A new study says in no uncertain terms that the US is no longer a democracy, but rather an oligarchy.
In an oligarchy, those in power serve the interests of business organizations and economically wealthy people.
The researched was conducted by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern University. They analyzed policy data between 1981 and 2002, finding almost 1,800 policies. Those were then compared against the preferences of three groups: Average Americans, the wealthiest 90 percent of Americans, and large special interest groups.
"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy," the researchers wrote, "while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."
Specifically, policies were found to be almost always out of sync with the majority of Americans.
"When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it."
The study comes out at a crucial time, on the heels of a controversial Supreme Court ruling that eliminated all rules that would limit the amount of money a person or a corporation could contribute to elections.
Photo: Green Left