Friday, April 18, 2014

The End Draws Near

Here's a small taste of a new paper from professors at Princeton and Northwestern University:

"Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

What do our findings say about democracy in America? They certainly constitute troubling news for advocates of “populistic” democracy, who want governments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy preferences of their citizens. 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 U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it."

Need a translation of this:  Democracy in this country is dead, crushed out of existence in the three short decades since Ronald Reagan opened the Pandora's box of unreconstructed greed.  We are now ruled by an ever shrinking cadre of the super-rich, a situation which will end shortly in a few hundred people controlling all the wealth and power in the country, while the rest of us are left to struggle and die in poverty.

I have been predicting the likelihood of this happening since the mid-nineties.  It really doesn't feel that good to be proven right, but at least more and more people are starting to see what they have carefully averted their eyes from.  So sad that it's too late.

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