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The us government and its constitution


 

After its 200 th birthday, the United States of America still holds the leading position in the world. A country that has inspired many appellations - "Land of Opportunity", "Melting -Pot", "Gods Country", it is still referred to by many people as a land of superlatives - "the richest", "the greatest", "the most".

In size, the United States is not the biggest. It ranks fourth among the largest countries. It also ranks fourth in population after China, India and Russia. What makes the USA the leader is its economic, political and military dominance over many other countries.

The government is divided into three branches: legislative (the US Congress), executive (the President and his Administration) and judicial (the US Supreme Court). The US Congress is made up mainly of representatives of big business: bankers, industrialists and other lawyers. Workers and poor farmers are not represented at all.

There are two main political parties in the USA: the Democratic (symbolized by a "donkey") and the Republican (its symbol is an "elephant"). The American people do not see much difference between them. This is one of the reasons why so many abstain from voting. The US President is both head of state and of government. He is elected for a four-year term. The President is assisted by Secretaries who are at the head of the executive departments. The most important of the departments are those of State and of Defense.

The Supreme Court consists of Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices who are appointed for life. The Supreme Court is supposed to decide whether a law of the Congress or an executive order of the President is "constitutional" or not. The US Constitution of 1787 is written in such vague words that it needs interpretation and this has become one of the main functions of the US Supreme Court.

American sociologists make no spectacular discovery when they tell that the United States is ruled by a finance oligarchy whose influence is growing all the time. In 1980s, the 100 biggest American corporations controlled 48 per cent of all the assets in the manufacturing industries in the United States, while in 1990s their share in these branches rose to 54 per cent (and that with the considerable increase in the volume of production in the US). An American politologist D. Nicols, in the best traditions of the “mudrakers”, went as far as to castigate the American political system. “Most political scientists,” he writes, “today deny that there is a ruling class. For them, the very concept is but a term in the obsolete vocabulary of the ideologies of the Left.” The form of the American government, he says, is fully suited to its purpose: the domination of monopolies in all aspects of life in the United States. “American governmental structure,” he writes, “probably renders it impossible for any potential political party aiming to vest control of the society…to win power through the electoral process. The structure of government in the United States is fragmented. There are two houses of Congress, separately elected, and a separately elected President, and all have independent legislative power (they “check and balance “ each other). Ordinarily seen as a virtue in school books, the fact is that once the basic interests of the corporate rich become incorporated into the diverse parts of government, the fragmented check-and-balance system makes it virtually impossible to effectively dislodge them through elections. Involved are many governments within one – courts, departments, commissions, and legislatures at national and at sub national levels – which have meshed their activities with the basic requirements of the corporate control system.”[1]

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