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Interest Groups

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Political parties aggregate numerous different interests and viewpoints into a ... Solidary. Selective. Material Benefits ... Solidary Benefits ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Interest Groups


1
Interest Groups
2
Interest Groups
A collection of people who share some common
interest or attitude and seek to influence
government for specific ends.
3
Political Parties Political parties aggregate
numerous different interests and viewpoints into
a single policy platform to appeal to a broad
range of voters.
Interest Groups Interest Groups focus on
articulating a specific interest or viewpoint
with little regard to political ideology or
affiliation.
4
Roles of Interest Groups
Representation Political Participation
Education Agenda Building Program Monitoring
5
Diversity of Interest Groups
6
Business Interests In the 50s and 60s the
textile industry supported protective tariffs
whereas the automobile industry opposed such
tariffs. In the 1980s the automobile industry
supported protective tariffs but found opposition
from the electronics industry. Financial
community calls for a reduction in the national
deficit with reduced spending and increased taxes
whereas the business community opposes any tax
increase.
7
Business Interests The Reagan administration
virtually dismantled the E.P.A. at the request of
business interests. Generous defense contracts
with little monitoring has been awarded to
Americas industrial giants. (government
subsidies vs. free market)
8
Labor Interests Labor unions have declined
from their peak of 36 of the labor force in
1945. Labor supports earning more than a
subsistence wage, job security, decent and
reasonable working conditions. In the first
half of the 20th century unions have earned the
right to collective bargaining and due process
protection.
9
Labor Interests Throughout the last half of
the 20th century unions have sustained the
destruction of labor unions such as the air
traffic controllers as well as givebacks in
negotiated agreements. Unions continue to lobby
for minimum-wage and maximum-hour laws, Social
Security, and unemployment benefits, and
government regulation of health and safety in the
workplace.
10
Agricultural Interests Agribusiness lobbies
for price supports, soil conservation, control of
industrial pollution believed to cause acid rain,
and low tariffs. Against the unionization of
migrant workers and other farm laborers.
11
Agricultural Interests The governments
persistent attempt to control the entry of
illegal aliens has become a recurring problem for
agribusiness.
12
Professional Interests Because of the
diversity of interests in professional
organizations many of the members in this
category work through independent efforts.
American Medical Association - successfully
blocked national health programs as being
socialized medicine. It strongly influences
licensing procedures in the United States.
13
Professional Interests American Bar
Association - exerts a strong voice in the
selection of federal judges. National Education
Association - virtually forced the Carter
administration into the creation of the
Department of Education and prevented the Reagan
administration from dismantling it.
14
Ideological Interests NAACP - Dedicated to
civil rights for Afro-Americans. American
Civil Liberties Union - Devoted to civil rights
and liberties for everyone. NOW - Concentrates
on womens issues, particularly to assuring women
equality in the workplace and political arena.
Americans for Democratic Action - Focus on human
rights and civil liberties.
15
Ideological Interests Americans for
Constitutional Action - Opposes welfare programs
and the expansion of the Bill of Rights.
National Taxpayers Union - Favors the elimination
of the federal deficit and balanced budget
amendment. American Conservative Union -
Supports tax cuts, building military strength,
rolling back welfare, balancing the budget, and
curtailing the expansion of rights.
16
Public Interests Three kinds of public
interests (1) good government (2) environment (
3) consumer
17
Public Interests Ralph Nadar is the best-known
consumer advocate. Major interests groups
include Common Cause, Public Citizen, Sierra
Club, League of Conservation Voters, and Consumer
Federation of America.
18
Foreign Policy Interests Council on Foreign
Relations American Committee on Africa They
urge divestment, sanctions, and other policy
measures to promote their positions on the world.
19
Government Interests National Governors
Association National Association of
Counties National League of Cities
Embassy Interest Groups Citizens for a Free
Kuwait
20
Number of PACs contributing to Political Parties
21
Changes in Political Action Committee
Contributions to Congress
22
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23
Obstacles to Interest Group Formation
Collective Goods Dilemma A dilemma created when
people can obtain the benefits of interest group
activity without paying any of the costs
associated with it.
Free Riders People or groups who benefit from the
efforts of others without bearing any of the
costs.
24
Benefits of Interest Group Participation
Material
Solidary
Expressive
Selective
25
Material Benefits The actual goods and services
that come from belonging to an interest group
26
Solidary Benefits The emotional and
psychological enjoyment that comes from belonging
to an interest group whose members share common
interests and goals.
27
Expressive Benefits The feelings of satisfaction
people derive from working for an interest group
cause they believe is just and right. Also known
as purposive benefits.
28
Selective Benefits Any benefit given a member of
a group but denied to non-members.
29
Interest Group Strategies
30
Interest Group Influence
Who controls Congress
Who is in the Oval Office
External Factors
Opposing Interest Groups
World Events
31
Interest Group Influence
Membership
Leadership
Internal Factors
Financial Resources
Objectives
32
Characteristics Power of Interest Groups
  • Size and Resources
  • Cohesiveness
  • Leadership
  • Techniques

33
Who are the Lobbyists?
Lobbyists are employees of associations who try
to influence policy decisions and positions in
the executive and especially in the legislative
branches of our government. They are usually
experienced in the ways of government, often
having been public servants before going to work
for an organized interest group, association, or
corporation.
34
Revolving Door
Moving from a government job to one with an
interest group is quite commonplace and called
the revolving door. Despite the fact that it is
illegal for former government employees to
directly lobby the agency from which they came,
their contacts made during government service are
helpful to interests groups.
35
Bureau
Support before Congressional Committees
Support for legislative and appropriation requests
Favorable implementation of the law
Favorable Action on constituency services
IRON TRIANGLE
Favorable formulation of laws relevant to
political interest groups
Electoral support - contributions, endorsements,
voter drives
Congressional Committee
Interest Group
36
Despite frequent complaints that special
interests are too powerful in American politics,
limiting the freedom of interest groups to
petition the government probably would do the
democratic process in the U.S. more harm than
good.
37
Interest groups give ordinary citizens access to
government and allow them to communicate their
values and expectations. The Constitution the
set of rules for our political system makes it
clear this is an essential and cherished right.
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