US Poli Thought: Hamilton Group Work


  1. What does ‘nugatory’ mean?
    1. Resembling a chewy nut-filled delicious dessert?
    2. Something Ted Nugget might say?
    3. Of no value or importance. Useless?

  2. The Congress shall have Power … To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. (Sec 1 Art 8 of 1st Amendment.)
    1. Explain the restricted/narrow interpretation of the above clause with respect to government power.
    2. Explain (a) Hamilton’s view and (b) the reasons he uses to justify it.

  3. Hamilton writes: The degree in which a measure is necessary can never be a test of the legal right to adopt it. That must be a matter of opinion; and can only be a test of expediency (para 12).
    1. Explain what Hamilton means.
    2. Consider Snowden and others’ revelations of domestic spying on US citizens.
    3. How does this bear, if at all, on the issue of how we interpret ‘necessary and proper’?
    4. What would someone taking the more restrictive view of ‘necessary’ say regarding some of the less flattering national security policy revealed by Snowden and other NSA whistleblowers?
    5. How do you think Hamilton would reply?

  4. In Report on Manufacturing and the article Alexander Hamilton’s Advice to the Obama Administration, Hamilton presents several arguments in favor of direct government involvement in promoting and supporting certain industries: “To be enabled to contend with success, it is evident, that the interference and aid of their own government are indispensable.”
    1. List at least 3 of Hamilton’s reasons for supporting government involvement in the economy.
    2. What might opponents of this strategy say?
    3. Application: In 2008, Bush approved loans of about 20 billion then 2009, Obama approved another 20 billion to rescue US automotive industry. Despite this GM and Chrslyer filed for bankruptcy 2 months later. The US government because a 60% stakeholder. By the end of the recession, the US government had lent about 80 billion to GM and Chrysler.
      1. (a) By appealing to specific parts of Hamilton’s position, defend a this government action, (b) give at least one objection to it, © Either counter-reply to the objection or defend one of the initial objections in (b).

  5. Google challenge:
    1. What was the total amount of the bank bailout?
    2. What was the total amount/taxpayer?
    3. What was the eventual net cost or benefit to the US economy (after the government sold its shares in the various companies it bailed out)?