Are Interest Groups in the Best Interest for American Politics?
Chapter 15: Interest Groups: Getting Their Share and More
In the American political system, there are a wide variety of interest groups that are organized for the sole purpose of exerting influence on the political and legal systems. These groups play a central role in deciding who gets what, when, where and how in legislative and budget processes. They also play a significant role in deciding which values will be promoted and enforced by the government.
It was noted in some of the most recent elections, more than a record 3 billion dollars has been spent on campaign advertising, not just on the dime of political parties, but rather on interest groups whose donors are not easily disclosed courtesy of the Supreme Courtâ€™s most recent ruling regarding memberships of interest groups and their donors.
Assignment #2:In a 4-6 page paper, answer the following questions in paragraph format (please no listing of information) using the MLA citation style for references.Use 12 point font, double-spacing, Times New Roman, and 1â€ margins (top, bottom & sides). Your name and section should go at the top right corner of the page. Do not simply put website addresses in parentheses to cite information, see the Library reference guide to appropriately cite websites.
If there are terms in which you are unfamiliar, see your text for definitions and examples.
Public and Private Groups (Good Introductions will include explaining the difference between the two types of groups)
Please do not go to Google and choose the first group available.
(1) INTRODUCTION:What is an Interest Group?
– Where do they come from?
– Are they based in the Constitution?
– What is pluralism and what are pluralistsâ€™ beliefs?
(2) Select ONE Public Interest Group and ONE Private Interest Group–compare and contrast the following questions for both groups.
It may serve you well to choose ONE industry for the two groups you choose, for example Education. You could choose a group that represents teachers and one that represents a privatized education group, etc. In your paper, you want to address the following:
- Identify their purposeâ€”what do they want to accomplish, how do they want to accomplish their goals, etc.
- Membership requirementsâ€”fees, professional affiliations, gender, age
- Identify their benefits offered to membersâ€”material, selective, purposive benefits (must be in paper). Provide examples.
- What is the free rider problem? Do they have free riders?Is it a problem for the group? If so, how do they limit free riding?
- Which strategies are employed by each group to accomplish their goal? Lobbying, letter writing, etc.?
Do they have associated PACâ€™s (political action committees) as a part of their group? If so, how much money did they donate in the last campaign season?
- Ideologically speaking, are they liberal, conservative, or both in their political philosophy?
- Does the state of TX have local chapters of the groups you are researching?
What has been the impact of the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) on elections?Which groups or political parties have benefited from this decision?
(3) CONCLUSION: Are Interest Groups necessary in our society? Why or why not?
To help with selecting an Interest Group:
For Interest group ratings and financial reporting of campaign donations: