The United States is an Oligarchy

Summary

A group at Princeton recently completed a study (to be published this Fall of 2014) that shows pretty definitively that over the 80’s and 90’s (the period studied), the United States government has represented wealthy interests and ignored the broader public interest.

The study is entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens (see original pdf preprint), and it looks at the correlations between policy preferences of particular groups and policy outcomes. The authors looked at preferences of wealthy citizens, average citizens, wealthy/commercial organizations, and public organizations without a commercial interest. While often it appears that the federal government is acting on behalf of the people, the data and analysis strongly suggest that is only because of how often the preferences of the average citizen aligns with the preferences of the wealthy interests.

This story was covered by multiple sources back in April. Here’s an article at the BBC. It was also covered by The Young Turks, an online news network that has spent a large amount of time on the issue of corruption and money in politics:

Wall Street Beats Freedom with moneyA group at Princeton recently completed a study (to be published this Fall of 2014) that shows pretty definitively that over the 80’s and 90’s (the period studied), the United States government has represented wealthy interests and ignored the broader public interest.

The study is entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens (see original pdf preprint), and it looks at the correlations between policy preferences of particular groups and policy outcomes. The authors looked at preferences of wealthy citizens, average citizens, wealthy/commercial organizations, and public organizations without a commercial interest. While often it appears that the federal government is acting on behalf of the people, the data and analysis strongly suggest that is only because of how often the preferences of the average citizen aligns with the preferences of the wealthy interests.

This story was covered by multiple sources back in April. Here’s an article at the BBC. It was also covered by The Young Turks, an online news network that has spent a large amount of time on the issue of corruption and money in politics:

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