The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country's citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has concluded.
The report, entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, used extensive policy data collected from between the years of 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the US political system.
After sifting through nearly 1,800 US policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile) and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the United States is dominated by its economic elite.
The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says:
"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."
Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying organisations:There's more at The Telegraph. And see my previous post on this subject.
"When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it."
For an extensive analysis, see the book "Pants on Fire: Cutting through the Biggest Lies of Twenty-first-Century American Plutocracy," by Paul Christopherson (one of my high school classmates) -
Pants on Fire explores the lies that govern America—why people go along with them and what it costs to do so. It reveals the plutocracy that benefits and examines what needs to be done to bring back a true democracy.
It's no secret: The wealthy demand—and get—what they want from the system at the expense of everyone else... These claims are driving the biggest economic crisis in modern history, and producing a society ready to explode with anger. Provocative and sometimes funny, Pants on Fire looks past the individual problems to the eventual, necessary solution.