POL203Y1 Study Guide - Assortative Mating, Legal Realism, Amicus Curiae

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
Political Science
Although Hacket and Pearson display a very accurate depiction of the role of “organizational power”
rooted in the core of the modern American state and its relationship to the ever increasing inequality
within it, it does not fully address the cultural basis of inequality, nor the important limits on the power
of organizations present within public opinion itself.
In this paper I will describe the ways in which the institutional structure of the American
government enables the powers of organized interests. Then I will illuminate some of the
theories that refute the arguments against the institutional explanation for the scope of
inequality within the United States
Organizational Powers
organizations permit the specialization and the development of expertise through the use of lots
of talent that is critical for the modern state's immense complexity, allowing government to
properly regulate all aspects of the nation in the best way possible.
But although these organizations are of the utmost value to the federal bureaucracy, such
organizational powers pose many problems as they have a tendency to greatly influence the
nature and direction of policy.
Organizational powers are much better at influencing policy due to their shear relentlessness
and durability.
Using a combination of relentlessness and intellect, they can manipulate virtually anything they
wish, permitting change or restricting policy evolution
although relatively stable, institutions become increasingly worse at achieving the goals
presented to them by Congress, gradually creating differences between the intended policy
and the outcome.
Action or inaction help determine policy in taxation, industry relations, financial markets
and has ultimately prevented the government from responding to changing economic
Institutional Sources for Interest Group Power
1. separation of powers (the executive and the legislative arms of government are not joined
together like in a parliamentary system)
with the executive and legislative separate, with each having its own set of agencies that
answer leaves a lot of room for organizational power to enact its influence
if congress doesn't do its job, an agency is created whose mission is so vague and authority
is so broad that it is barely constitutional
2. delegation of legislative power + contained significance of congressional oversight= interest
group influence
agencies created by obscure legislation ave little direct influence from congress, creating broad
laws that apply to everyone
since congress can justify the creation of regulatory law through its departments and agencies
through A1S8 of the constitution, congress does what it sees “necessary and proper” to provide
general welfare to the country, but organized interests control what direction to take and how
much to spend
some agencies are sometimes totally unresponsive to congressional oversight, developing
their own separate activities and policies of their own
e.g. the IRS/EPA both have their own administrative courts who can punish those who
violate their policies
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