fixed. Another thing the government can do, if it’s
feeling particularly Keynesian, is to spend money on public investment in things like
highways and the internet. While not actually built by Al Gore, it did begin with a government
program out of the Defense Department. The government also pays for research through
the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and enhances
the workforce through education policy and immigration policy, all of which contribute
to national prosperity. Another, and by no means the last, way that
the government can try to make the country more prosperous is by keeping inflation low.
You can find out more about inflation from Crash Course: Economics, but the main tool
the government uses to control inflation is the Federal Reserve, which is so complicated
that it gets it’s own episode. A third goal of government economic policy, one
closely related to the first two, is promoting business development. Many people would probably argue that promoting
business development and promoting prosperity are the same thing but policies aimed at helping
businesses are slightly different and more focused than those targeting the broader goal
of promoting prosperity. The main ways that the federal government
promotes business development are through tariffs and subsidies. Since the Great Depression,
the U.S. has pretty much pursued a policy of free trade, which means lowering tariffs
on most things, which by forcing them to compete can hurt businesses, at least in the short
run. In the past, however, high tariffs allowed
American businesses to develop free from foreign competition and this helped to make the U.S.
the most powerful industrial nation in the world! Can we use that Libertage from US History?
I think Yes! [Libertage] Subsidies are very controversial and they
come in two forms. Grants in aid for things like transportation – building those superhighways
again – provide an indirect subsidy to businesses who don’t have to pay for the roads they
use to ship the goods they make. Most people don’t complain about this type of subsidy,
because they can also be looked at as a public good. Direct subsidies are another issue. These
include direct assistance to businesses through the Small Business Administration and government
investment in firms like Sematech and, more recently and more controversially, Solyndra. Many people don’t think that the government
should be in the business of investing in business and that these subsidies provide the
businesses that receive them with an unfair advantage. Farm subsidies are probably just as controversial.
They were put in place to help farmers during The Great Depression, but these days, critics worry
that most of the subsidies go to corporate farms. The fourth goal of government economic policy
is to protect consumers and employees. A lot of people will tell you that the federal government
doesn’t do much to protect employees these days, and those people are probably right,
but in the past it certainly did. The government made unionization easier with
the National Labor Relations Act and setting labor standards, especially overtime
rules with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Both of these were passed in the 1930s, by the way. Probably the most notable thing that the government
does to protect workers these days is set the federal minimum wage, but since that topic
is being hotly debated as this episode is being produced in 2015, I can’t really comment
on how it’s going to turn out. On the other hand the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration does set up regulations to prevent workers from breathing in hazardous
fumes and protect them from other potentially life threatening workplace conditions, and
that’s a good thing. As far as consumers are concerned, there are
thousands of regulations that protect us to make sure that the things we buy don’t kill
or maim us. The Food and Drug Administration makes sure that our medicines aren’t poison,
and the Department of Agriculture inspects meat, which I think is really good a idea,
actually. The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety
Act of 1966 made cars safer, and the Consumer Products Safety Commission helps keep lead
paint out of our toys and saves us from exploding toasters. I like explosions as much as the
next guy, but not with breakfast. All of these goals of economic policy, promoting stable
markets, promoting economic prosperity, fostering business development and protecting employees
and consumers are interrelated and important. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if one
is more important than the other three, because that makes for excellent dinner conversation.
If your dinner parties are mostly about the role the government plays in our economy.
Please invite me to those dinner parties. I’m hungry, for roast beef and political
debate. So, to shift gears a little, let’s talk
history, and how the government’s role in regulating the economy has changed in the
last 240 years or so. So you probably remember from back when we
talked about the transition from congressional to presidential government that began with
Teddy Roosevelt and really came into its own with Franklin Roosevelt, that before the 20th century
the federal government didn’t really do that much. A lot of that has to do with fiscal policy
and taxation, which we’re going to discuss in another episode, and maybe that dinner
you’re going to invite me to, but some of it was certainly because of the way that the Supreme
Court had interpreted the Commerce Clause to mean that government regulation was suspect,
and by suspect, I mean generally not allowed. But by the end of the 19th century the Federal
government’s regulatory power had begun to change, and a lot of that has to do with
one of my favorite subjects – no not Star Wars. And no not the protection of endangered species.
(punches eagle) I’m talking about railroads (Yeah!).
Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. So, with the completion of the transcontinental
railroad in 1869, travel and communication across the U.S. became much easier and it was possible
for the first time to have a national market for goods. If you raised cattle in Kansas, you could now
easily ship beef to New York or San Francisco. Railroads were, almost by definition, interstate
entities, so it was pretty clear that Congress could regulate them. And they needed regulation
because railroads had a nasty habit of discriminatory pricing, charging much, much more for some
shippers than for others. Something had to be done and Congress stepped in with the Interstate
Commerce Act in 1887, which created the Interstate Commerce Commission
to regulate railroads. The period of time around the turn of the
20th century in the U.S. is known as the Gilded Age and is associated with runaway capitalism
and the creation of modern corporate structures and industrial capitalists like Andrew Carnegie
– or Carnegie, if you will – and John D. Rockefeller who are heroes to some and
villains to others. In response to some of the abuses of the Gilded Age, Congress passed
its first wave of regulatory legislation. In addition to the ICC, Congress created the
Federal Trade Commission to regulate trade and the Sherman and Clayton Acts to try to
counter the problem of monopolies. These anti-trust laws are the basis of modern anti-trust regulation and
have been used against Standard Oil and Microsoft. This first wave of economic regulation didn’t
have huge effects on the economy, certainly not greater than the effects of, say World
War I. In the 1920s the federal government returned to a more traditional laissez faire
approach, which lasted until the Great Depression swept Herbert Hoover and the Republicans out
of office and Franklin Roosevelt into it. And with Franklin Roosevelt came the New Deal
and the advent of what law schools sometimes like to call the administrative and regulatory
state. Thanks Thought Bubble. We’re not going to
get into details about the various laws and regulations of the New Deal here, but luckily I think
John talked about them in Crash Course: U.S. History. John, he talks about stuff. But in general, those regulations meant that
the federal government would take an active role in regulating certain sectors of the
economy, like agriculture and transportation. Sometimes technology played a part. There
really wasn’t a need for a Federal Aviation Administration until there were airplanes. The next big wave of government regulation happened
in the early 1970s under, of all people, president Nixon. These new regulatory laws were different from
their New Deal predecessors in that they focused on the economy as a whole. For example the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration dealt with ALL occupations, or at least most
of them, and the EPA was created to protect the whole country’s environment. Beginning in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan,
or actually before him under Carter, the federal government has undertaken various initiatives
to de-regulate the economy, but we already talked about deregulation in our episode on taming
the bureaucracy so we don’t need to re-hash that here. The point to remember is that, despite attempts
at deregulation, the administrative regulatory state appears to be here to stay. So why do we have an administrative regulatory
state now, even though so many people complain about it? Part of the reason has to do with
the remarkable staying power of bureaucracies, which are harder to kill than Wolverine. Nowadays the federal government not only has
economic goals, goals like increasing prosperity that most of us agree upon, it also has a
sense, maybe even a belief that it should try to achieve those goals. This is a long way from the view of the federal
government that persisted through the 19th century, one which many people say was handed
down by the framers. But times change, and the world and the U.S. has gotten much more
complex. Economic concerns take up an increasingly
large part of our lives and many of them, especially big macroeconomic policies require
big solutions. And for many Americans, but certainly not all of them, the best solution
we have is government. Thanks for watching. See you next time. Crash Course Government and Politics is produced
in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course: U.S. Government
comes from Voqal. Voqal supports nonprofits that use technology and media to advance social
equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Voqal.org. Crash Course was made with the help of all
these occupational safety and health hazards. Thanks for watching.

Market Economy: Crash Course Government and Politics #46



Hello. I’m Craig and this is Crash Course
Government and Politics and today we’re going to turn to a topic that is near and
dear to our wallets at Crash Course: economics. Now, I know that dedicated fans are saying:
“Hold on Craigers, you have a whole series about economics. Tell me about government.” To those
fans, I say: “you’re right…and don’t call me Craigers.” But this episode is going to be about the
role that government plays in the economy, specifically, the way that government creates the
market economic system that we know and love. [Theme Music] Before I get into the ways that government
creates a market economy, let me be right up front and say that we’re going to posit
that without some government, it wouldn’t be possible for a market economy to exist.
