Skip to main content

Black Listed News
Trending Articles:
Trending Articles:

Princeton Study: The U.S. Is Not ‘Losing’ Its Democracy, It’s Already Long Gone

Published: November 22, 2019 | Print Friendly and PDF
  Gab
 

The notion that citizens of the United States don’t actually live in a democracy has been picking up steam for decades, with scars from economic, social and political decay inflicting themselves ever more deeply into our psyches as the years move on.

 
You would think that, with the rise of science and technology, we would have been able to build a far more prosperous nation. Instead, we have seen a vast reduction in our standard of living, and are being forced to work longer and harder in increasingly menial and unfulfilling jobs across the board. We are ever more being subjected to the control-hungry vicissitudes of mega-corporations that are swallowing up American entrepreneurship and prosperous self-employment.

The notion that we as individuals are failing ourselves as a nation, and somehow have earned the massive and growing national debt as a result of our own poor decisions and ineptitude, is only valid if you still believe that we are living in a democracy, where the majority of individuals directly make policy. If in fact the United States ever fully operated this way, the least we can say is that our democracy is currently broken.

Of course, if you are in the small coterie of economic elites at the top of the pyramid, you don’t feel that anything is broken. In fact, in the back rooms where all the important meetings take place, you likely spend part of the time congratulating each other because things are going exactly according to plan.

Princeton Study

A study by two political scientists at Princeton and Northwestern, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, analyzed 1,779 recent policy outcomes found that “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” while average citizens “have little or no independent influence.”

The research had two parts: First, they measured the amount of political influence various groups have in America. Then, they checked this against some technical definitions of democracy, oligarchy, and other forms of government.

In our latest episode of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, Joe Martino and I discuss this study and the broader notion of whether the system itself is simply broken and can be fixed, or if we should start thinking about how we can move away from it altogether. The opening clip is below, and for the full episode and hundreds of other inspiring shows and interviews, you can start a free 7-day trial on CETV today.

 

 

The Wealthy Have More Influence

The chart below shows how much political influence different groups have in America today. Not only do the wealthy have the most influence, ordinary voters have basically none.

To have “political influence” in this case means that Congress responds to you by passing the laws and policies you like. Low influence means you’re ignored — Congress passes laws that have no relationship to what you want.

Special interest groups also have sway over public policy. The researchers divided them into two types. “Mass” interest groups, which represent large groups of organized citizens, have a small amount of power. Business groups, like trade associations, have a moderate amount, likely because they can afford to spend more on lobbying and political donations.

None of this means that ordinary people never get what they want from Congress. Sometimes public opinion data matched up with things Congress actually did. However the vast majority were also outcomes favored by the wealthy and business interests. Statistically speaking, the government doesn’t care what 90% of Americans think.

America Is an Oligarchy

The authors defined four possible systems we might have: (1) democracy, (2) oligarchy, or semi-democratic systems dominated by (3) interest groups generally or (4) business groups especially. You can look at the chart below and judge for yourself: America in 2014 matches mostly with the oligarchy model — an oligarchy of wealthy individuals. In fact, the general public has even less influence than it does in a typical oligarchy model.

The problem here isn’t the existence of wealth, or that wealthy Americans have political opinions. It’s that the government is representing only 10% of the American people. Everyone else is living with something less than democracy.

The authors make the following observations: Organized groups regularly lobby and fraternize with public officials; move through revolving doors between public and private employment; provide self-serving information to officials; draft legislation; and spend a great deal of money on election campaigns.

At its heart, this is a problem of corruption – caused by money in our political system. Such corruption is fundamentally opposed to the ideals of our republic because “the public is likely to be a more certain guardian of its own interests than any feasible alternative.”

The Takeaway

While some might argue that introducing new campaign finance laws as well as anti-corruption legislation is the answer, we have to remember that the foxes remain in charge of the hen house, and there is always resistance from lawmakers to introduce, implement, and enforce legislation that will reduce their power and ultimately find them guilty of having obtained their power through corrupt means. More than likely this problem will only get solved when we amass the collective will to walk away from this system, and create one that is more aligned with our values and aspirations.

Share This Article...




Image result for patreon


PLEASE DISABLE AD BLOCKER TO VIEW DISQUS COMMENTS

Ad Blocking software disables some of the functionality of our website, including our comments section for some browsers.


