The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
This is the kind of shit that gets civil wars started.
Are any of us surprised by this? People have been saying the same thing for a while now.
…well maybe we will actually have some revolution.
So Princeton needed how much money to figure out what POC have said for years
the next time an omnivore makes some snide comment while i’m eating/cooking i’m going to to start doing the same to them.
ew that meat smells gross
meat. you’re just eating meat?? where do you get your vitamins???
why do you eat meat? do you hate animals or something??
like yeah okay MORE FOR ME get out of my kitchen please.
"Yuck, how can you drink that stuff?" Says mom’s friend. Apple, pear, ginger, carrot strawberry juice. Good thing I don’t have to share..!
is that art has always been a survival tool for me
I’m USING art, I don’t think of myself as an artist before I think of myself as a person
and if what I’m making isn’t art anymore
I don’t really care
because I’m doing what I need to to survive in my own mind
|—||mark aguhar // calloutqueen // R.I.P 3/14/2012 (via arabellesicardi)|
Sometimes I think to myself, “do I really want to buy another chocolate bar?”
And then I remember that there is a super volcano under Yellowstone that is 40,000 years overdue and when it erupts it could potentially cover most of north America in ash and create a volcanic winter that kills half the worlds population
And I’m like, fuck yeah I want that chocolate bar
This is one of the most inspiring posts i’ve ever seen
"Amour de Pierrot", 1905