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POL 10101 Impact of the Informal Economy on Resource Collections

Th Midterm and exam in this course is a series of essays. These essays should connect your textbook reading to the reading in the assigned additional books for the appropriate half of the semester. Each essay (there are three for the midterm) should be 2to 3 pages single spaced. Please be sure to answer at least all of the questions posed in the essay prompt and really fully develop your thoughts on these issues .But, don t just answer the questions. Weave your thoughts into a well-crafted essay about the bigger issues. My expectationis that you spend a considerable amount of time in your essays providing concrete examples from the books you read. You will be graded on the following: 1.Demonstration of a clear understanding of the issues in the textbook 2.Clarity in writing 3.Use of evidence from the supplementary books 4.Demonstration of your understanding of community challenges addressed in the supplemental booksMidterm Essay Prompts Due March 1, 2019 (Friday night at midnight) The two books you read during the first half of the semester represent communities in which the local government largely failed the people they serve. As a local government professional practitioner, I take great pride in the level of service that my organization provides to our community. When we fail, we have to think about why we failed and what we are going to do to solve those challenges. We also have to learn from other communities who have so clearly failed and understand why that happened. The purpose of the midterm is to provide an opportunity for you to think about communities that have failed when the really had no reason to. Before writing your responses to these essay prompts, spend some time thinking about what the local governments in these stories did wrong, or failed to do, and how you would approach it differently if you were an appointed or elected official in those communities. The two books you will use to answer these questions prompts:-JD Vance Hillbilly Elegy (2016)-Sudhir Venkatesh Gang Leader for a Day (2008)1.Chapter 4 discusses state and local revenues that are used to provide services to the people who live in the community. However, the communities that are described in the books that you read have substantial difficulty turning financial resources collected from their communities into actual services that impact the lives of people. Provide a well-articulated and thought-out discussion of the challenges that are found in theneighborhoods discussed, how the informal economy (that is, drug and other illegal activity) impacts that ability of the local and state governments to collect resources to convert into services, and how the inability (or unwillingness ,or whatever) of local governments in those community to address challenges in neighborhoods has a compounding effect on both the local government s finance and the quality of life for the people who live there. Be sure to provide specific examples.2.In Hillbilly Elegy, JD Vance describes his family and community and their experiences throughout the early part of his life. It s probably fair to say that their experience is rather disconnected from the local or state political process, even though his family and community have a tremendous potential opportunity to benefit from social programs that may or may not have existed. In Chapter 6, there is a brief discussion of the clout that individual donors to politicians have on public policy. Explain, within the context of Hillbilly Elegy, what impact the inability of families like JD s to have influence on local politicians might impact their lives. Given the culture considerations discussed in Vance s memoir, how would a local leader engage with people like JD? Is it possible? If you were the mayor of a small Appalachian town in decline, what would you do to improve the quality of life for people who live in your community? Provide a well thought-out discussion of these issues.3.In Chapter 14 of the textbook, there is a discussion of crime and punishment in the state and local context. Within the chapter, there is a local focus on the good work that the Chicago Police Department is doing to reduce violent crime in that city. However, in Gang Leader for a Day, we learn about two major failures on the part of the Chicago Police Department while Venkatesh was spending time there. First, there was essentially no police presence in the housing projects, except when there was something to respond to. Second, there is a lengthy discussion of a crooked cop that abused members of the community he was sworn to protect. Provide a well-articulated and well thought-out discussion on why you think those failures happened and persisted as long as they did. Spend some time thinking and writing about what a mid-level police supervisor could do to identify and address those problems, realizing that if these things are occurring ,it is not likely the result of one bad actor, but rather a culture problem in the organization. What impact does an inept, and even corrupt, local government services have on the community they serve? Once you have written your essays, please write a short paragraph about how these books have influenced your thoughts on the topics they address, or how they reflect/influence your perspective. Midterm essays are due on March 1, 2019(Friday night at midnight).

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