[gasp] Whaaaaa? I realize that this is a bit controversial,
with many people believing that markets are natural phenomena that follow laws like “supply
and demand” that are analogous to real physical laws like, say, gravity. Which is also a movie
starring George Clooney – he aged so well. This is an interesting construct and one that
has important political ramifications, because if you believe in it, then basically there’s nothing that the
government can, or should, do to improve the economy. I’ll leave it to commenters to argue this
point, but I stand by my statement: We wouldn’t have a market economy
without government. So economically-minded political scientists,
AND politically-minded economists, will tell you that there are a number of ways that government
structures the economy in the U.S. I’m going to go over eight of them, although there might
be more. So, in no particular order, here it goes. The government
creates and maintains a market economy by: establishing law and order;
defining rules of property; governing rules of exchange;
setting market standards; providing public goods;
creating a labor force; ameliorating externalities; and
promoting competition. I think most of us can agree that a big part
of the government’s job is to establish law and order. This idea goes back at least
as far as the Enlightenment and Thomas Hobbes, but since this is not Crash Course: Political
Philosophy, I’m going to move on. Law and order helps to structure the economy
by providing predictability. It is much harder to engage in trade or production
for profit if you suspect that what you have to trade or sell may be taken away by bandits,
like the Hamburglar. But — only — in that case only if it’s
burgers that you are actually trading. But it’s not just that the government, if
it’s doing its job, can protect us from being robbed in the literal sense of the Hamburgler
stealing our delicious, delicious burgers. The government creates a legal system that can punish
people who commit fraud, and knowing that they can be punished prevents people from committing fraud.
Or at least I hope it does. Most of the time it does. Don’t do fraud kids. The second way that
the government structures the economy is by defining rules of property. Now there are
many people who will tell you that property is an inalienable right, sort of like something
given by God. I’m looking at you John Locke. And John Locke would respond, “don’t tell
me what I can’t do” but I would suggest that without government what you think of as your property
might not be as “yours” as you think or want it to be. But isn’t this sweet polka dot button-up
I’m wearing mine? Well, it is because I paid for it and we have laws that say that
payment for a good confers a title to it – we see this especially with land, or as it’s known to
the law as “real property” or perhaps “real estate.” We don’t actually receive written titles
when we buy most things, but according to the law, if I can establish ownership by proving
I paid for this shirt or somebody left it to me in their will or something then it’s
mine. And if someone takes it from me, I can bring the law down on them – the courts, the legal
system, or maybe the sheriff will help me get it back. A really concrete example of the way the laws
create and protect property rights are trespass laws, which allow you to tell those noisy
kids to get off your lawn. Without trespass, who’s to say it’s not their lawn? Basically ownership of anything is a bundle
of rights establishing what you can do with that thing, whether it’s your car, or your
house, or your eagle. And without legally established ownership rules, we can’t buy
or sell or punch anything. And speaking of buying and selling, another
way that the government structures the economy is through setting and governing rules of
exchange. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. In most states there are complex rules that
explain how and when, or even if you can sell something. For example some localities, (like
Indiana) have so called “blue laws” that prevent you from buying or selling alcohol
on certain days. Some counties in some states are completely dry, meaning that you can’t
buy or sell alcohol at all, and for a brief (terrible) period in the US – prohibition
– the Eighteenth amendment to the Constitution prohibited the “manufacture, sale, or transportation
of intoxicating liquors” Manufacture, sale, and transportation, sound like the three main
ingredients in an economy to me. Some exchanges are still flat-out forbidden
by laws in the U.S.. Many drugs are called controlled substances for a reason, and that
reason is that they are subject to government control. Some drugs are prohibited outright
and if you make or sell or buy them you can be punished by the government. There are also
laws preventing you from selling yourself into slavery, or from selling your body through
prostitution, or selling parts of your body like your kidneys. Some economists may question the
wisdom of these rules, but they exist and by making and enforcing them the government can exert powerful
control over what can and cannot be exchanged. Thanks, Thought Bubble. Probably less controversial
than the rules governing exchange is the government’s role in setting market standards. This is something governments have been doing
for a very long time, and you’ve probably learned about it in history class as the government’s
setting up weights and measures. This may not seem like such a big deal until
you consider that if you are paying someone for a pound of chick peas, you need to know
what a pound is… if you’re going to get the right amount
for that sweet hummus. This goes for measures too. If I am buying
an acre of land, I want to make sure that I’m getting 4,046.86 square meters of land,
or 43,560 square feet. And if I buy an acre in Scotland, I’m going to get even more
since a Scottish acre is the equivalent of 1.27 U.S. acres. Plus no one will look at
me funny when I’m eating my haggis. Basically this means is that the government
insures that buyers and sellers are operating on the same playing field. This used to be
