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Video transcript

now a related idea to just what a bureaucracy is in our federal government another question is how do they get influenced now one idea that you might see in many American government courses is the idea of an Iron Triangle so an Iron Triangle describes how various parties might influence each other and what they might do for each other so let's say that there is a group that is very interested in building more roads maybe there's a group that represents all the road contractors in the United States and they would love more highways to be built because there'd be more business for them and so then that interest group who wants more highways to be built they might say hey Congress people we want more highways built and the way that they try to get favored with Congress is through electoral support now what kind of electoral support could they give well they could donate money to the congressman directly they could donate money to political parties they could try to activate the electorate to vote for a Congress person who favors their agenda more than someone else in exchange Congress people could do a few things they could provide more funding to the bureaucracy that is going to build roads and we just talked about that bureaucracy in the executive branch and those that bureaucracy not only might they build more roads but if they like those interest groups they might lower the regulations on them maybe they might give them more contracts as they build those roads another thing that Congress could do for the interest group is pass friendly legislation so maybe pass a law that makes it easier to build roads in a certain part of the country or in a certain way but the reason why it's called an Iron Triangle it's it's not just about what do interest groups want it's also one of what does Congress want what does the bureaucracy want and what do they get from the other two parties so we already talked about how Congress can get electoral support from interest groups but what can it get from a bureaucracy Congress passes laws in a budget but a pure ah cracy for the most part decides how to execute on that and so if there are if they are aligned with Congress they might execute on those laws with a little bit more end if the bureaucracy for one reason or another is not as gung-ho about those laws they might drag their feet a little bit and from the bureaucracy point of view well we already talked how they could get funding and political support from Congress you see that on that part of the triangle there what do they get from the interest groups well we already talked about the congressional support which they can do by supporting Congress people who might support favorable policies for the bureaucracy the interest groups might be able to directly lobby Congress which means hey we're gonna meet with Congress we might even draft some things some things for the policy agenda now a related idea to an Iron Triangle and interest groups that you might also hear in an American government course is the notion of issue and that works one way to think about issue networks is they are essentially more informal than interest groups interest groups can be part of an issue network but an issue network can be let's say you and I start to get really activated about something we get on TV and then we start mailing our Congress people and we start blogging about it and we start getting a following and then that starts to influence an interest group or interest group joins with us and then we start to send messages to Congress we start to provide more scrutiny on the bureaucracy then we would be an issue network and as I mentioned issue networks might not be formal they might not be a formal that's a lobbying group or interest group but they can also have influence in the same way that an interest group does