POLITICS

America is an Oligarchy

Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page both did a research paper for Princeton University titled “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens”. Martin Gilens is a Professor at Princeton University where his research examines representation, public opinion, and mass media, especially in relation to inequality and public policy. Benjamin I. Page is Professor of Decision Making at Northwestern University. His research interests include public opinion, policy making, the mass media, and US foreign policy.

In the report they wrote, they were discussing the different models that are often cited and used to dictate what does and does not have influence over the policy making within the United States Government. They were able to determine that when it came to US government policy, the US Government was influenced by Economic-Elite Domination and Biased Pluralism more than Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism. They would further explain that when it came to the average citizen’s preferences vs. proposed policy change, one would effect the other by 20%. That changed drastically when it came to the economic elites’ preferences where it would raise higher than 40%.

This means that individuals and organizations who were wealthy had more influence over government than what the average citizen’s needs were. This runs opposite to the idea that America is democracy and supports the idea that America is now an oligarchy.


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