even more important when currency contained precious metals, but I don’t want to get
into a big argument about pennies and nickels — that's John Green's thing, and we've all
established that I'm not John Green. This brings us to public goods. Public goods are
things and services that the government provides that can be enjoyed by everyone and, once provided, cannot
be denied to a particular subset of the population. One example is public transportation: in many
places the government provides bus or subway services to residents, not for free, but at
highly subsidized costs, although if you’ve ridden the New York Subway recently it doesn’t
always seem like the subsidies are big enough. In many cases the government steps in to provide
public goods when markets wouldn’t. It’s not likely that private companies would provide
an air-traffic control system, and even if they did, it would have to be highly regulated
by the government anyway because you don’t want different cities and states enacting different
rules about air-travel. That would be a literal disaster. Also, if it were up to unregulated markets,
there wouldn’t be any flights to places with small populations because they wouldn’t
be profitable. A really good example of the government providing
a public good where the market wouldn’t step in is the rural electrification projects
of the New Deal, the most famous of which sprang from the Tennessee Valley Authority. It wouldn’t have been profitable for power
companies to provide electricity to rural towns and farms, so the government stepped
in and provided it. And since without electricity it’s pretty hard to watch Crash Course,
I’m glad they did. We'd have to do, like, a Crash Course Live
Play. And I'm not good at live theater. You might have heard that the government is
not a “job creator” and in some ways that’s true, except for government jobs like firefighters
and public school teachers and, if we’re talking the federal government, soldiers and
sailors. But there are other ways that government efforts help to create a labor force. The main way this happens is through compulsory
education laws. States require that kids go to school up to a certain age and this is to ensure,
or at least try to ensure, that when they become adults they will have a level of competence
that will enable them to be productive workers. Of course, employers could provide the necessary
training at their own expense, but why would they do it if the government provides it for
them? Government also helps create the workforce by
providing student loans, which help people pay for college. And that's why college is so easy to pay for
now. Right?
Wink. There are government-run training programs
and, I suppose, the potential for the government to employ more people, like it did during
the Great Depression with programs like the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian
Conservation Corps. Now if you’ll allow me to put on my economist’s
hat – Stan, do we have budget for an economist’s hat? No. Apparently economists wear very expensive
hats. I will try to explain what the government does to ameliorate negative externalities. I love my
externalities ameliorated. Especially the negative ones. An externality is an external effect that
is a byproduct of a market transaction. They can be positive or negative and can also be
seen as the difference between the private cost and the social cost of economic behavior. Here’s an example. Driving is an economic behavior.
Back in the 1970s gasoline included lead, which made engines run better but also polluted the air with
lead, which, as we now know is very bad. Very, very bad. Buying leaded gasoline and running your car
on it was a private economic transaction but air pollution was a very public cost that neither the
seller of the gasoline nor the purchaser had to pay. And air pollution was very costly in terms
of public health. So the government ameliorated this by outlawing lead in gasoline and creating
regulations that limited air pollution generally. What this did was force companies and, by extension,
purchasers to pay for these negative external costs. Regulation is one way to deal with negative
externalities. Another is through taxes, which we’ll deal with it in another episode. The last way that the government creates our
market economy, at least the last way I’m going to talk about, is by promoting competition.
According to our old friend Adam Smith, the essence of a functioning market system is
competition, and in a perfect world competition would ensure that people got the best products
at the best prices. But history has shown that corporations and
individuals have often tried to stifle competition and create monopolies. If there’s only one
firm selling a product, that firm can charge whatever it wants, and this monopoly
condition doesn’t usually benefit consumers. At least not as much as it benefits monopolists. So government can and has stepped in to create
laws to regulate monopolies. The best known of these are the anti-trust laws, which are
sometimes used against big corporations, like Standard Oil or more recently, Microsoft. And the government can also grant anti-trust
exemptions that allow monopolies, as it did for Major League Baseball. Either way, the
government, under the Commerce Clause in the Constitution can pass laws that promote or
inhibit competition, although usually it tries to make the marketplace more, rather than
less, competitive. So that's why I say the government has a big
role to play in making a free market economy. You may not be convinced that without government a
free market system wouldn’t be possible, and that’s ok. You can think what you want. It's a free market.
Thanks for watching. See you next time. Crash Course Government and Politics is produced
in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course: U.S. Government
comes from Voqal. Voqal supports nonprofits that use technology and media to advance social
equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Voqal.org. Crash Course was made with the help of all
these free marketeers. Thanks for watching.

