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US government. What are interest groups - Essay Example

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Interest groups are the formal or informal organization of a group of individuals that work together to achieve a common interest through the part they play in influencing public policies.These interest groups are seen as lobbying forces as they try to lobby government officials …
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US government. What are interest groups
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US government what are interest groups Interest groups are the formal or informal organization of a group of individuals that work together to achieve a common interest through the part they play in influencing public policies. These interest groups make attempt to influence public policies in order to favor their cause and those of their members based on the concerns and interests they share together. These interest groups are seen as lobbying forces as they try to lobby government officials in order to make them institutionalize policies that would favor their cause and help them achieve their goal. Interest groups are prominent groups of professional and political elites that could influence public policies either formally or informally. Interest groups such as a group of farmers could form a farm product organization and they play a role in the policies made by the government on farm commodities (Friedman, 2005). However, there are different types of interest groups and these shall be explained below. The different types of interest groups are the cause interest groups, economic interest groups, public interest groups and non-associational interest groups (McConnell, 2004). These interest groups based on their classification work to affect government policies on these categories. The cause interest groups are the interest groups that represent a segment of the society and their primary interests are usually non-economic and they strive to achieve a common cause. Examples of the cause interest groups are the religious organizations, veterans’ groups and groups supporting the rights of a group of people in the society. The economic interest groups are pervasive and they are the most common interest groups in most countries. The economic interest groups work to influence government policies on the economy of the country (O’Sullivan, Sheffrin & Perez, 2010). Examples of economic interest groups are the business groups, labor groups, farm groups and the professional organizations (Nicholson, 2004). Public interest groups are interest groups that pursue a broader interest to the cause and economic interest groups. The public interest groups seek to address issues that are of great concern to the public and examples of these are interest groups that have concern on human rights, environmental protection and consumer rights. Non-associational interest groups are the informal interest groups that their mode of operation is quite different from the formal organizations mentioned above. These non-associational interest groups usually work based on the events that take place in the society. The non-associational interest groups are usually formed in order to react to some specific policies that the members of the groups feel are not in their favor. The non-associational interest groups are usually impulsive protest movements that have been formed to react to unfavorable policies (Friedman, 2005). These interest groups conduct activities that are not for political purposes, but for the interest of their members. The interest groups usually sponsor programs and publicize information that would improve the avocational, business, professional and social interests of their members. They engage in activities that would make their members enjoy the best things in life. They educate their members and help provide the government with erudite policy makers that would help them to make laws for the country. Lobbying is a major activity of the interest groups as they use it as a strategy to make government official(s) to fight for their interest in the government. Interest groups believe that if they could mount pressure on a government official that holds a very important post in the government, they could make the government institutionalize policies that is in favor of their members. These interest groups hire lobbyists, stage public demonstrations and make use of the press in order to make the government implement policies that have favorable outcomes (Keynes, 1936). The types of public policies that interest groups have influence on that impact the US government are the ones on education, abortion, taxes, slavery, import tariffs, health and the economy of the country. It is clear that interest groups should not be involved in the government, but they should only play their part in influencing government policies. There are cases that some interest groups enter the political arena and this is actually one of the significant issues that exist with the interest groups. The reason that some of these interest groups enter the political scene is due to the fact that they believe that they must be in the government in order to protect their interests and this is actually a serious problem. Interest groups that enter the political scene for this reason might actually stray away from the ideals that the interest group was established in the first place and begin to pursue their selfish interests. Though many see this as a very good way to make the government institutionalize policies that would be in their favor, but the fact remains that it would be easier for the government to manipulate the interest groups that join politics. Another thing that makes the interest group to go into politics is due to the fact that they feel they would secure government funding. Hence, lack of funding is another significant issue with the interest groups. ? References Friedman, T. (2005). The World is Flat. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Keynes, J.M. (1936). The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money. New York: Harcourt McConnell, B. (2004). Economics. (16th Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill Nicholson, P.Y. (2004). Labor's Story in the United States. Philadelphia: Temple University Press O'Sullivan, A., Sheffrin, S., & Perez, S. (2010). Survey of economics: Principle and tool custom edition (4th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. . Read More
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