What Are Interest Groups? How Do They Influence Government? Essay

What Are Interest Groups? How Do They Influence Government? Essay

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READING RESPONSE #3

1. Chapter 12 – What are interest groups? How do they influence government? Are interest groups good or bad for democracy? Defend your answer.
- Interest groups are organizations of people with the same interest intended to influence the government. (410) One of the most influential interest groups is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which focuses on acquiring American aid and weapon deals for Israel and stimulating sanctions against Israel’s Middle East opponents. (410) Interest groups influence the government by hiring lobbyists, which are individuals that contact government officials on behalf of a particular issue or cause. (410) The hired lobbyists support government officials who agree with their position and persuade those in the opposition. (417) The practice of lobbying was guaranteed by the First Amendment, which states that Americans may always “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” (419) Another way of seeing interest group influence on the government is through the iron triangle, which represents the close relationship between the interest group lobbyist, legislative branch members, and executive branch agency. (429) In the iron triangle, the interest group lobbyist encourages Congress to appropriate funds to the executive branch agency in exchange of votes, contributions, or information. By establishing this relationship, the interest groups are indirectly helping the executive agencies get their funds and the interest groups gains favorable regulations and contracts from these agencies in exchange. (429) Although some critics argue that interest groups can result to Corruption such as the case with Jack Abramoff (438), Demosclerosis that slows down government ...


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...Federal Elections Committee,” opened a huge number of sources for campaign finance by banning laws that prohibit corporations and unions from financing election related activities. Although I can agree with some who may argue that the Supreme Court decision on the case degrades democracy by causing corruption and inequality by titling influence and representation towards the wealthy, who can afford to finance government officials in their campaigns, I, personally, believe that the Supreme Court decision on the case improves United States as a democracy. Corporations and Unions are organizations that directly represent the views and interests of its members and with the Supreme Court extending the right of political speech on these organizations, through that court decision, the views and interest of more people can be better represented and more clearly expressed.

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