Farce Democracy

August 16, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

A paper by Princeton University’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern University’s Benjamin Page questions whether the United States can claim to be a meaningful democracy. Bloomberg reports:

Economic elites have “quite substantial, highly significant, independent impact on policy.” Interest groups have a lesser but still “substantial” influence, the paper says. In contrast, the authors found, “It makes very little difference what the general public thinks.


Category: Politics, populism

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Gilens and Page analyzed 1,799 policy issues in detail, determining the relative influence on them of economic elites, business groups, mass-based interest groups, and average citizens.

    Their conclusion: “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

    Instead, lawmakers respond to the policy demands of wealthy individuals and monied business interests — those with the most lobbying prowess and deepest pockets to bankroll campaigns.


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