Iron Triangles

The term iron triangle has been used both by scholars and by muckraking popular writers to refer to the alignment of interests and actions among three key actors in public policy making in the United States: (1) regulated industry or other special interests, (2) the oversight committees in the legislature, and (3) the regulatory agency or other bureaucracy. The typical outcome of this alignment is the production of both specific regulatory decisions and regulatory policies, including the regulations themselves, that tend to protect and promote the regulated industry. For example, critics of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have argued that pharmaceutical companies, with the support of Congress, have had undue influence in the decisions of the FDA, resulting in the marketing of drugs ...

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