triangle is a mutual three sided relationship that involves
the Bureaucrats, interest groups and the Congressional Committees.
Illustratively, most of the congressional committees have an affiliation with
the organization they approve and suitable funds for allocation. Furthermore,
the bureaucrats and committees from the organizations have a secure
connection with interest groups which they want to manipulate
policies. Thus, in the United States of America, various spheres
incorporate the use of the iron triangle policy which helps to boast their
survival and existence in various platforms. The paper therefore focuses on one
of the industries that apply the iron triangle and how the technique has been
effective in their survival as outlined below.
triangle policy has been well been put into action in the ministry of agriculture in
US. The department acts as an advocate for those that take part in
the farming business as part of their living. The ministry through its powers
fosters for initiatives and policies that seek to expand the market for
farmers. Illustratively, it is through the same ministry that comes up
with qualitative values for all the food that is produced in the United
States of America with reference to the (USDA) policy which further caters for
interest groups as well as those entities that are independent. For the
ministry to achieve its goals and objectives in running their errands, it has
got a mission. “AFBF is the unified national voice of agriculture, working
through our grassroots organizations to enhance and strengthen the lives of
rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural
communities” (Keane, 20). Furthermore, the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) also goes ahead to create an employment to more than 100,000
people. The ministry came up with a notion where a 15% tax per tree was put
into practice for the employees working for a Christmas tree farmer’s
in the ministry of agriculture, there is also the use of the iron triangle
elements that facilitate the running of various operations. Interests
groups in agriculture are the farmers, stores, the food processors. These
interests groups take part by pressuring the bureaucratic officials
using the appropriate agencies for reference to present existing grievances at
hand. Similarly, the bureaucracy is closely linked to the congress and the
interest groups because it is through the congress that elects those in
the committee (Endersby et al, 520). Similarly, the
interest group works hand in hand with the committee to enable
work done in the congress. From the above perspective, interests groups that
correlate to farming are able to directly manipulate the congress through
campaigns and lobbyists so as legislations are passed effectively.
The decision will thus affect how the bureaucracy runs its errands.
it is vital to note that for the agricultural industry to
thrive successfully there must be a good relationship with the use of
the iron triangle policy. In the documentation of tobacco farmers between
1970s and 2010, the following analysis was put into conclusion. The
Farm Bureau which represented the interests group was able to elect
the agency heads who were the commissioners of the
agriculture in South Carolina (Endersby et al. 523).
There were also the area legislators who formed the iron triangle in
the tobacco farming business with the manufacturers acting as the third
party in the business. The Farm Bureau and the Commissioners of agriculture
were able to take part in the national decisions affecting tobacco farming.
They were able to make counter changes in the market structure of tobacco by
making legislations that shifted towards a neutral point in the tobacco
business. The shifts were toughened by the public health success and outreach
which later sort reinforcement where there was lack of resistance from other
agricultural groups. Therefore, public health was able to fight for
the growth of tobacco plantations with a shift to policies opposing
the practice of farming tobacco. The iron triangle policy enabled the strengthening
of the farming which was contributing directly proportional to the whole
chain (Sullivan et al. 77). For the existence of one side of the triangle,
the farm bureau together with the other key partners had to ensure each party
is comfortable for a discomfort in one side of the business affects both
parties. On the other hand, it is important to note that tobacco growing areas
were also rampant when it comes to diseases related to the use of the
substance. Similarly, they are subjected to low cigarette taxes, and also
low funding for tobacco cleaning programs and prevention strategies as well.
The farmers also have less subjection to cleaning air laws and policies which
help them exist in the society. One part of the chain uses it powers to protect
the other for a fall in one arm of the triangle affects the others both
directly and indirectly.
important to note is that farmers planting tobacco have been in history found
to engage the use of third parties to manipulate and influence state policies.
