The financial costs of big government are obvious. The question is what are the social costs of reducing or eliminating the services that big government has come to provide?

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The financial costs of big government are obvious. The question is what are the social costs of reducing or eliminating the services that big government has come to provide? It has been argued that the key issue in the debate about big government is what the government does, not how many people do it. Which of these might be the correct answer? Why?

2) Why might conservatives view the 1950s as a high-water mark for American society? Why might liberals find the period repressive? How do you feel the decade compares to the 1990s? How have politicians in recent elections discussed the 1950s? What qualities of the 1990s might future conservatives and liberals emphasize as they look back in forty years? How realistic or meaningful are such idealizations?

3) Some groups, like the Amish, attempt to minimize the amount of social change that they experience. What are some strategies that might promote this goal? Is it possible to completely avoid all social change? Do you think life in the United States is getting better or worse? Defend your position.

4) Review the section entitled “Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives: The Experience of city Life” in Chapter 15. What do Simmel and Wirth see as the principal advantages and disadvantages of living in cities? Do their analyses correspond with your own observations and experiences with urban life? Is it possible to revitalize our central cities, or is the trend toward suburban dispersal so strong that the central cities are beyond hope? How would you attempt to reinvigorate the urban core?

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