The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
i’m that friend that has to walk behind the group when the path isn’t big enough. i’m that friend that gets cut off in the conversation. i’m that friend that gets left behind when i asked for them to wait for me. i’m that friend that doesn’t get invited to hang out alot. i’m that friend that if i want to go to the mall or some place with a friend i have to be the one to invite people to make sure i get included. i’ll always be that friend.
Ugh I still have a hangover
my dad and sister came home and they went to the salvation army and brought home some chairs and i said “you shouldn’t buy from them because they discriminate gays” and my dad sarcastically replied “well then no gay asses have sat in our chair” and i said “i can change that” and sat in one that is how i accidentally came out to my family
So can we talk about the absolutely stunning duplicity going on here?
ok, why the fuck is the graph upside down. that is incredibly misleading
Because its from the Florida Department of Justice, and they have a mandate here.
for those who have trouble inverting it in their head, ftfy:
this is some of the most blatant twisting of info i have ever seen holy shit
I laugh because it is not an appropriate time to shrieg with rage