Chapter Summary13 - choices. Elected politicians also rely...

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Chapter Thirteen: Interest Groups Study Chapter Summary Government actions affect the allocation of scarce goods and values. For this reason, individuals have an incentive to join together in an attempt to influence those actions. Such organized "factions" have been a vital part of American political life since the beginning of the Republic, but recently their numbers have multiplied to match the expanding role of the national government. However, not all interests have been organized into groups. There are many barriers to collective organization and action, particularly for those on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale. For their part, politicians rely heavily on the resources provided by interest groups. Officeholders depend on interest groups to provide the technical and political information required to make good
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Unformatted text preview: choices. Elected politicians also rely on the financial support of organized interests to fund their campaigns. In addition to using these insider tactics to influence legislation, however, interest groups often go "over the heads" of politicians through litigation or campaigns to sway public opinion. Critics charge that interest groups corrupt democracy by putting special interests ahead of the public good. Others accuse the pluralist political system of biasing our process toward those with the most resources or blocking any meaningful reforms of government policy. Although these concerns are serious, the proliferation of interest groups has actually increased the clout of elected politicians, who generally are unwilling to act against the wishes of voters....
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