The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “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.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
cockiness is so attractive to me in a way and it’s so irritating. like it’s annoying. and it annoys me. but the kind of expression and body language that comes with it. the self-satisfied attitude. the smug comments. the eye rolling. the smirking. “come and get me” hand gestures during a fight. eyebrow raising with an air of superiority. it’s just like. fuck you. i’m annoyed right now. i am so annoyed right now. but oh my fuck i am also so very, very attracted right now
Guys guys holy shit one day when we are all old and start to die on the news there’s going to be ‘last remaining person alive from the 1900’s has died’ BECAUSE ONE OF US IS GOING TO BE THE LAST PERSON ALIVE FROM WHEN THE YEARS BEGAN WITH A ‘1’ AND ITS PROBABLY GONNA BE A BIG THING THIS FEELS WEIRD
obviously youre lookin for a competition and im winning
let the hunger games begin
so it looks like we have to redo the ice bucket thing…the camera was a fucking stupid idea someone go back in time and slap me. gonna do it tomorrow.
a fucking draw!! jesus mary and joseph that was a dumb game. luckily we still have enough points to get into the finals.