Interest Groups - The Character of Interest Groups The...

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The Character of Interest Groups The framers of the American Constitution feared the power that could be wielded by organized interests. Yet they believed that interest groups thrived because of liberty. Interest groups are a result of the freedom that all Americans enjoy to organize and express their views. Liberty would be denied if the government were given the power to regulate or in any way forbid efforts by organized interests. I. Why do interest groups form? An interest group is a voluntary membership association organized to pursue a common interest through political participation. Individuals form groups in order to increase the chance that their views will be heard and their interests will be treated favorably by the government. Interest groups are organized to influence government decisions. II. What interests are represented by these groups? There are several types of interest groups, among them business and agricultural groups, labor groups, professional associations, public interest groups, ideological groups, and public-sector groups.
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