Bureaucracies and Interest Groups in a Democratic Society

Essay by panther22College, UndergraduateA, February 2003

download word file, 6 pages 4.7

Ever since our founding fathers first signed the Declaration of Independence and wrote up the Constitution, they had plans for the United States of America to be a representative democracy. That is, we elect public officials based on their platforms to serve as leaders and to make important decisions for our country. But, like most other democratic nations around the world, the elected officials such as congress are bogged down with so many problems that they cannot function without a little help. Because of the many problems Congress must face, they create agencies that are assigned specific jobs or missions and then are given certain powers to complete these jobs. These agencies are known as bureaucracies. Some people argue that these bureaucracies and high ranking elected officials, such as the president, are becoming far too powerful in their position. They say that there is nothing in place to slow down or stop some of the decisions they make.

Other people believe that they are limited in their actions by political and electoral pressures. I believe that there is an adequate system of checks and balances in place to limit these political positions and groups from becoming too powerful. I think that each level of government does not let the other one obtain too much power. Other factors such as interest groups, voter opinion, and internal conflicts among themselves, all seem to limit their power in government as well.

A main source of limitation placed on all elected officials and bureaucracies are interest groups. An interest group can be defined as a private organization that tries to shape public policy. (p.184) They try to influence and pressure these public officials to get what they want. Many people believe that interest groups are usually out for themselves and are not concerned about...