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Emily Daniels
Elite theory of government is the belief that people of higher power, social class, and wealth have the overall say in decisions of law and government regardless of what anyone else says, for example, Elon Musk. They oppose pluralist theory and believe that only a small group of high class people have the overall say, and not the power of the people . Same examples of this theory is independent companies- the VP’s or CEO’s have the power to make changes to that company regardless of what the employees like, or want. 
Pluralist theory of government is the belief that the amount of people with the same opinion, and beliefs have the overall power to make decisions (kind of like the majority rules) . Believing that the government falls in the hands of the people.
I personally feel like American government has a little bit of both of these.
For example, we practice pluralist theory by having the right to vote. But on the other hand, I feel as though people with a higher power can interfere, raid, overturn, and “make things disappear” as one says. Being able to vote, lets the people think that their opinion, belief or vote has a say in who is elected, leaving the “power in peoples hands” and not just on a specific group of wealthy people. 
In my opinion, one example of elite theory are “Super PACs”. Wealthy individuals gather and donate a large sum of money to politicians in campaigns to promote and help them get elected in return for that politician doing something in their favor.
To be frank, people with money can do things.

Rachael Johnson 
Pluralism states that groups with shared interests have the most influence on government. Pluralism as a political philosophy is the recognition and affirmation of diversity within a political body, which is seen to permit the peaceful coexistence of different interests, convictions, and lifestyles.
Elitism states that a small group of upper-class people have the most influence on government. Democratic elitism accepts the main premise of elite theory: ‘no societies are governed by the people, by a majority; all societies, including societies called democratic, are ruled by a minority’ (Burnham 1943, p. 184)
Elite theory opposes pluralism (more than one system of power), a tradition that emphasized how multiple major social groups and interests have an influence upon and various forms of representation within more powerful sets of rulers, contributing to decently representative political outcomes that reflect the collective needs of society.
Pluralist theory rejects this approach, arguing that although there are elite members of society they do not control government. Instead, pluralists argue, political power is distributed throughout society. Rather than resting in the hands of individuals, a variety of organized groups hold power, with some groups having more influence on certain issues than others. Thousands of interest groups exist in the United States. Many question whether politicians are actually interested in the needs of average citizens and debate how much influence ordinary people have over what government does. Those who support the elite theory of government argue that a small, wealthy, powerful elite controls government and makes policy to benefit its members and perpetuate their power. Others favor the pluralist theory, which maintains that groups representing the people’s interests do attract the attention of politicians and can influence government policy. In reality, government policy usually is the result of a series of tradeoffs as groups and elites fight with one another for influence and politicians attempt to balance the demands of competing interests, including the interests of the constituents who elected them to office.

Who Governs? Elitism, Pluralism, and Tradeoffs

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