Affluence is Equal to Influence in the U.S.
The study says that democracy in the U.S. is just an illusion. People are not governing since politicians only respond to the wants of the wealthiest citizens and special interest groups.
Two political scientists have concluded this following a study that was just recently published.
The two political scientists – Northwestern University’s Benjamin Page and Princeton University’s Martin Gilens – performed a study of which groups receive from the government of the U.S. what they want.
Specifically Page and Gilens compiled data on close to 2,000 proposed changes in policy over the past two decades that fit into several criteria.
Through reviewing the data received and fitting it into different groups, the researchers were able to determine what groups in the U.S. get what they are asking for from the current political system.
The researchers said the central point emerging from their research was that organized groups that represent business interests and the economic elite have significant independent impacts on government policy in the U.S., while interest groups that are mass-based and average U.S. citizens have very little if any independent influence.
One small bit of good news is that average Americans at times received what they desire, but only due to their views often times coinciding with those of the rich.
Main Street by itself does not matter and neither do the interest groups purporting to support the general public.
The new data shows that politicians only cater to the groups that have organized to push their own agendas and the rich.
What is even worse is the interest groups often tend to lobby in support of positions that relate negatively to preference of the average citizen in the U.S., said researchers.
The study’s authors concluded that they believe that policymaking has become dominated by powerful business groups and a small group of American who are very affluent, which makes the claims that America is a democratic society seriously threatened.