9 Interest Groups - PS 110 9: Interest Groups 9-1 interest...

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PS 110 9: Interest Groups 9-1 interest group : set of individuals organized to promote a shared political interest o US culture promotes political involvement through interest groups o pluralism (single-issue politics): separate groups organized around nearly every conceivable issue, with each group pressing its demand to the utmost 1. Types of Interest Groups A—Economic Groups economic groups : interest groups organized primarily for economic reasons, engaging in political activity to seek favorable government policy 1. Advantages of Economic Groups a. financial advantage of interest groups formed by corporations b. material incentive : economic or other tangible benefit used to attract group member (i.e. membership in UAW enabling one to work in the auto industry in Michigan) i. offers more material advantages to potential members ii. private (industrial) goods : benefits that a group can grant directly to an individual member, an example of material incentive c. due to advantages, economic groups outnumber other interest groups 2 to 1 2. Types of Economic Groups a. business groups : economic groups representing corporations, an industry, and/or the private sector i. represent entire gambit of business organizations: interest groups for individual corporations (i.e. Boeing) interest groups for all corporations in particular industry (i.e. American Petroleum Institute) interest groups for entire private sector (i.e. US Chamber of Commerce) ii. potential problems: division sometimes leads to conflicting goals for the individual companies and industries and the private sector as a whole cohesion of businesses into powerful interest groups sometimes hurts consumers (i.e. 2005, when the “Big Three” US automakers—Ford, GM, and Chrysler— united to block increased gas mileage requirements in auto manufacturing) b. labor groups : economic groups representing organized labor groups (unionized workers) i. unions have been politically active since the 1930s ii. prominent labor groups include the AFL-CIO, United Mine Workers (UMW), and the Teamsters iii. decline of labor unions: once, 1/3 of all US workers were union members; now, only 1/8 rationale—increase in professional (“white collar”) jobs where management is worked with more closely, and where upward mobility is more likely c. agricultural groups : economic groups representing farmers (i.e. American Farm Bureau
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9 Interest Groups - PS 110 9: Interest Groups 9-1 interest...

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