Political Ideology: Crash Course Government and Politics #35



hi I'm Craig and this is crash course government and politics and today we're gonna get personal not personal in the sense that I'm going to tell you I'm a bed-wetter because I'm not gonna tell you that we're gonna talk about people's personal political views and where they come from this is what political scientists sometimes call political socialization but before we get into the forces that help create our political outlooks we should probably define what political ideologies look like in America in America there are a number of ways that people characterize themselves politically typically they identify with a political party although as we'll see when we talk more about parties this has become less likely over time and although there's a lot of overlap between political party and political ideology there's not a hundred percent correspondence between the two but there is a hundred percent overlap between my fist and this Eagle speak politics so now I should probably say what I mean by political ideology basically I'm talking about whether you identify as liberal or conservative or libertarian or socialist or anarchist or nihilist or criest people who just love me I'm one of those you're probably familiar with the idea that liberals are on the left and conservatives are on the right and this can be a helpful shorthand but what political views do these terms represent let's go to the clown zone what the clone zone it's right here now I'll just I'll leave then this way I'll go this way taking a cue from anti federalists American conservatives believe that a large government poses a threat to individual liberty and we prefer our national government to be as small as possible we have this in common with libertarians there are some basic functions like national defense that government can best take care of but especially since the New Deal our federal government has taken on too much what government we need is best handled by states and localities for the most part American conservatives believe in the free market and that it will provide the greatest economic opportunity and benefit to the greatest number of people American conservatives usually support a strong defense this is one place where we generally don't think spending should be cut most other programs the things that fall under discretionary spending can and should be left up to the private sector and this will allow the government to reduce its spending lower spending in turn will mean lower taxes delicious lower taxes this means that we don't like flag-burning and we favor prayer in schools because these reflect traditional religious and patriotic values just like the eagle I love the eagle you're my friend many conservatives as strong adherence to religious faiths are against abortion but I'd say there is a greater diversity in conservative views on social issues than on economic one so the social sphere is where we differ significantly from our libertarian friends who don't see any role for government in people's personal lives this means that libertarians often support things like marijuana legalization that more traditional conservatives do not some if there's one value that American conservatives privilege above others its liberty America is a country of freedom and in most cases government is more of a threat to Liberty than a protector of it and I'm out not bad conservative clone but bad here's why sometimes liberals in the US are called New Deal liberals because the policies that we support grew out of the New Deal and lately a number of us are trying to rebrand ourselves as progressives although this is a little tricky given that historically progressives and liberals aren't the same thing in general American liberals believe that government can help solve problems and a bigger government like a glorious soaring eagle can solve bigger problems and more of them we support government intervention in the economy both in the form of regulations and higher taxes especially when that intervention benefits historically marginalized groups like minorities women and the poor we like to see the government step in on behalf of consumers and to protect the environment because in general we don't trust that the free market will be fair to everyone we know that protection of the environment aiding the poor and expanding civil liberties all cost money so we usually favor a progressive tax system with higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations although not all American liberals are anti-business as a rule we don't have a lot of faith that big businesses have the average Americans best interest at heart and so we prefer to see them regulated although we still see national defense as important most American liberals feel that the country spends more than enough on the military and that the defense budget should be cut leaving more money for necessary social programs in the debate over guns or butter we like butter although we're also fine with the government telling us not to eat so much of it if conservatives value Liberty we liberals cherish equality as our primary political virtue and we see government as a necessary agent in promoting equality or equals meaning that Eagle thanks Clones so for the most part this is what most American liberals and conservatives believe and these are the basic foundations upon which they build their political opinions but where do they come from political scientists sometimes refer to the process by which individuals establish their personal political ideologies as political socialization and they have identified four main agents that contribute to our political identities let's go to the thought-bubble the first and most important source of our politics is family this makes a lot of sense since kids either want to emulate their parents or reject their ideas and parents are usually the first people that express political opinions to kids as I suggested family can influence your political outlook and negative and positive ways if you respect your parents and admire it's likely that you will adopt their political ideology on the other hand adopting an opposing political view can be a form of rebellion still for the most part liberal parents breed liberal children and conservative parents create new generations of conservatives a second major influence on political ideology is social groups which in this case refer to one's race gender religion or ethnicity obviously these are generalizations but certain groups tend to fall predictably into liberal or conservative camps African Americans and Jewish people are among the most liberal Americans while white Catholics tend to be conservative Latinos are an interesting case because many identify