Chapter 9

Chapter 9 - Chapter 9- Interest Groups: Organizing for...

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Chapter 9- Interest Groups: Organizing for Influence Interest groups associated with economic activity, particularly business enterprises, are by far the most thoroughly organized Groups that do not have economic activity as their primary function often have organizational problems Lobbying and electioneering are the traditional means by which groups communicate with and influence political leaders The interest group system over represents business interests and higher income groups and fosters policies that serve a group’s interest more the public interest The Interest Group System The nation’s various interest groups are not equally well organized Interests that are highly organized stand a good chance of having their views heard by policy makers Economic Interest Groups No interests are more fully or effectively organized than those that have economic activity as their primary purpose Economic groups o Corporations, labor union, farm groups, and professional associations among others, exist primarily for economic purposes: to make profits, provide jobs, improve pay, or protect an occupation An Organizational Edge Reason for the abundance of these groups is their access to financial resources Economic groups can obtain the requisite money and expertise from the economic activities Incentives to join: o Private (individual) goods The benefits that a group can grant directly to the individual member
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o Material incentive The economic lure of a high-paying job Types of Economic Groups Business Groups More than half of all groups formally registered to lobby Congress are business organizations Concentrate their activities on policies that touch directly on business interest Advantage: “the size factor” Labor Groups Since 1930s organized labor has been politically active on a large scale Goal: o to promote policies that benefit workers in general and union members in particular Dominant labor group: o AFL-CIO One in eight workers belongs to a union Agricultural Groups Largest farm group: o American Farm Bureau Federation o More than 4 million members Professional Groups Most powerful: o American Medical Association o 300 thousand members Citizens’ Groups Citizens’ groups (non-economic groups) o Organized interests that are not focused on economy
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o Drawn together by purposive incentives Purposive incentives o Opportunities to promote a cause in which they believe Have a harder time acquiring the resources necessary for organization Collective goods (public goods) o Benefits that belong to all, the cannot be granted or withheld on an individual basis
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Chapter 9 - Chapter 9- Interest Groups: Organizing for...

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