A Princeton study found that American democracy no longer exists, and the country truly is controlled by a small number of wealthy elites, reported Talking Points Memo.
Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page found that the American political system has made a gradual shift from a democracy to an oligarchy over the last several decades. Gilens and Page said:
The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.
Basically, corporations and wealthy elites have purchased the American political system and use money to bend laws in their favor. After examining approximately 1,800 policy initiatives that occurred from 1981 to 2002, Gilens and Page found that the outcomes of proposed policy changes are more prone to reflect the opinions of the wealthy.
“A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favor) is adopted only about 18 percent of the time,” according to the study. “A proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favor) is adopted about 45 percent of the time.”
To further support the notion that average Americans are overlooked when it comes to policy, the authors reveal that “when a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.”
Gilens and Page added, “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 authors found that “the majority does not rule,” which is true. The American political system is now structured to accommodate the wealthy one percent while the rest of us can do nothing but watch. Politicians don’t listen to the People, they only care about their latest campaign contribution.