13

  1. According to MLK, how can we tell the difference between just and unjust laws? Understanding this question is the most important part of this module, and I will ask it again during our second exam.

According to MLK, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.” So, we can tell the difference between just and unjust laws, an unjust law that doesn’t apply to everyone equally. For instance, segregation is unjust because it harms people, I take away their rights. A just law respects human rights, follows the regulations, and sticks to the necessary restrictions.

  • In your view, is this an important distinction (between just and unjust laws), do you think it makes a difference in the way someone (as an individual, or our society as a whole) lives their lives? Can it affect our politics?

Yes, it is an essential distinction between just and unjust laws. When there are just laws, everyone gets the same treatment, and people receive the same advantage. Laws ensure our general safety and protect our rights as citizens against abuse by others.

  • Based on our discussion of Question 1, give an example each, of an unjust and just law, in the US today. Explain what makes it unjust or just (using MLK’s definition of those two types of laws).

I think an unjust law is The Patriot Act is an unjust law since every rule infringes on people’s privacy and human rights, and there are unjust conditions that give law enforcement personnel excessive power. And a just law can be the First Amendment.

12.1

  1. What did the Supreme Court decide in the Wal-Mart case? And more importantly, how did it justify its decision? (HINT: the key word here is “commonality” (and how it related to “class-action lawsuit”). Try to understand what this legal term means, as it is key to the court’s decision).

In the Wal-Mart case lawsuit against Walmart, the Supreme Court determined that a group of about 1.5 million women could not be recognized as a viable class of plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit for worker discrimination against Walmart. The Supreme Court decided to take Walmart’s side even though the evidence showed how “Wal-Mart paid its male employees more than its female employees in every one of the store’s forty-one retail regions.” And how men and their performance were rated higher. These facts stated in the article clearly showed how these women were being discriminated against.

DB 11.1

  1. In what ways is the court system better suited to protect the individual, than are the elected branches of government (such as Congress and the President; or the Mayor of NYC and the NYC City Assembly)? Give an example to illustrate your argument.

The court system is better suited to protect the individual, than are the elected branches of the government in the way that each individual has more than one legal system at his or her disposal to preserve his or her rights. The dual court system provides additional options for seeking assistance. For instance, Ernesto Miranda’s case “The U.S. Supreme Court found for Miranda an extension of his Fifth Amendment protections—a constitutional right to remain silent when faced with police questioning. It was a right he could not get solely from the state courts in Arizona, but one those courts had to honor nonetheless.” This demonstrates how an individual like Miranda was heard.

2. Think about how federal judges get to become judges – unlike Presidents, Mayors and members of Congress (and other legislatures), they are not elected, but rather appointed. Many Americans have thus called the federal courts system, and especially the Supreme Court, anti-democratic PLACES IN OUR GOVERNMENT. Do you agree that the Supreme Court, for example, is an anti-democratic part of our government? What could be the reason for this way of choosing judges in federal courts? (HINT: think about our discussion of “Federalist #10”, and which social class plays a leading role in our government system.)

The supreme court is anti-democratic due to the reason that it cannot be biased, in order for the court to function. When a judge is biased or prejudiced, the outcome may be a judgment that is not fair or impartial to one of the parties in the case.

9.2

P. Williams writes in her essay that the war on terror is a new type of a war. What’s new about it, how is it different from traditional wars? 

What is new about the war of terror is that anyone can be anyone around you anyone can be a threat. Many incidents have happened due to terrorism, and this causes fear in people, having them feel like they are not safe. 

  1. In what ways does the “Roving Wiretaps” of the Patriot Act seem to violate the Bill of Rights? Which amendment(s) does it seem to violate and why?

The “Roving Wiretaps” of the Patriot Act appears to violate the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution because the Patriot Act’s “Roving Wiretaps” regulations allow authorities to listen in on suspected spies and terrorists.

  1. What about “Sneek and Peek” Warrants?

A sneak and peek search warrant authorizes law enforcement officials executing it to get physical access to private property without the owner’s or occupant’s permission or knowledge and search the property secretly.

9.1-

Describe how you understand the “Establishment Clause” and the related “Lemon Test.”

The establishment-of-religion provision of the United States Constitution prohibits Congress from creating a national religion. It prohibits the enactment of any law that favors or compels belief in a single religion. The Lemon Test is used to determine whether a statute or other government action that promotes a specific religious practice should be upheld. For a law or action to be ruled constitutional and stay in effect, the Lemon test contains three conditions that must be met.

  1. Is burning the US flag protected by the First Amendment? Explain by referring to the relevant court case discussed in the reading.

The First Amendment protects the burning of the American flag or any harm to it.

  1. What does it mean when someone says, “I’m taking the Fifth”?

When someone says, “I’m taking the Fifth,” they express their desire to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination.  For instance, the fifth Amendment of the U.S constitution “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury”

Work Cited

“Fifth Amendment.” LII / Legal Information Institute, https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/fifth_amendment. Accessed 18 June 2021.

