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…
listen you boutta have the thickest smoodie of all time, where is your liquid? your ice? weak ass aesthetics, try again
smh they leave the strawberry tops on… might as well leave the gotdam banana peels onu can eat strawberry tops… & recent studies are showing banana peels are healthy n nutritious for u:…. The turntables
n im sure the outside of a coconut is mad high in fiber but im not bout ta eat woodchips cause of no govermence scienticians
Water Lilies (1906)
Holland Roden discussing Stydia at San Diego Comic Con.
Putting on makeup is such a spiritual experience I watch myself go from a 3 to a 9 right in front of my mirror I love it
no, if you are putting on makeup, I don’t care who you are or what you look like, you go from about a 10 to 1
keep talking shit you gonna go from a basic ass 2 to a 6-feet-under
Badgley Mischka Pre-Fall 2014
Me starting a rebellion at my school
all you did is ruin some janitor’s afternoon because they have to scrub your stupid fandom crap off the walls i swear you people need to control yourselves
The juxtaposition of these two urls makes the comments that much more satisfying
"Bourgeois Ghetto" photographed Jamil GS , Vibe Magazine December 2002