Top Banner
Interest Groups Interest Groups Types Types How Interest How Interest Groups Work Groups Work

Interest Groups Types How Interest Groups Work. Types of Interest Groups Interest groups may be divided broadly into three general types: (1) economic.

Dec 30, 2015



Louise Townsend
Welcome message from author
This document is posted to help you gain knowledge. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think about it! Share it to your friends and learn new things together.
  • Interest GroupsTypesHow Interest Groups Work

  • Types of Interest GroupsInterest groups may be divided broadly into three general types:(1) economic interests(2) consumer(3) public interests(4) equality & justice

  • Economic InterestsConcerned primarily with profits, prices, and wagesGovernment can significantly effect them through regulations, subsidies, contracts, trade policy and tax advantages

  • Economic Interests(1) Labor Unions(2) Agriculture groups(3) Business groups(4) Professional groups

  • Economic Interests: Labor UnionsFocus on better working conditions & higher wagesTo ensure their solidarity, unions have established the union shop( requires new employees to join the union representing them)

  • Economic Interests: Labor UnionsEmployers, on the other hand, have supported right-to-work lawsArgue that union membership should be optional

  • Labor UnionsSome, but by no means all, states have adopted right-to-work laws, but many union members work today in a union shop

  • Labor UnionsIn 1970 about 25% of the work force belonged to a union shop, but membership has been declining over the past 30 years

  • Labor UnionsBy 2000, unions were losing support among the general population, and many strikes were proving to be unsuccessful

  • Labor UnionsHowever, national labor unions remain today as powerful lobby groups in Washington

  • Economic Interests: Agriculture GroupsOnce more powerful than they are todayNow employs only a small fraction of the American public

  • Economic Interests: Agriculture GroupsFor many years, government policies that deal with acreage controls, price supports, and import quotas have been important to farmers

  • Economic Interests: Agriculture GroupsThere are several broad-based agricultural groups:National Farmers OrganizationAmerican Farm Bureau Federation

  • Agriculture GroupsEqually as important are the specialized agriculture groupsDifferent crops have different groups:National Potato CouncilNational Peanut Farmer

  • Economic Interests: Business GroupsLarge corporations, such as General Motors and GE, exercise considerable political influence, as do hundreds of smaller corporations

  • Economic Interests: Business GroupsSince the late 1800s government has regulated business practicesThose regulations continue to be a major concern of business interest groups

  • Economic Interests: Business GroupsA less visible type represents trade associationsDiverse as the products & services they provide

  • Economic Interests: Business GroupsExamples include:Life insurance groupsTire manufacturersRestaurantsReal estate dealers

  • Economic Interests: Business GroupsThe broadest trade association is the Chamber of CommerceFederation of several thousand local chambers of commerce representing tens of thousands of business firms

  • Economic Interests: Professional GroupsSome of the most powerful interest groupsRepresent various occupationsSome are well-known ones are the AMA, American Bar Association, NEA

  • Economic Interests: Professional GroupsThese groups are interested in the many government policies that affect their professionsFor examplelawyers are licensed by states, which set up certain standards of admission into the bar

  • Economic Interests: Professional GroupsABA is interested in influencing those standardsAMA has been very involved in government proposals for nationally sponsored healthcare reforms, especially as they affect doctors

  • Consumer & Public Interest GroupsToday over 2,000 groups champion causes in the public interest

  • Consumer & Public Interest GroupsDiffer from many other interest groups in that they: Seek a collective goodBenefits for everyone--not just the members of the interest groups themselves

  • Public Interest GroupsBegan during the 1960s under the leadership of consumer advocated Ralph Nader

  • Public Interest GroupsNader first gained national attention with his book, Unsafe at Any SpeedAttacked General Motors Corvair as a dangerous & mechanically deficient automobile

  • Public Interest GroupsPublic Interest Groups (PIRGs) actively promote:Environmental issuesSafe energyConsumer protectionGood government

  • Public Interest GroupsPIRGs have national membership of more than 400,000, making them one of the largest individual membership organizations in the country

  • Public Interest GroupsAnother well known public interest group is Common CauseFounded in 1970 to promote electoral reform and a political process more open to the public

  • Environmental InterestsA special type of public interest group focuses on environmental interests

  • Environmental InterestsA few, like the Sierra Club and Audubon Society, were founded in the late 19th centuryMost were created after 1970

  • Environmental InterestsEnvironmental groups promote:Pollution controlWilderness protectionPopulation control

  • Environmental InterestsThey have opposed:Strip-miningOil pipelinesOffshore oil drillingNuclear power plants

  • Environmental InterestsTheir concerns often directly conflict with those of corporations whose activities they wish to control

  • Environmental InterestsEnergy producers argue that environmentalists oppose energy projects necessary to keep modern society operating

  • Equality & Justice InterestsInterest groups have championed equal rights & justice, particularly for women & minorities

  • Equality & Justice InterestsOldest & largest is the NAACPNAACPlobbied & pressed court cases to defend equal rights in voting, employment, and housing

  • Equality & Justice InterestsMost prominent womens rights organization is the NOWPushed for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the 1970s

  • Equality & Justice InterestsAlthough the amendment did not pass, NOW still lobbies for an end to sexual discriminationOther organizations that support equal rights are the National Urban League, Womens Political Caucus