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None of this suggests that an unlimited number of interests can exist in society. The size of the economy has a bearing on the number of interests, but only up to a certain point, after which the number increases at a declining rate. As we will see below, the limit on the number of interests depends on the available resources and levels of competition.

Over the last few decades, we have also witnessed an increase in professionalization in lobbying and in the sophistication of lobbying techniques. This was not always the case, because lobbying was not considered a serious profession in the mid-twentieth century. Over the past three decades, there has been an increase in the number of contract lobbying firms. These firms are often effective because they bring significant resources to the table, their lobbyists are knowledgeable about the issues on which they lobby, and they may have existing relationships with lawmakers. In fact, relationships between lobbyists and legislators are often ongoing, and these are critical if lobbyists want access to lawmakers. However, not every interest can afford to hire high-priced contract lobbyists to represent it. As [link] suggests, a great deal of money is spent on lobbying activities.

This table lists the top twenty U.S. lobbying firms in 2014 as determined by total lobbying income.
https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=2014&indexType=l (March 1, 2016).
Top Lobbying Firms in 2014
Lobbying Firm Total Lobbying Annual Income
Akin, Gump et al. $35,550,000
Squire Patton Boggs $31,540,000
Podesta Group $25,070,000
Brownstein, Hyatt et al. $23,400,000
Van Scoyoc Assoc. $21,420,000
Holland&Knight $19,250,000
Capitol Counsel $17,930,000
K&L Gates $17,420,000
Williams&Jensen $16,430,000
BGR Group $15,470,000
Peck Madigan Jones $13,395,000
Cornerstone Government Affairs $13,380,000
Ernst&Young $12,440,000
Hogan Lovells $12,410,000
Capitol Tax Partners $12,390,000
Cassidy&Assoc. $12,090,000
Fierce, Isakowitz&Blalock $11,970,000
Covington&Burling $11,537,000
Mehlman, Castagnetti et al. $11,180,000
Alpine Group $10,950,00

We have also seen greater limits on inside lobbying activities. In the past, many lobbyists were described as “good ol’ boys” who often provided gifts or other favors in exchange for political access or other considerations. Today, restrictions limit the types of gifts and benefits lobbyists can bestow on lawmakers. There are certainly fewer “good ol’ boy” lobbyists, and many lobbyists are now full-time professionals. The regulation of lobbying is addressed in greater detail below.

How representative is the interest group system?

Participation in the United States has never been equal; wealth and education, components of socioeconomic status, are strong predictors of political engagement.

Sidney Verba, Kay Lehmnn Schlozman, and Henry Brady. 1995. Voice and Equality . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
We already discussed how wealth can help overcome collective action problems, but lack of wealth also serves as a barrier to participation more generally. These types of barriers pose challenges, making it less likely for some groups than others to participate.
Steven J. Rosenstone and John Mark Hansen. 2003. Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in America . New York: Longman.
Some institutions, including large corporations, are more likely to participate in the political process than others, simply because they have tremendous resources. And with these resources, they can write a check to a political campaign or hire a lobbyist to represent their organization. Writing a check and hiring a lobbyist are unlikely options for a disadvantaged group ( [link] ).

Questions & Answers

Which of the following types of discrimination would be subject to the rational basis test?
Jessie Reply
what are the purpose of courts
ABUKAR Reply
Why does the devolution of power cause an increase in the number and types of interests?
Karen Reply
Bigger the governments or in devolution, number of governments, more people come to power, so more corruption.Federal system is also example of devolution, WHERE three lists are made, one handled solely by centre like Defence etc., other decided by provincial gov as edu., other example is Scotland.
Saleem
examples of countries with direct democracy?
Nicolas Reply
what is four main reason of government
Abubakarr Reply
how is the president in United States
Abubakarr
I m not staying in United states but I wish to go they
hasan
Which of the following is true of spending in politics
Ashley Reply
what is government
Michael Reply
is the system to govern a state or community
Gumersindo
what is government
Meyty
what 2 important issues went unresolved in the constitution?
Queenie Reply
the 1957 Ghana constitution
Ahorlu Reply
The framers of the Constitution designed the Senate to filter the output of the sometimes hasty House. Do you think this was a wise idea? Why or why not?
Emily Reply
what is freedom?
syed Reply
what is political eqaulity
syed
what is federalism?
Maria Reply
federalism Federalism is a system of government in which entities such as states or provinces share power with a national government. The United States government functions according to the principles of federalism.
deborah
panyaring means
Opata
meaning of panyaring
Opata
what is government
Opata
what is democracy
helen
Democracy is the government of the people by the praise people and for the people
Royal
What is the REPUBLIC ? How many states is federalism In ?
Jr
opata city government ? county government ? I or state government? FEDERAL government.?
Jr
DEMOCRACY democrats democratic democratics ? Easiest answer Blue red and white . red = REPUBLICANS not republic! Republican white is LIBERAL neither side left wing or right wing .
Jr
how is power dispered in American federalism?
Savannah Reply
how is power dispersed in American federalism?
Savannah
what three factors molds nations, state, relations today
Savannah
what three factors mold national,state relations today
Savannah
In which areas do you think peoples rights and liberties are at risk of government intrusion?
camille Reply
whenever......new government
Marjan Reply
clearly,who was meant to be in charge of this new government?
Marjan

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Source:  OpenStax, American government. OpenStax CNX. Dec 05, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11995/1.15
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