Findings of a new scientific study suggest that the United States is no longer a democracy but an oligarchy because the ideas of a small number of elite individuals are far more influential than those of common people.
Power in an oligarchic system is effectively wielded by a small number of elite people of society including the rich, senior politicians, bankers, and high-ranking members of the military.
The study which is titled “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” is carried out by researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page from Princeton University.
It shows that the policies opposed by business interest groups and economic elites are less likely to become law even if they are supported by the masses.
The survey which reviewed nearly 1,800 policy issues over a 20-year period between 1982 and 2002 also found that the preferences of the ordinary people of the society can by no means affects the fate of a bill of law.
Figures showed a policy has a 45%chance of being enacted when it is supported by the rich people and only an 18% chance of becoming law when it’s opposed by the rich.
“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, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence,” wrote Gilens and Page in the study.
“In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule – at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. 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 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,” the study concluded.
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