as Catholic but they tend to be more liberal politically one of the reasons that many use to explain why African Americans and Latinos tend to be liberals is that these groups are disproportionately poor and receive a significant share of government benefits to this way of thinking economic self-interest is a prime determiner of where one stands politically and it also explains why white conservatives especially those who are wealthy favored policies of lower taxes and less government intervention one problem with this purely self-interested view of political ideology though is that there is a large number of low income low wealth white voters who also do or would game for more government benefits but they tend to be conservative in other words be careful when you try to define a person's politics by looking at their bank account gender also tends to be statistically significant in terms of political ideology the gender gap refers to the fact that women tend to be more liberal overall than men this is especially true on the issue of national defense where they tend to favor spending reductions rather than increases thanks thought-bubble the third agent of political socialization in the u.s. is education namely the primary and secondary school system this is the most formal way that our political views are shaped since almost all American students take at least one year of American history and many states require courses in civics in these courses students learn about political values like liberty and equality and may come to align themselves with a liberal or conservative view and maybe you're watching me in one of these classes right now conservatives tend to think that American schools and textbooks skewed towards a liberal outlook but this might be because most public school teachers are members of unions and teachers union membership correlates highly with a liberal viewpoint whether or not most teachers and textbooks are liberal it's a bit of a leap to assume that most students will automatically adopt the ideology of their teachers education does relate to political ideology and at least one measurable way though and at the higher the level of the education one attains the more likely one is to profess liberal views on issues such as women's rights or abortion on the other hand higher education levels also correlate with more conservative views on issues like governments of national health insurance or affirmative action programs to help African Americans so as with many things we look at things aren't so clear-cut and it's important to have some kind of data to back up our generalizations one final agent of political socialization are the political conditions one lives through example if you grew up during the Great Depression and saw FDR's New Deal programs benefit you and your family it's likely that you developed and maintained pro-government liberal views if you came of age during the Reagan era when popular politicians were singing the praises of self-reliance and calling government the problem rather than the solution it's likely that you developed conservative political views it remains to be seen whether people who form their political identities during the Great Recession will be liberal or conservative but don't worry pollsters are busy trying to figure it out so there you have a very broad outline of what the words conservative and liberal mean in American politics and some of the factors that turn people into liberals or conservatives more than probably anything I've said in this series these are generalizations that you need to look at critically this doesn't mean that if you find someone or if you are someone who doesn't fit either description 100 percent that we're completely wrong only that political ideologies are complex and change over time but we need to understand the outlines of these generalities because they get used all the time in our discussions of American politics in fact it would be hard to talk about politics without them thanks for watching see you next time crash course government and politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios support for crash course US government comes from vocal vocal supports non-profits that use technology and media to advance social equity learn more about their mission and initiatives at voqal.org crash course is made of the help of all of these political ideologues thanks for watching you

Party Systems: Crash Course Government and Politics #41



Hello, I'm Craig and this is
Crash Course Government and Politics. And today we're gonna talk about, well, mostly history. Wait Stan, this isn't Crash Course History. This must be
some kind of exception, like the Mongols. [Mongoltage] Apparently we're not stepping on anybody's toes by
talking about the history of American political parties, as long as we stay away from history in general.
Thank goodness, we wouldn't want to start a Crash Course interdisciplinary feud. Just kidding, I'm
totally feuding with that Phil guy over at Astronomy. [Theme Music] Political historians like to divide America
into eras according to which parties were active at the time. These are called party
systems, and there have been 5 or 6 of them depending on who you ask. I want to say there
were 6, but that's just me. And some political scientists and historians. But mainly me, because I'm
the important one here, and not Phil from Astronomy. There were no parties during the first elections
under the new Constitution in 1788, partly because the framers were afraid of parties,
which Madison called factions, and partly because there was universal agreement that
the first president of the US should be George Washington. And so he was. It was only after
he retired after his second term that voters started to break into political factions and
vote based on their ideological leanings. Although, to call these factions parties is
a bit of a stretch. Anyway, the first party system, which probably
started in the 1796 election included the Federalists, who supported Washington's Vice-President
John Adams, and the Democratic-Republicans who supported Thomas Jefferson. So, the Federalist
political party was different than the group that worked to get the Constitution ratified,
even though they were also called Federalists. And Alexander Hamilton was prominent in both
groups. What the two parties believed isn't so important for this series. We talked about
it in Crash Course US History, but overall the Federalists were supported by North-Eastern
business elites, especially merchants who wanted closer ties with England, and those
who generally wanted a stronger national government. The Democratic-Republicans were more skeptical
of national power, and, when push came to shove, favored the more revolutionary French.
