Give your opinion on the following statement: “Interest groups are not regulated carefully enough by the federal government.”

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would tend to agree with this statement in only a very limited way.  For the most part, interest groups should not be regulated.

Interest groups are a very important part of a democracy.  Interest groups represent real people who have opinions.  Those opinions should absolutely be heard by the government.  Interest groups are a very good way to convey the opinions of the people to government officials.  This is absolutely essential in a democracy.

However, interest groups can cause problems because of the amounts of money that they can inject into the political process.  It would be good if the government could regulate this spending.  This is problematic, however, as the Supreme Court has ruled that such spending is protected by the First Amendment and cannot really be regulated very much at all.  Therefore, the best thing to do would be to at least make the spending transparent.  What that means is that the interest groups should have to disclose who gives them their money.  When a person exercises their right to free speech verbally or in writing, we know who they are and we can evaluate what they say with that knowledge of who they are.  We should be able to have that same information about the people who pay for ideas to be disseminated.

This is the only way in which I think interest groups need more regulation.