BASIC CONCEPTS OF DEMOCRACY How to make it work
OBJECTIVESStudents will identify basic elements of democracies.Students will analyze news stories to better understandissues of public policy in action.
VOCABULARYcompromise: public decision making that involvesidentifying the position most acceptable to the largestnumber of interested parties.free enterprise system: private ownership of capitalgoods with decision making power and success or failuresoccurring by private entrepreneurs.mixed economy: Government’s participation in a marketeconomy that serves to protect the public and preserveprivate enterprise.
DEMOCRACY: BESTCHOICE? Winston Churchill: “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have tried from time to time.”
5 BASIC NOTIONS OF DEMOCRACY IN U.S.1. Recognition of the fundamental worth and dignity of each person2. Respect for the equality of all persons 2.1.“... all men are created equal.” - T. Jefferson 2.2.Equality of opportunity 2.3.Equality before the law3. Faith in majority rule and an insistence upon minority rights 3.1.Majority of the people will be right more often than they will be wrong 3.2.Not searching for ‘right’ answers - most satisfactory
5 BASIC NOTIONS OF DEMOCRACY IN U.S.4. Acceptance of the necessity of compromise 4.1.Must be able to find agreements that are acceptable to the largest number of parties 4.2.Individual freedoms ⇔ Everyone is equal 4.3.Several ways to answer any one question; must make the best choice that meets the needs of the largest number5. Insistence upon the widest degree of individual freedom 5.1.“The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” - O. Wendell Holmes 5.2.Striking a balance between freedom for the individual and the rights of society
FREE ENTERPRISESYSTEM US commitment to freedom is rooted in its economy Free enterprise system - private ownership Success or failure determined by choices of the individual American economy is a market economy where the government regulates the economy Mixed economy where the government regulates activity to protect the public and preserve private enterprise
REGULATIONAnti-Trust lawsPure food and drug lawsAnti Pollution standardsCity & County zoning ordinances and building codes
PROMOTIONGrants of money for transportation systems,scientific research, etc.Build roads and operate public schoolsProvide services: postal system, weather alerts,national currency