Ultimately, the Democratic-Republicans were way more successful. They were dominant in
the presidential contests of the time, as Jefferson in 1800 and 1804, Madison in 1808
and 1816, and Monroe in 1820 and 1824 were all Democratic-Republicans. Monroe's elections
kind of don't count though, as the Federalists weren't really a factor in national politics
after 1815. In fact, the period between 1815 and 1824
is sometimes called "The Era of Good Feelings". And that's how I like to refer to lunch every
day. I just got back from a 45-minute Era of Good Feelings. Mmm, it was a burrito bowl.
Yummy. Sadly, the Era of Good Feelings came to an
end with the election of 1824, which saw John Quincy Adams defeat Andrew Jackson in a bitter
election that ended up being decided in the House of Representatives. Jackson, ever the gracious
loser, decried the election as a "corrupt bargain," and rode this angry sentiment to victory in the
1828 election. Jackson was a divisive figure in a lot of ways, especially if you like the Supreme Court
or Native Americans but, from our perspective, he's really useful, because his election helped to launch the
second party system. Let's go to the Thought Bubble. The new party, called the Whigs, started out
as an anti-Jackson party. They claimed Jackson was a tyrant, and they might have had a point.
The second Party System brought innovations to the political process, mostly in the party
that opposed the Whigs. The Democratic-Republicans re-branded themselves as the "Democrats".
These Democrats, especially under the leadership of Jackson's Vice President, and future magnificently
bewhiskered President, Martin Van Buren, introduced some of the features of politics that we still
see today. They established a central party committee, state party organizations, and
party newspapers. Okay so we don't have party newspapers anymore, because we don't really
have newspapers anymore. The Democrats also established state and national conventions
for nominating candidates. Before this, all candidates had been chosen by caucuses of
party leaders, which is less, well, democratic. The Whigs were generally less successful in
national elections, but they introduced flair into politics in the campaign of 1840. And
we could all use a little more flair. This was the first time a Whig candidate,
William Henry Harrison, won the presidency. And he introduced a great deal of political
theater into running for office. The Whigs held parades featuring a rolling model of
a log cabin that Harrison supposedly grew up in (he didn't) and copious amounts of hard
cider for supporters. It also featured a giant ball covered in campaign slogans that supposedly
spawned the phrase "keep the ball rolling", and gave us the first campaign slogan with
both rhyming and alliteration, "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too". So catchy it's still used
to this day. I put it in my wedding vows, "Do you take this woman? I do… and Tippecanoe
and Tyler, too." This came from Harrison's supposed status
as the hero of the battle of Tippecanoe, which introduced another aspect into American politics —
the idea that successful candidates for president should, if at all possible, be war heroes.
Thanks, Thought Bubble. Eventually, the issue of slavery pretty much
destroyed the Whig party, and the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 ushered in the
third party system. Lincoln ran and won as a Republican, and after 1860, the US basically
settled into a two-party system with all elections basically between Democrats and Republicans.
But over the years, the compositions of these parties, who supports each party, and what
the party stands for changed enough that we think of those shifts as creating new party
systems. So the Republican party was originally a conglomeration
of reformers who coalesced around being against slavery. Republicans have always been pro-business
and have tried to associate themselves with liberty. In fact, one of their earliest rallying
cries was "Free soil, free labor, free men." As viewers of the Crash Course US History
video on Reconstruction know, it was a pretty pivotal and divisive time in American history.
In terms of political parties though, this was when the Southern states all tilted towards
the Democratic party, largely because Republicans were (correctly) seen as being responsible
for ending slavery. Democrats during the third party system were
a bit of an odd mix. Their strength came from white, largely racist Southerners and working
class immigrants in the north, many of whom gravitated to the Democrats because the Republicans
tended not to like immigrants or alcohol, and many Republican reforms in this era were designed to keep
middle-class Protestant business elites in power. Another reason for Democrats' success in recruiting
immigrant votes was that this was the era of political machines, which traded political appointments
for support to win elections and maintain power. The most famous of these machines tended to
be in big cities with large immigrant populations like Boston and New York, and they were mostly
Democratic, although there were Republican political machines too, mostly in the Midwest.