Gab Social Gettr Twitter Youtube Facebook RSS

Image result for patreon

Support Blacklisted News
and Kill The ADS!!!

Become our Patreon and get access to the ad free version of the website and other insider exclusives for $1.00

Login with patreon to gain access to perks!

2nd Smartest Guy in the World
10th Amendment Center
Aaron Mate
Activist Post
AIER
Aletho News
Alliance for Natural Health, The
Alt-Market
Antiwar
AUTOMATIC EARTH, The
Ben Bartee
Big League Politics
Black Vault, The
BOMBTHROWER
Brandon Turbeville
Breaking Defense
Breitbart
Brownstone Institute
Burning Platform, The
Business Insider
Business Week
Caitlin Johnstone
Campus Reform
CAPITALIST EXPLOITS
Charles Hugh Smith
Children's Health Defense
CHRISTOPHE BARRAUD
Citizen Free Press
Citizens for Legit Gov.
CNN Money
Collective Evolution
Common Dreams
Conscious Resistance Network
Corbett Report
Cryptogon
Cryptome
Daily Bell, The
Daily Economist, The
Daily Reckoning, The
Daily Veracity
DANERIC'S ELLIOTT WAVES
Dark Journalist
Defense Industry Daily
Defense Link
Defense One
Dennis Broe
DOLLAR COLLAPSE
DR. HOUSING BUBBLE
Dr. Robert Malone
Drs. Wolfson
Drudge Report
Economic Collapse, The
ECONOMIC POPULIST, The
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ellen Brown
Emerald Robinson
Energy Business Review
Expose, The
F. William Engdahl
FAIR
Farm Wars
Faux Capitalist
FINANCIAL REVOLUTIONIST
Forbes
Foreign Policy Journal
FOREXLIVE
Foundation For Economic Freedom
Free Thought Project, The
From Behind Enemy Lines
From The Trenches
FUNDIST
Future of Freedom Foundation
Futurism
GAINS PAINS & CAPITAL
GEFIRA
Geopolitical Monitor
Glenn Greenwald
Global Research
Global Security
GMG RESEARCH
GOLD CORE
Grayzone, The
Great Game India
Guadalajara Geopolitics
Helen Caldicott
Homeland Sec. Newswire
Human Events
I bank Coin
IEEE
IMPLODE-EXPLODE
Information Clearing House
Information Liberation
Infowars
Insider Paper
Intel News
Intercept, The
Jane's
Jay's Analysis
John Adams
John Pilger
John W. Whitehead
Jon Rappoport
Jordan Schachtel
Just The News
Kitco
Last American Vagabond, The
Lew Rockwell
Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
LIBERTY BLITZKRIEG
Market Oracle
Market Watch
Matt Taibbi
Max Keiser
Medical Express
Mercola
Michael Snyder
Michael Tracey
Middle East Monitor
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
Military Info Tech
Mind Unleashed, The
Mint Press
MISES INSTITUTE
Mises Wire
MISH TALK
Money News
Moon of Alabama
Motherboard
My Budget 360
Naked Capitalism
Natural Blaze
Natural News
Natural Society
New American, The
New Eastern Outlook
News Deck
NEWSQUAWK
OF TWO MINDS
Off-Guardian
Oil Price
OPEN THE BOOKS
Organic Prepper, The
PANDEMIC: WAR ROOM
PETER SCHIFF
Phantom Report
Pierre Kory
Political Vigilante
Prevent Disease
Public Intelligence
QUOTH THE RAVEN RSRCH
Reclaim The Net
Revolver
Richard Dolan
Rokfin
RTT News
Rutherford Institute
SAFEHAVEN
SAKER, The
Shadow Stats
Shadowproof
Slog, The
SLOPE OF HOPE
Solari
South Front
Sovereign Man
Spacewar
spiked
SPOTGAMMA
Steve Kirsch
Strike The Root
Summit News
Tech Dirt
Technocracy News
Terry Wahls, M.D.
TF METALS REPORT
THEMIS TRADING
True Activist
unlimited hangout
UNREDACTED
Unreported Truths
Unz Review, The
VALUE WALK
Vigilant Citizen
Waking Times
Wall Street Journal
Wallstreet on Parade
Wayne Madsen
What Really Happened
Whitney Webb
winter oak
WOLF STREET
Wolf Street
Zero Hedge






BlackListed News 2006-2019
Privacy Policy
Terms of Service