Explore BrainMass

Ideological viewpoints in public finance and their effects

This content was STOLEN from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

I am trying to understand how ideological viewpoints found in public finance works and how they affect government at the federal, state, and local levels.

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 25, 2018, 8:47 am ad1c9bdddf

Solution Preview

No problem here at all. I gave you tons of ideas. Thank you for using BrainMass!

Ideological viewpoints structure, compare the ideological viewpoints found in public finance and how they affect government at the federal, state, and local levels. How may these viewpoints affect decisions pertaining to public finance?

Well, you're in very good hands here. This is one of these areas I know too much about, so I tend to go on and on. Plus I'm on my 9th cup of coffee today.

There are as many approaches to ideology here as there are people involved. The main division is between those who reject the positive role of the state (libertarians) and those who accept it (liberals). This mirrors a similar division between those who hold that the market is more rational in allocating goods and services, while the state is essentially a parasite without competition. Those who accept the positive role of the state hold that the market has many unintended consequences and can cause economic irrationality as a result. Vaguely, this is representative of the libertarian and left-liberal points of view. Be careful with these labels, since in Europe, they mean very different things than they do in the US.
This is the typical "left right" debate in the US. The libertarian will hold that controlling the growth of the state and lowering taxes will encourage investment and employment. Taxes are really taking money out of the economy and giving it to the state, that produces nothing. The liberal will hold that the state does produce things of value (public goods, defense, enforcement of contracts, etc) and therefore, it is not irrational to divert money to public goods. The basic argument here is that the market might be efficient in allocating some things, but very poor in allocating others.
Therefore, the whole thing come down to your view of government and whether or not it is a positive or negative actor in economic life. In this case, there is really no difference between the levels of government, since the arguments are identical in all cases.
Concerning public finance more specifically, the issues concern the rights of the state to extract money from the population. Of course, taxes are collected only through the threat of force. At the time of the founding of the Constitution, the idea of an "income" tax was seen as a threat to liberty. It was only passed in 1915, and even then, in secret. Possible ideological approaches are these:

if you argue that the person, the self, is the highest goal of society, then the state, which is above the individual, needs to be radically limited in its power. The only justification for forcible extraction of cash are for clear public goods like police or prisons (though there are plenty of arguments that the private sector can offer these goods as well).

liberty often conflicts with equality and other goods. Stressing freedom above all things requires the state to be very small, only being involved in a few crucial areas of administration. At the same time, concentrated corporate capital is also a threat to liberty. Therefore, ...

Solution Summary

The ideological viewpoints in public finance and their effects are given.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Ad and Ego video analyzing the effect of advertising on consumers.

We live in a consumer culture, saturated with mass media images. Much of our physical and informational space is for sale - billboards, TV, magazines, newspapers, even the area behind home plate - all of these spaces pitch products promising to improve our lives. We are all, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously, affected by this advertising, often in very subtle ways.

The Ad and the Ego explores what critic Leslie Savan calls our "ad ad ad world." The film examines the power of modern advertising. It goes beyond an analysis of individual ads to ask how living in an advertising-saturated environment influences the way we see the world - and ourselves.

After watching the film (see below for links), discuss the following questions.

1. Do you agree with Jean Kilbourne that "advertising is a system of education that is powerful precisely because it is not considered education?" What is the difference between the effect of one ad and living in an "advertising infused environment?" Where can we still go where there's no advertising?

2. What does Kilbourne mean that advertising "sells more than products; advertising sells values...and concepts...perhaps above all, of normalcy"? How do you know what is normal? What does advertising tell you "you should be"? How is this different for males and females? Use examples.

3. Do you believe you are personally affected by advertising? If not you, then who is influenced? Why do companies pay millions of dollars to advertise?
4.Define "salvation." What does McGrane mean when he says: "The purpose of modern advertising is to generate anxiety and doubt...and then offer the entire world of consumer goods as salvation"? Do you agree that advertising's chief strategy is the "production of discontent"? Why does McGrane say, "One message you'll never hear is, 'You're OK', you don't need anything, you're fine just the way your are"?
5. What does Kilbourne mean when she says "there are tremendous penalties for women" who don't conform to culturally accepted standards of beauty? How true is it:

- that ads for women's products "make women feel incomplete, anxious, and insecure"?
- that "women have been conditioned to feel like failures" if they don't meet advertising's definition of "normal" standards of beauty?

- that "men have been conditioned to feel like failures" if they don't have a beautiful-looking woman on their arm?

6. Finally, how is the class system sustained by advertising?


View Full Posting Details