Archive for March, 2018

Real World Graduation: Question 22

RealWorldGraduation_Question_22   <– PDF

The editor of a local newscast has received four stories from his reporting staff on a certain day. The four stories concern a) an armed robbery in which two victims were stabbed, but not fatally; b) a local woman who claims to have proof that wearing white underwear causes skin cancer, although she has made many claims over the years and all of them have been proven incorrect; c) the Governor made a speech at a local hotel outlining his budget recommendations for next year; and d) the owner of a popular local restaurant was arrested for drug possession.  Which of these stories will lead off that evening’s newscast and why?

a) The armed robbery story, because violent crime affects the most people in the community.

b) The white underwear story, because it provides people with important information to help them protect their health.

c) The Governor’s speech, because it is required by law.

d) The restaurant owners arrest, because people want to know if the restaurant will still be open.

e) They will be broadcast according to the chronological order in which the four events occurred that day.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Real World Graduation: Question 21

RealWorldGraduation_Question_21   <– PDF

The Mayor and City Council of a certain city desired to raise the amount of tax revenue received by the city. They made a secret arrangement with a mall developer as follows:

  1. The city would designate a certain district of the city, consisting of 150 homes and a few small businesses as suitable for development. This district was selected because most of the homes are more than 30 years old, and it has excellent access to major freeways.
  2. With the area so designated, the city would send notices to each homeowner and business owner that they had 90 days to move out of their homes, and the land turned over to the developer.
  3. In order to save taxpayers money, the city would offer 85% of the current appraised values of the homes and businesses as compensation. On average, the homes in the affected district are appraised at $130,000.
  4. The total amount paid to the homeowners by the city as compensation would be repaid by the developer. He would be allowed to collect an additional 2% surcharge sales tax on everything sold by stores in the mall. That way, the city would be repaid the amount given to the original homeowners, and also collect all the usual sales taxes.
  5. The Mayor, City Council, and their respective staff members were to do all of the foregoing without any public hearings or notices until the formal designation letters were mailed to each affected resident.

The Constitution of the state in which this was to occur contains a “takings” clause, in which people are to be compensated for any seizure of property devoted to public use (i.e., the same as the U. S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment). If this plan were enacted, which of the activities contained in the secret plan would violate both Constitutions?

a) A government entity entering into a secret financial agreement with a private entity.

b) Seizing property from a group of private owners and giving it to another private owner for the benefit of the new private owner (as well as the city).

c) Arbitrary designation of a certain district for unusual treatment simply because of the age of the homes and their location.

d) Forcing each homeowner to take a $19,500 loss on their property, since they will be paid only $110,500 for homes that were appraised on average for $130,000.

e) All of the above.

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Posted in Bill of Rights, critical thinking, fifth amendment, government powers, living constitution, Real World Graduation, U. S. Constitution | No Comments »

Real World Graduation: Question 20

RealWorldGraduation_Question_20   <— PDF

Why is the agency that collects federal income taxes called the “Internal Revenue Service” (IRS)?

a) It is responsible for answering taxpayer questions.

b) It is responsible for printing all the forms and making them available online.

c) It generates the revenue necessary to run the government.

d) It advises Congress on the advantages and disadvantages of various tax policies.

e) A combination of a), b), and d).

(The answer is shown on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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