History: Interest Groups - Research Paper Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Interest Groups Introduction Interest groups play a crucial role in all democratic systems of government. An interest group refers to a group of people with common policy goals that try to seek public policy influence so as to achieve those goals…
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History: Interest Groups
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Download file to see previous pages Political parties are policy generalists while interest groups are policy specialists. Interest groups considerably vary in a number of ways: policy focus, ideology orientation, sophistication, tactics, resources, size, age and geographical focus. Some of these groups have long-term agendas while the rest have short-term agendas. Some are not only interested in influencing government policies, but also non-governmental organization to support or oppose their objectives. In the United States, the urge of the interest groups in lobbying the government has significantly increased. This paper, therefore, examines the activities of various interest groups, in influencing government policies in the United States. It also addresses issues such as; the reasons why some interest groups succeed in promoting their agendas while others fail, and the positive and negative impacts of the interest groups’ influence on politics. Functions of Interest Group and Conditions under which they are formed Interest groups are designed to encourage the representation of competing interests, while limiting the conflict that inevitably accompanies group competition (Hrebenar 79). Through Pluralism, interest groups balance competing interests by bringing arguments and resources to tolerate on the different sides of important public policy decision. Interest groups, therefore, are designed to tolerate competing and inevitable interests. In addition, interest groups also strive to influence government policies when they discover that one group is taking advantage of a given policy to undermine the rights of other groups (Goldstein 124). Groups compete with one another in an environment that is created by the federal or state constitution, or by laws. It is, therefore, believed that multiple competing groups set a stable political environment. Interest groups are formed when government changes policies that relate to technology, private goods versus public goods and concentrated benefits versus diffuse costs. Technological improvements in communication, computing, printing, television and telephone, have created a powerful influence on the organizational capacity of the interest groups (Eldersveld 13). Technological advancements have made the interest groups update their gargets used for organizing their adherents, to compete with their rivals, and to influence other political activists. With the new technologies, interest groups are capable of reaching their audience in a more professional way than earlier lobby groups. Technological advancements have also imposed burden on other groups, which have to find a means to purchase new equipment and pay expertise that the new technology requires (Eldersveld 13). These groups with conflicting interests, therefore, always struggle to influence the government to adapt policies that favor them. With many policies related to spending and taxation, the benefits might at times be highly concentrated, while costs of that policy are widely distributed. In such situations, only a small group of individuals can receive adequate benefits from a government policy or program (Wilson 60). The larger portion of the population, broader tax-paying population, bearing the burden of tax is likely to find it too costly to spend resources fighting those costs, or to unrealize the total cost they pay (Wilson 107). This creates a conflicting issue, which in turn leads to the formation of different interest groups with uncommon interests on the same issue. Economists have also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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