The supposed Democratic abuses of machines brought about electoral reforms like voter
registration, secret ballots, requiring that voters be alive, and other good government
reforms that had the effect of reducing the number of voters and making elections a lot
less fun. The third party system lasted from roughly
1860 to 1896, when another pivotal election brought about a change in the composition
of one of the parties, in this case, the Democrats. Some time in the 1880s, and certainly by 1892,
a new party The People's Party, or Populists, began to form in the south and the western
parts of the US. They had a number of concerns, mainly about regulation of farm prices and
railroad shipping rates, but also things like supporting a national income tax and a general
mistrust of bankers and plutocrats. (Those are the Democrats that live on Pluto, but
according to Phil, no one lives on Pluto. Whatever Phil!) They won a few congressional elections, but
eventually merged with the Democrats when they nominated the Democrat William Jennings
Bryan to be their presidential candidate in 1896. Adding certain elements of populism
shored up Democratic support in the South and the Midwest, but for many Americans their
ideas were too radical and the Democrats were unable to elect any presidential candidates between
1896 and 1932, with one exception: Woodrow Wilson. Good ol' Woodrow only made it in because the
Republican vote in 1912 was spilt between the establishment candidate Taft and former president Theodore
Roosevelt, who started his own progressive party. The rise and fall of the Populists show us
something important about third parties in American politics. The first thing is that
they never win, largely because the way American elections are structured, but this doesn't
mean that they don't matter. Third parties can shift the terms of political debate. Without
a Socialist party (and there was one, believe it or not) issues of workers' rights wouldn't
have been nearly as prevalent in the early part of the 20th century. (Eagle was in the shot, I didn't
want it to be. Didn't want to influence political debate.) Often, third party ideas get incorporated
into the platforms of one of the other parties. This happened with the Populists, as their
plans for graduated national income tax and direct election of senators were eventually incorporated
into the constitution in the 16th and 17th amendments. After the election of 1932 when Franklin Roosevelt
became president and the Great Depression had kind of discredited Republican economic
policies, the Democrats were dominant in both Houses of Congress as well. Thanks to these
advantages, the Democratic party saw another shift in its composition and priorities. One so big that
we say that the new fifth party system was the result. The Democrats' New Deal policy brought more
groups into the party's fold. Support for organized labor, especially the Wagner Act,
attracted union workers. The idea that government could work to alleviate poverty through research
and planning attracted some Socialists and many upper middle class intellectuals, including
a large percentage of the American Jewish community. Southern farmers, always a backbone
of the Democrats, were attracted by New Deal farm policies. New Deal support for jobs and
FDR's repeal of prohibition helped bring urban immigrants, especially Catholics, into the
Democrats camp. The Democrats acknowledgment that African Americans were suffering especially
hard from the depression helped shift African American support away from the party of Lincoln. This was a major re-alignment, as black people,
when they could vote in America, had until the New Deal voted overwhelmingly for Republicans. And even though New Deal programs did very
little for black people (the programs were often quite discriminatory), the impression
that the Democrats and FDR were champions of the poor helped convince many African Americans
to vote Democrat, and they remain one of the most consistent groups in terms of their party
affiliation. The coalition of groups that make up the Democratic
party, sometimes called the New Deal coalition (also my band name in high school), had been
pretty stable for quite some time, as has the coalition that makes up the Republican
party. This is why some people suggest that there've only been five party systems, with
the fifth beginning roughly in 1932 and continuing to the present. I disagree! As do other historians
and political scientists. My people, my posse. I bet they all have beards too. Us six-system-ers argue for a further realignment
of support after 1968 and consider the current political climate to be a sixth party system.
The main shift here, and in terms of Congress it has been really huge, is that the South,
which used to be solidly Democratic, is now pretty unshakably Republican. Most historians will tell you that this has
largely to do with race, and the Democrats' support of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965
Voting Rights Act, and we don't have time to go into just how true that is. What we
can say is that for whatever reason, the Republican party now draws a lot of support from White,
middle, and lower-middle class voters, especially in the South and Midwest, and that these were
groups that used to vote for Democrats. A major part of this realignment is white
working class men who generally used to be reliable union democrats, but are now just
as likely to vote republican. The democrats have maintained their support among liberal
intellectuals, members of minority groups, and to a lesser degree women, but their coalition
is much less powerful than it used to be. We could say a lot more about political parties
in America and how they might be changing as we speak, but as I promised this episode
has been about history and how we got to where we are. If you're going to take away anything,
it should be that political parties change over time both in terms of their policies
and the groups that support them. And that it's often historical contingencies that cause
these shifts. And although we pretty much always had a two party system, third parties
are still valuable even though they never win because they help frame issues and move
the terms of political debate and even of policy. It's like me. I've never won an internet
award, but I made up the word "Doobly-doo," so… Thanks for watching, see you next time. Crash
Course Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support
for Crash Course U.S. Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports non-profits that use
technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives
at voqal.org. Crash Course is made with the help of all these nice people, who aren't
Phil. Thanks for watching!