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  1. 18 Apr '14 18:04 / 2 edits
    Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

    In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power.

    The two professors came to this conclusion after reviewing answers to 1,779 survey questions asked between 1981 and 2002 on public policy issues. They broke the responses down by income level, and then determined how often certain income levels and organised interest groups saw their policy preferences enacted.

    "A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time," they write, "while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time."

    On the other hand:

    When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised 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 favour policy change, they generally do not get it.

    They conclude:

    Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

    Eric Zuess, writing in Counterpunch, isn't surprised by the survey's results.

    "American democracy is a sham, no matter how much it's pumped by the oligarchs who run the country (and who control the nation's "news" media)," he writes. "The US, in other words, is basically similar to Russia or most other dubious 'electoral' 'democratic' countries. We weren't formerly, but we clearly are now."

    This is the "Duh Report", says Death and Taxes magazine's Robyn Pennacchia. Maybe, she writes, Americans should just accept their fate.

    "Perhaps we ought to suck it up, admit we have a classist society and do like England where we have a House of Lords and a House of Commoners," she writes, "instead of pretending as though we all have some kind of equal opportunity here."

    bbc.co.uk

    I guess this is not really news but its always nice to have ones views backed up with empirical data and substantiated by authorities.
  2. 18 Apr '14 18:35
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

    In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power. ...[text shortened]... s always nice to have ones views backed up with empirical data and substantiated by authorities.
    Is this debate about whether the USA should be considered more of an
    oligarchy or a plutocracy?
  3. 18 Apr '14 19:13
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

    In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power. ...[text shortened]... s always nice to have ones views backed up with empirical data and substantiated by authorities.
    Nonsense. We are able to vote for those who promise hope and change and income equality.
  4. 18 Apr '14 19:26
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

    In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power. ...[text shortened]... s always nice to have ones views backed up with empirical data and substantiated by authorities.
    To truly understand US politics, one must understand that money is most certainly highly demanded, but by whom? Do the rich hang bags of money under the noses of political candidates? Or, do politicians and candidates use a variety of methods to extort money from the wealthy and not so wealthy as a form of "protection money" much like the mob did of merchants in Sicily and later in most US cities?

    Most hotly contested issues in American politics get settled by legislation only after years of milking. Milking is extorting campaign contributions from both sides of an issue, sometimes hiding true intentions, and almost always not making any final declaration of position as long as more money can be "milked". Some of the bigger money contributes to both sides to assure they have impressed the eventual winner.

    The notion that money always wins has been debunked many times, as big spenders lose elections, and issues that get bipartisan support often don't move inexorably.

    Your quoted article is just some people who had a notion, and sought to prove what they already believed by a study.
  5. 18 Apr '14 19:28
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Is this debate about whether the USA should be considered more of an
    oligarchy or a plutocracy?
    It is neither. Think Microsoft. The richest company and man in America at the time is sued by the US Justice Department. Gate's crime? He failed to make the necessary contributions to the Clinton campaign warchest.
  6. 18 Apr '14 20:01
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Is this debate about whether the USA should be considered more of an
    oligarchy or a plutocracy?
    Yes perhaps a plutocracy is more accurate, for it must be admitted that one can be in an oligarchy and absolutely 'skint!'
  7. 18 Apr '14 20:02
    Originally posted by whodey
    Nonsense. We are able to vote for those who promise hope and change and income equality.
    Its time for you to suck it up whoders, you are powerless!
  8. 18 Apr '14 20:04
    Originally posted by normbenign
    To truly understand US politics, one must understand that money is most certainly highly demanded, but by whom? Do the rich hang bags of money under the noses of political candidates? Or, do politicians and candidates use a variety of methods to extort money from the wealthy and not so wealthy as a form of "protection money" much like the mob did of mer ...[text shortened]... is just some people who had a notion, and sought to prove what they already believed by a study.
    No its not, its backed by empirical data and what is more you have not addressed a single point in the article.
  9. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    18 Apr '14 20:44
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Is this debate about whether the USA should be considered more of an
    oligarchy or a plutocracy?
    kleptocracy
  10. 19 Apr '14 14:17
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Its time for you to suck it up whoders, you are powerless!
    Are you suggesting that democracy is but a lie? Are we being fed a song and dance about choice when really we have none?

    The hell you say!!
  11. Standard member redbarons
    BADGER BANNED
    19 Apr '14 14:42
    Originally posted by whodey
    Are you suggesting that democracy is but a lie? Are we being fed a song and dance about choice when really we have none?

    The hell you say!!
    Smoke and Mirrors and the smoke is blown up your ass.
  12. 19 Apr '14 15:38
    Originally posted by whodey
    Are you suggesting that democracy is but a lie? Are we being fed a song and dance about choice when really we have none?

    The hell you say!!
    thats exactly what I am saying.
  13. 19 Apr '14 15:57
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    thats exactly what I am saying.
    Do you have a better workable idea?
  14. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    19 Apr '14 19:29
    Originally posted by JS357
    Do you have a better workable idea?
    America might like to try another version of democracy.

    For a start, it might like to reverse the Supreme Court decisions that grant inappropriate rights and privileges to corporations and that permit unlimited financial manipulation in politics.

    But even if all that were a fantasy, it would be a fine thing if ordinary Americans abandoned their ideological blinkers.
  15. 19 Apr '14 20:02
    Originally posted by JS357
    Do you have a better workable idea?
    yes but this is not the place for it