government helps maintain the strong influence of business in our political
The enhanced role of business in American politics is also assured by the
central role of the private sector in the economy. Borrowing from the phraseology of Molotch, capitalism is the economic "growth machine" of America.
55 While there has taken place over the past several decades an increase
in the number of Americans working in the public sector, especially at the
state and local levels of government, the vast majority of Americans earn
their livelihood from employment in the private sector. Obviously, their
individual economic interests and continued well-being dictate from their
perspective a political system that is accessible, sensitive, and responsive to
the needs and policy concerns of the private sector. In addition, the "growth
machine" of the private sector, with its myriad array of resources, including
money and the well-honed skills of lobbyists, guarantees business an almost
inviolable role in the American political process."
C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1956).
A more recent statement of this persuasion is
G. William Domhoff, Who Rules
America Now? A View for the ' 80's ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983).
Charles E. Lindblom, Politics and Markets ( New York: Basic Books, 1977),
Margaret Terrell Parker, Lowell: A Study of Industrial Development (Port
Washington, New York: Kenniket Press, 1970).
Stanley Buder, Pullman: An Experiment in Industrial Order and Community
Planning 1880-1930 ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), especially
Peter Schuck and
Harrison Wellford, "Democracy and the Good Life in a
Company Town," Harper's Magazine, 244 ( May, 1972), pp. 56-60.
Robert S. Lynd and
Helen M. Lynd, Middletown ( New York: Harcourt,
Robert S. Lynd and
Helen M. Lynd, Middletown in Transition ( New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1937).
Floyd Hunter, Community Power Structure ( Chapel Hill: University of North
Carolina Press, 1953).
Carol Estes Thometz, The Decision-Makers: The Power Structure of Dallas
( Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963).
Harvey Molotch, "The City as Growth Machine," American Journal of Sociology, 82 ( September, 1976), pp. 309-330.
Robert O. Schulze, "The Role of Economic Dominants in Community Power
Structure," American Sociological Review, 23 ( February, 1958), pp. 3-9.
Norton E. Long, "The Corporation, Its Satellites and the Local Community,"
Edward S. Mason, ed., The Corporation in Modern Society ( Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1959), pp. 202-217.