New Study: United States no longer a Democracy

November 5, 2014 | By | 4 Replies More

Is the U.S. government following the will of the People? The answer is no, according to a new study:

Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

[Cartoon by Jonik reprinted here with his permission]

Jonik cartoon


Category: Cartoons, Corporatocracy, Corruption, 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.

Comments (4)

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  1. Tige Gibson says:

    I don’t think you’re being cynical enough. There really are Americans who want lower wages, fewer jobs, more police intrusiveness, and more decay. Anything to lasso Jesus into returning sooner, but controlling Jesus isn’t necessarily the most immediate concern, it’s the thought of those undeserving people (non-whites, gays, atheists, etc.) who might benefit from jobs, money, clean air, and not having the FBI keeping an eye on their disgusting behavior.

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    I can provide a supporting example for this post. Here in my state of Wisconsin, the recently-elected Gov. Scott Walker campaigned on jobs, jobs and more jobs. However, now that the election is over, jobs appear to no longer be his focus. Instead, his legislative agenda has begun with proposals to reduce property taxes (of greatest benefit to large holders of real estate), increase the use of school vouchers (of greatest benefit to religious and other private schools), eliminate Common Core educational standards (again, of greatest benefit to religious and other private schools) and…wait for it…to revamp the state election commission to make its governing board deliberately *more* partisan (of greatest benefit to Republicans, since they control both houses of the state legislature and the governor’s office). This is after they gerrymandered state voting districts (to favor Republicans) and enacted a new voter ID law (which is still being challenged in court for its discriminatory impact). Democracy? No, the U.S. is a plutocracy, and it is sliding more in that direction every day.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Grumpy. I wish I could disagree with you. I can’t. I wish I could find a silver lining.

    • Edgar Montrose says:

      The silver lining is that Conservatives are so fanatical about their individual definitions of “what it means to be a Conservative” that they will eventually turn on each other.

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