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Ch 4 Education :

Conservatives favor policies to increase competition in our public

K–12 system, whereas liberals emphasize tax reform and the
redistribution of tax dollars from rich to poor districts to equalize
educational opportunities.

Therefore, conservatives favor school voucher systems to give

parents and students more choices of schools and curricula.

They also like to see more competition among schools in the form
of private schools, charter schools, and magnet schools.

Liberals, on the other hand, fear that widespread use of school

vouchers would endanger our public school system by transferring
funds away from the poor schools (and poor students) that need
them most.

Both liberals and conservatives usually believe that providing

universal education in the K–12.>
level is a legitimate government role, given primary and
secondary education’s demonstrated spillover benefits to society.
Conservatives generally support spending on K–12 education by
local governments, whereas liberals are more willing to support
expanded state and federal spending.
Conservatives do not, in general, favor extensive tuition subsidies
or financial aid for students in higher education unless spillover
benefits can be shown to result from this postsecondary education.
Liberals are more likely to favor expanded financial aid to low-
income students, as well as tax credits for educational purposes.
Liberals are also more likely to support remedies for inequity in
education for racial and ethnic minority students, including
affirmative action.

Ch 6 Poverty :
Conservative versus Liberal
People generally adopt either a liberal or a conservative approach
to the poverty issue.
Liberals are more inclined to stress the need for government
involvement in antipoverty efforts; they believe there are equity
issues that are not dealt with by the market economy.
Conservatives are much more leery of government involvement
and are concerned that too many programs or too much assistance
creates inefficiencies and disincentives for work effort.
Liberals tend to prefer extensive federal involvement in poverty
programs, whereas conservatives prefer greater responsibility by
private charities and by state governments.
Liberals favor a direct approach to dealing with the problem of
poverty; conservatives often favor an indirect, trickle-down
On the other hand, many economists believe that solutions to
poverty should not be viewed as alternative courses of action.
Indeed, an effective solution might combine elements of each
A prosperous economy with high employment is an important—
but only a partial—solution.
Universal entitlements may ensure more adequate standards for
many, as would a negative income tax (or expansion of the earned
income tax credit).
Efforts to improve the productivity and job readiness of workers
are lauded by liberals and conservatives alike.
Given the complexity of poverty and the individual needs of
people, many economists believe that solutions to poverty must be
varied and individualized.

Ch 8 Health care:

Conservative versus Liberal

Conservatives, who believe in limited government, strongly
oppose national health programs on the basis that such programs
signify an expansion of the government’s role.

They favor privatization and increased competition, the trimming

of Medicare and Medicaid, the development of medical savings
accounts, and a stronger role for the unregulated market.

President George W. Bush was on record for strongly pushing

for greater privatization of our health care system.

Liberals, on the other hand, believe that the market has done a
poor job of allocating medical care.

They argue that the special characteristics of health care make it

unlikely that the market will ever reach a fair and equitable solution.

They therefore favor policy ranging from bolstering Medicaid and

Medicare to developing national health programs on the order of
those in other industrialized countries.