Honors American Government

1 January 2017

An advantage of requiring lobbyists to report each contact with a government official is that voters would know which lobbyists tried to influence their elected officials and it might slow down the process of raising money through afternoon cocktail parties. 2. A disadvantage of requiring lobbyists to report each contact with a government official is that it could lead to a feeling of loss of privacy by lobbyists and elected officials and gathering information would be a logistical nightmare. Introduction 1. A lobbyist is an individual who attempts to influence policy.

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An interest group is an organization that actively attempts to influence government policy makers. Interest Groups: A Natural Phenomenon 1. Alexis de Tocqueville observed in 1834 that “in no country of the world has the principle of association been more successfully used or applied to a greater multitude of objectives than in America. ” 2. In Madison’s view, the multitude of interests work to discourage the formation of an oppressive interest (divide and conquer? ). Why Do Americans Join Interest Groups? 1. People who become members of interest groups for solidarity incentives are joining for a sense of belonging to the group. .

People who become members of interest groups for material incentives are joining to improve their economic opportunities. 3. People who become members of interest groups for purposive incentives are joining for ethical beliefs or ideological reasons. Interest Groups and Social Movements 1. Demands by a large segment of the population for change are called social movements. 2. Interest groups continue to form and act in American society because the right to join a group is protected by the First Amendment and because the Constitution creates a government structure with numerous “pressure points” for interest group activity.

Types of Interest Groups 1. The most influential types of interest groups in the United States are business, agriculture, government and labor. 2. Big business pressure groups that are consistently effective include the National Association of Manufacturers and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. 3. American farmers and their workers represent about 2% of the U. S. population. This fact illustrates that even a small percentage of the populace can be effective if they organize. 4. The full range of economic and political expression of working class interests is called the labor movement. .

The age of automation and the rise of the service sector has led to a reduction in the percentage of blue collar workers in the total working population. 8. The part of the economy that provides services is called the service sector. 9. Since 1960, the greatest growth in unionization has occurred in the unionization of public employees.

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