The Interest Groups of Texas Politics
An interest group is an organization of individuals with similar policy purposes that strives to impact the political process in order to achieve certain goals. An interest group plays a critical role in all democratic governmental systems (“Texas Politics - Interest Groups” n.p). Interest groups are mostly identified by the interests they promote. Some groups try to serve narrow private interests, while others serve wider public interests. Public interest groups aim to achieve results that may be enjoyed by the whole population. They promote policy that generates widely distributed advantages that everybody can enjoy, for example, improvements in public health or environment.
An interest group also tends to be concentrated on definite areas of public policy or social concerns. Interest groups are formed around specific concerns like free trade, tax reforms, labor standards, free speech, agricultural subsidies, school funding, and environmental challenges. Lots of goods generated within and by the political system have the quality of public goods. Such aspects involve fire and environmental protection, safer neighborhoods, better highways and roads, and others.
The challenge of clean air indicates the political involvement of the diversity between public and private goods. Since public goods are non-excludable, individuals can enjoy them whether or not they contribute to the cost of obtaining goods. With different policies, especially the issues related to spending and taxation, the advantages might be highly focused on the widely distributed costs of such a policy. In various cases, a small group of individuals may get extensive benefits from governmental policies and programs.
The organized interest groups develop significant expertise on the political challenges they aim to impact. Afterwards, they provide information and analysis to the public in order to demonstrate their efforts shaping both public and political opinions. The society expects interest groups to provide data and interpretation that completely support their positions on definite issues. In addition, people expect competing groups to propose countervailing arguments and various points of view. Such ideal expectations, if they are even roughly met, help to raise public acknowledgement about certain challenges by exposing humans to competing views (“Texas Politics - Interest Groups” n.p.).
Considerable public demonstrations of political protest and support ensure high visibility for interest groups if their demonstration is well attended. Successful public demonstrations can guarantee powerful visual claims. If the statements are properly managed and publicized, the effects can be enhanced through media coverage. There are various types of public events and demonstrations. Groups can act efficiently and rationally by attending public meetings of governmental boards and committees. Nowadays, the problem of interest groups in the USA remains the same as James Madison determined it over two hundred years ago. A free society must be guaranteed the representation of all groups, yet groups are usually more concerned with their own interests than the demands of a whole society. For democracy, in order to work well, it is important that self-interested groups are not allowed to assume a prevailing position. The solution of James Madison was to create an open system in which various groups would be able to participate. The groups, which have opposing concerns, would counterbalance each other. The pluralistic theory supposes that a rough approach of public concerns appears from competition. Elitist theorists refer to the proliferation of business Political Action Committees as evidence of significant corruption among interest groups in American politics than ever. They particularly indicate that wealthier concerns are significantly advantaged by the system of Political Action Committees. Hyperpluralism theory supposes that government efforts to accommodate all basic interest groups will lead to the policy gridlock and inability for authorities to initiate major policies (“Interest Groups” n.p). Thus, hyperpluralism theory proposes a powerful explanation for the evident gridlock in the modern American politics.
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