Government, Politics And The Economy Essay

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INTRODUCTION Politics and economics are powerful, intertwined forces shaping public policies and public lives. The view that politics and economics are closely linked is neither new nor unique. Although the United States is often described as operating under a capitalist economic system, it is more accurately described as a mixed economy, a system in which the government, while not commanding the economy, is still deeply involved in economic decisions. Today we live in a global economy with all its problems and opportunities. Multinational corporations-businesses with vast holdings in many countries such as Disney, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft-dominate the world's economy. Because voters are sensitive to economic conditions, the parties must pay close attention to those conditions when selecting their policies. Voters often judge officeholders by how well the economy performs. This chapter explores the economy and the public policies dealing with it. GOVERNMENT, POLITICS, AND THE ECONOMY Wal-Mart, the world's largest company, is about as big as the economy of Saudi Arabia and more than half the size of Australia. Government regulation affects the way Wal-Mart does business, and the employment and investment practices of Wal-Mart has a substantial effect on the U.S. economy. About 1.4 million people work for Wal-Mart. Workers there and nearly everywhere are entitled to the minimum wage. Its workers also have a right to join alabor union, a worker's organization for bargaining with an employer. First guaranteed by law in 1935, labor unions engage in collective bargaining about wages and working conditions with their employers under rules controlled by the National Labor Relations Board. The problem of unemployment is one component of policymakers' regular economic concern. Measuring how many and what types of workers are unemployed is one of the major jobs of the

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