Economic Elites And Political Power

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Nowadays, there are numerous interests groups with competing interests trying to use their resources to gain political power through shaping election outcomes and public policies. They eventually become one of the key actors in monitoring and influencing policy making (Moe 1989). Special interests groups controlled by affluent individuals and powerful business organizations, commonly known as economic elites, have been particularly influential shaping election and policy outcomes (Gilens and Page 2014). While the U.S. government increases their responsiveness towards these economic elites, it undermines its neutral competence- “the ability to do the work of government expertly, and to do it according to explicit, objective standards rather …show more content…
policy, however, they have compromised the democratic government’s ability to runs of and for the people. Initially, the role of elitism is to govern with the consent from mass population. In the U.S., consent of the mass population is most frequently and directly expressed through U.S. Congress election (Schubert, Thomas, and Harmon 2014). Elected elites gain political power through wining elections in a democratic society. However, the emergence of economic elites suggests an alternative way to gain political power without the mass consent. Economic elites are defined as “individuals who have substantial economic resources- high levels of income or wealth- including, but not limited to, ownership of business firms” (Gilens and Page 2014, 566). With substantial economic resources, they could obtain political power through accessing to Congressmen by offering campaign contributions. In today 's costly media age, running for congressional office becomes more expensive, for instance, the average cost per Congressional campaign per candidate exceeds $1m, and $10,000 needs to be raised by each incumbent every week to assure sufficient re-election fund (Jacob, Suzanne, & Dianne 2005). Much of the money required can only be collected from wealthy special interests groups, the economic elites. Besides, contributions can buy candidates many advantages, including larger campaign staff, more technocrats, and more advertisement, heightening their probability to attract voters and beat opponents. Economic elites who make substantial contribution, in return, expect the elected elites, Congressmen, vote on behalf of their interests (Jacob, Suzanne, and Pinderhughes 2005). In this way, economic elites gain political power from elected elites who are responsible for shaping public policies. Recent research shows that interests uphold by economic elites often

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