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Similarities and Differences between Dominance and Pluralistic Economy
The United States economy can be explained in terms of dominance and pluralistic perspective. Pluralistic economy involves a society based on multiple centers of power hence it is a liberalism economy (Davis, 2006). In dominance economy, managers of large organizations inevitably control greater part of the economy. In addition, classes of property owners govern the economic policies and activities in the society (Mills, 1999).
Pluralism system shows that there is no class or a group of elites in the economy that has a dominate power. In this respect, there are no large disparities in wealth and power because they are dispersed among various groups in the society. Therefore, in pluralism system, there is no hierarchy, however, oligarchy exists (Davis, 2006). Most notably, various groups in the society have power on different issues.
Moreover, pluralistic economy is based on free-market economy. Political leaders contest for votes through an electoral process in the same way that capitalist contest for buyers in the market. Further, the market systems give the consumers sovereignty and freedom over the capitalists (Davis, 2006). Most notably, the government is neutral in case of conflicts between the consumers and owners (Mills, 1999). Therefore, the administration has no integral interest in the relationship hence it can arbitrate in case of competing interests.
In dominance, a social class controls the economic and political power. Besides, a lot of taxes and credits are also born by the class of powerful individuals (Ver Eecke, 2008). They also control media such as television and radio. Consequently, the classes of individuals are able to enter politics and formulate favorable policies (Davis, 2006). The policies serve to protect their interest and as insurance pact for the high social class at the expense of the exploited class.
Moreover, leaders of big bureaucratic organizations also dominate the economy. It put less focus on class conflict than it is necessary (Mills, 1999). Therefore, it does not fully appreciate the level in which company owners and managers govern other managers of small institutions (Davis, 2006). For instance, the majority of elected officers within the political arena depends on the wealthy individuals and leaders of various companies for their initial financial support in the United States (Ver Eecke, 2008). Besides, the civilians who win the executive positions gain power after elections to appoint military officials.
The dominance perspective does not give attention to class conflict, which causes the differences between trade unions and the corporate controlled organizations. The working class and capitalists are interdependent (Davis, 2006). However, there is a conflict between the corporate leaders and trade union leaders because the former sees the latter as enemies that try to eliminate them. In this respect, the state is viewed as an instrument where some groups of people are used to controls other groups (Mills, 1999).
Dominance perspective exerts more emphasis on bureaucracy. The group of bureaucrats has political power hence they are able to change economic policies (Davis, 2006). This form of control is reinforced via legitimate violence. Therefore, a state exists, if the governed individuals obey the authority from dominant groups.
In pluralistic perspective, the power is obtained from the local level at the grassroots. In addition, citizens in capitalistic economy establish voluntary groups that attempts to control opinion of the public (Davis, 2006). Besides, they conduct lobbying of elected executives and they support a particular candidate in the electoral process (Ver Eecke, 2008). In pluralist economy, government decisions are influenced by public opinion.
However, sometimes the voluntary groups change into well-coordinated interest groups. They usually depend on economic interest such as labor unions, bankers and industrialist as well as in other interests such as consumer, environmentalist and civil right groups (Davis, 2006).
In addition, members in a pluralist system believe that corporate leaders are separated amongst themselves hence; they do not dominate the government (Davis, 2006). They assume that there are differences between managers and owners of large companies; therefore, organizations are coordinated into narrow interest groups. In pluralism economy the larger the group the more control it has (Mills, 1999). Furthermore, the policies formed by the government are a product of compromise and bargaining, which tend to be fair, moderate, inclusive and conducive for societal stability.
Pluralism is based on liberalism theory, which suggests that property rights as emanating from individual struggle to utilize nature in order to gain surplus. Therefore, power of the public is exterior to private property rights (Davis, 2006). The state is not involved in creation of property rights. However, it may institutionalize the property rights.
Dominance economic perspective is based on the class domination and the idea of substituting capitalism with socialism (Ver Eecke, 2008). In addition, economic power is dispersed depending on the accumulation of capital (Davis, 2006). The functions of the state are to reproduce and protect capitalism. In addition, the policies are formulated to show the responsibility of the state to control the economy. Furthermore, the state establishes and executes policies that advocate for the interest of capitalist/ruling class and capitalism.
In dominance economy, a state is established in context of exploitative economic structure (Ver Eecke, 2008). Therefore, owners protect themselves and their private properties in the process of production (Davis, 2006). Moreover, the market process is not fair enough, because it has a powerful tendency to force wages to a subsistence stage since there are many workers in the market.
The dominant economy ensures that workers are powerless and do not have property in order for capitalists to gain profits through human labor (Ver Eecke, 2008). However, the dominance theory asserts that the exploitative feature produces discontent among workers because of poor working conditions and low wages as well as having their creative efforts managed by owners (Davis, 2006). Workers join together to form trade unions and parties following realization of their common rights. In case of high rate of inflation and economic depression or crisis, workers organize a more humane and fairer social system. The cooperative system is referred to as socialism hence every one owns production via corporate and government (Mills, 1999). Therefore, dominance tries to change capitalism with socialism.
Pluralist economy simply explains trade unions and employee organization. Since the trade unions and organizations have more power over government, the businesses, trade unions, politicians and proletariat have a stake of power in the state (Davis, 2006). Therefore, economic authority is dispersed among organizations, government and labor unions.
In dominance, economy there is control of ideas through socialism processes and via media. Therefore, there are important issues such as education and authority are controlled (Mills, 1999). In addition, the sources of power are from the control and ownership of properties in the economy such as wealth, and assets (Ver Eecke, 2008).
Both the dominance and pluralism perspectives link with rationalization followed by modern societies. At the core of rationalization, there exist irrational tendencies that placate hierarchical relationships of an authoritarian system in several economic perspectives (Davis, 2006). Besides, the two perspectives produce positive consequences on democracies such as passivity to the electorates, charismatic leadership personality and clear executive predominance (Mills, 1999).
In some way the dominance perspective immerses part of its contents in the pluralism. In addition, the two perspectives assume that those individuals in formal positions of power are not necessarily with political influence. Therefore, individuals without authority to formulate policies may be highly influential or vice versa (Davis, 2006). Furthermore, both theories are similar because they suggest that modification of democratic theory agree that majority of citizens do not take part in politics (Mills, 1999). Therefore, both argue that a number of influential elites compete for power via public support.
Pluralism is more applicable in the United States as compared to the dominance. It tries to expand the economic opportunities for the common and disadvantaged person. The core principle of pluralistic is that all people have a chance to become economically active through group actions. Therefore, the government formulates economic policies that favor the general public activities as compared to the ruling class (Ver Eecke, 2008). In addition, the government utilizes a consultative decision making process. The government also ensures that all members of the society have benefited from the economic growth of their country. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of members of the public to pay taxes and follow rules and regulations.
Davis, J. (2006). The turn in economics: neoclassical dominance to mainstream pluralism?. Journal Of Institutional Economics, 2(01), 1–20.
Mills, C. (1999). The power elite (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Ver Eecke, W. (2008). Ethical dimensions of the economy (1st ed.). Berlin: Springer.