In tobacco producing zones, the manufactures were consistent in recruiting
friends from the agricultural arms who were in the iron triangle policy making,
interest groups, and agricultural agencies. Thus, while passing
laws and legislations, the allies could rule in favour of the farmers who
had something in common (Endersby
et al. 45). Thus, an “iron triangle” was defined to be something
which had a common goal and objectives at the due end of a course thus both
parties fought for a common aim in order to gain various interests from each
other. The bureaucrats, committee and agencies had a common interest in
their existence. The bureaucrats were to administer programs to the interest
groups and they in return rallied for legislators who made policies which were friendly
to farmers and other stakeholders in the chain.
coordination that facilitated the long survival of the industry was, in an
iron triangle policy area, was they gave out to “issue networks”. Their
decisions were based on the content and knowledge of the issues rather than
that of power due to the increase of more stakeholders and new perspectives in
businesses. On matters concerning issue networks, they mainly concentrated on
the power of policy specialists who could contribute to the decisions of policy
making during legislation. Such a model was being applied to the federal states
but the iron triangle also used such tactics in tobacco growing regions.
Similarly, in the early 70s, cigarette farmers were able
to counter and utilize state agricultural iron triangle
formula (Guentzel 145). It led to the prevention of significant progress
of passing policies that were aimed to control tobacco products. They rallied
and were to convince key partners in the iron triangle that their interests
overlapped those of the producers. However, notably, the period
from1997-2007, there was a drift in interests. The manufacturer agriculture
alliance had separate interests from the manufacturers. It was reported a drop
in the demand of the US tobacco led to changes in the market structure as well.
maintaining the iron triangle circle, South Carolina has been innovative
by offering an opportunity for farmers to study political ramifications of the
changing agriculture and manufacturer relationship. It has promoted the
improvement of manufacturing facilities, as well as political interests too.
Such innovative measures led to South Carolina to be fifth in US netting $69
million in 2008 behind North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia
consecutively (Guentzel 150). Prior to the great improvement in tobacco
production, it was formerly grown in small scale plantation but later expanded
to other places leading to large produce.
the iron triangle further exists both at the local and at the state too. A good
example can be one that exists between the Mississippi Farm Bureau, the
Mississippi Congress Committee and the Mississippi Department of
Agriculture. Therefore, the iron triangle will make sure that farmers will
state money from the government. The iron triangle is a form of customer
politics, only a few benefits from the chain but on the other hand, a big part
of the public will pay the cost. A key point is that it is very hard to make
influence from outside the iron triangle. Even
the head of states with all power vested on them can’t influence the iron
triangle from outside. It can be considered not to be democratic by scholars.
The power in the citizens who are voters can only manipulate the congress
people alone. The basic management of the law is in the interest groups.
Citizens cannot do anything to influence the interests groups as long as
whatever is done by them is under the rule of law. It is also applicable with
the Bureaucracy since it is likely impossible to fire it (Endersby et
al. 28). The iron triangle policy is negative with regard to democracy but
it is among the components of the American politics. American political
beliefs develop from the plan of the power of the masses without intruding on
the feet of the minority in society.
shortcoming of the iron triangle method is that the general wellbeing and
common good is abandoned in order to lay a platform for specific and
constricted interests. The iron triangle works with three arms; the
interests group, the bureaucratic agency and the congressional committee. It
forsakes a large portion of the society which paves way for narrow interests
which may have little value to the consumers who are affected either directly
or indirectly by the decisions made. Similarly, the iron triangle
formula promotes personal interests and also corruption among elected
congressmen(Endersby et al. 28). Interests groups may bribe the congress in
order for them to make policies during legislation that cater for their own
will. it will bring down ethics and fail to exercise the correct will of
the congress committee, the interests groups, and the bureau are each other’s
constituents different to consumers who are the people of
America. In an occurrence where the three majorly foster to satisfy their own
gains, example source funds for campaign, it is the common citizen that looses.
It will be a gain to the iron triangle and a great loss to the masses which are
the big voice of a people.
To sum up
the above analysis, the iron triangle policy is a method that gives power to
three arms. The interests groups, bureaucratic agency and the congress
committee, it does not support democracy though it is effective in developing
industries and development during the time of war as discussed above with
reference to agriculture as the major point of interest. The iron triangle
method also comprises elements that help in itsfunctionality which enable the
relationship survive various spheres in economic drifts and political instability
from the case above.