Who Governs? Elitism, Pluralism, and Tradeoffs

The elite theory of government maintains that ________.

  1. special interest groups make government policy
  2. politicians who have held office for a long time are favored by voters
  3. poor people and people of color should not be allowed to vote
  4. wealthy, politically powerful people control government, and government has no interest in meeting the needs of ordinary people



According to the pluralist theory of government, ________.

  1. government does what the majority of voters want it to do
  2. government policy is formed as a result of the competition between groups with different goals and interests
  3. ordinary people acting on their own have a significant influence on government
  4. wealthy people decide what government policy will be, and politicians have no interest in pleasing anyone else

Which of the following is a good example of a tradeoff?

  1. The government pleases environmental activists by preserving public lands but also pleases ranchers by allowing them to rent public lands for grazing purposes.
  2. The government pleases environmental activists by reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park but angers ranchers by placing their cattle in danger.
  3. The government pleases oil companies by allowing them to drill on lands set aside for conservation but allows environmental activist groups to protest the drilling operations.
  4. Groups that represent a variety of conflicting interests are all allowed to protest outside Congress and the White House.