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The Interest Group Explosion
Transcript of The Interest Group Explosion
- What is the interest group explosion you ask?
It's simple really...
- Over the last few decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of interest groups within the United States.
- According to The Encyclopedia of Associations, the number of interest groups increased from just 6,000 to 22,000 between 1959 and 2001.
-These things reflect the growth of diversity in the interest group universe.
-Even though trade groups dominated things in 1959, this is no longer the case. (As you will see in the Statistical section.)
The Interest Group Explosion
The term "interest group" can be used interchangeably with “pressure groups,” “organized interests,” “lobbies,” “political groups,” or “power groups.”
One of the major factors that caused the "explosion" is the development of sophisticated technology.
It's not all boring political jargon.
Never confuse interest groups with political parties. They are two sides of a coin.
Political parties support their issues with candidates and interest groups may support particular candidates, but don't run as independent candidates.
Unlike political parties, interest groups do not have to appeal to everyone.
Interest groups are mainly policy specialists, while parties are mostly policy generalists.
The following two pie charts illustrate how the interest groups in the world have become more diverse since the late 1950's
Trade is at 39%
Health is at 7%
Other is at 11%
Education is at 10%
Labor is at 4%
Trade is at 18%
Health is at 10%
Other is at 16%
Education is at 6%
Labor is at 1%
most drastically changed categories on the charts
Why has there been such a large growth in interest groups over the last 40 years?
The Balloon Council- the real problem? ... helium- spent $60000
The American Dehydrated Onion and Garlic Association- Doesn't want cheap imports from China- once spent $300000 annually
Sports Fan Coalition- More than $60000
Catfish Farmers of America- $30000 to catfish inspections
California Cling Peach Growers- $110000
Manned Space Flight Education Foundation- $30000
The U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers- $20000 lobbying for miscellaneous issues