7.1

Describe the primary differences in the role of citizens in government among the federal, confederation, and unitary systems.

A federal government is a system of dividing up power between a central national government and local state governments that are connected to one another by the national government. In the federal system, citizens vote. In the confederation system, an alliance or league is an association made up of several parties or groups. A unitary state, often known as a unitary government, is a form of government. A single central authority has complete control over all of the country’s political subdivisions, meaning the government is making the decisions.

Briefly explain how you understand the system of division of power.

The division of power system is divided into three branches: the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power. These three branches work together to run the country and set guidelines for us all to live by.

How does the federal government shape the actions of state and local governments? Write your answer based on doing a bit of research on how the federal government has influenced the actions of NY state and local governments, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government took minimal actions in New York City during the Covid-19, as they didn’t think this virus was harmful. I notice how the covid cases kept rising. However, the federal government provided the people with a few checks.

5.3

  1. Which statistic on wealth inequality in the US (discussed on p. 29) made the biggest impression on you? Explain why?

The statistic on wealth inequality in the United States that made the biggest impression on me is “90 percent of American families have little or no net assets.2”. This created an impression on me, and it also makes me sad because those American families go into this cycle of poverty, where they work hard for themselves and their families.

2.What could be some of the implications of living in a society that has such huge wealth inequalities? Do you see this dynamic getting played out in everyday life in our community? How so? Example?

Some of the implications of living in a society with such a huge wealth inequality would be that low-income people might not live there since it will be more expensive. The lower classes will be unable to advance. It is hard to get out of the cycle of poverty. However, For instance, wealthy families have better education. Their families can also teach them how to run a business or inherit their family’s member business.

6.1

1.Based on the arguments presented in Readings 6.1 and 6.2, which social class wrote the Constitution, and which class was excluded and not allowed to participate in this process? In your comment, make sure you clearly specify the difference between the two classes by giving examples from the readings. 

According to the reading, the wealthy social class wrote the Constitution. The middle class, working class, slaves, and women are excluded from this process and are not permitted to participate.

2.Would you say that the social class structure of early United States society, was the same as ours today, or different? Explain.

I believe that somehow the social class structure of early United states society is the same as ours today, but it also has its differences. For instance, women are allowed to work, vote, and be part of many decisions. But they are still looked at. They aren’t as valuable. 

3. Why were the people who wrote the Constitution so afraid of democracy? Hint: think about how to answer this question by discussing it in terms of social classes.

The people who wrote the Constitution are afraid of democracy because they fear losing power/control over the people. The people who want democracy want a society where everyone is equal where every voice is essential. Where people would gather and make decisions that benefit everyone. The constitution wants to keep and grow their money.

5.2

As we learned thus far, the capitalist class consists of people who own wealth, as well as the means of production in American society. An important question in understanding how this class works is to ask: how does a capitalist remain wealthy? The answer to this question depends largely on understanding the diagram M-C-M’. So, let’s practice by explaining what happens in this diagram in our own words (but basing our ideas on Reading 5.1). Respond to the following question: Explain M-C-M’ to show how capitalists maintain and increase their wealth. (hint: your answer should weave a summary that includes what you reviewed in the self-assessment exercise question 1-7)

Jalee outlines how capitalists increase their money in the text “How Capitalism Works.” Capitalists remain wealthy because Capitalism is an economic system in which private individuals own the means of production, and production levels are determined by free-market competition. Capitalism can cause inequality, failure to markets, resulting in busting their economic cycles. Capitalists gain a lot of money from doing this, while their vendors don’t earn as much.

5.1

  1. Two key concepts in this video are the means of production and Labor. In your comment, explain how you understand the means of production and Labor. Give an example of each.

Production means the act of making or creating something out of components or materials or the state of being made. And Labor implies the amount of physical, mental, and social effort required to produce commodities. 

2.Another important concept in understanding social class is Value. Based on the ideas presented in Video 5.1, what is Value? What give “value” to value? What makes something valuable?  

Based on the video, Value is the proportion of how much effort it takes to make something. How valuable the object is, how much work it is put into the work. For example, what makes something so expensive, or if there’s a message behind it.  

3.How are Labor and Value related? What’s the relationship/connection between the two?

Labor and Value have a lot of similarities. The relationship/connection between Labor and Value Is how the product of Labor is Value. The products that come from Labor make them valuable.

4.How do you understand the difference between Labor and labor power? Hint: this is a key difference. Give it your best shot based on what the video says about it and your own ideas. We’ll clarify and develop it in our discussions and my video comments.

 Labor generates the things and services; this is the part of the work that people live off; they make objects to sell to companies. And labor power is what they sell.

5.Surplus Value: what is it? Why is it important to know about, in our study of social classes? Think about an example of surplus-value?

The difference between the amount raised from a product’s sale and the amount it costs the product’s owner to make is known as surplus value. The term “surplus value” refers to the result of economic exploitation.