Has US governing system evolved into an oligarchy? Study at Princeton and Northwestern
US governing system evolved into an oligarchy?
Study at Princeton and Northwestern:
Researchers from Princeton and Northwestern Universities released a study in April that found U.S. politicians more often reflect the wishes of the rich and powerful over the needs of the majority of Americans, who have a “minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
POLITICS – APRIL 15, 2014
The study, targeted for Fall 2014 publication in the journal Perspectives on Politics, examined 1,779 policy changes between 1981 and 2002. Those steps were compared to preferences expressed by Americans at the 50th income percentile and the 90th percentile, along with the positions taken by powerful interest groups.
Average Americans often have similar policy positions to affluent citizens, researchers found, and consider their interests represented when policymakers are actually making decisions based on positions of the elite. The goals of interest groups also aren’t “substantially correlated with the preferences of average citizens.”
“Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.” MARTIN GILENS AND BENJAMIN PAGE, STUDY AUTHORS