Has America morphed from the land of the free to an oligarchy? That’s what a chilling scientific study by two Princeton researchers recently concluded.
What’s an oligarchy? According to PolicyMic,
“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.”
Billionaires like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and George Soros; high level politicians such as Barack Obama, John Boehner, and the Clintons; and other big shots call the shots for our “democracy.” The American voting system is for the most part just an illusion of power, a relic from a time when public opinion mattered more than it does today.
So, in other words, the intuition of many Americans that the rich and powerful run things is correct. No surprise there. Face it: you don’t have to be a Princeton researcher or even a high school graduate to make this conclusion; but what the researchers, Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, have done commendably well is put hard evidence behind our intuitions.
The researchers looked at data from about 1,800 policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002 and compared the policy changes to American public opinion. Government enacted laws much more often based on what Americans at the 90th percentile of income and from major lobbying or business groups wanted, compared to what those at the 50th percentile of income wanted.
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.
The next time you feel powerless in the midst of the political system or wonder why a Wall Street CEO got off scot free with the authorities while still making out like a bandit, you won’t have to just rely on your own observations. No, you will have solid Princeton research behind you.
What can be done? Don’t give up hope. Keep engaged with politics. Write on your blog (or even for Western Journalism), attend political events, volunteer, and stay involved. Don’t give up the power you do have to the ultra wealthy and the government. There is still hope for the Republic. Powerful systems have collapsed before and can do so again, especially given the mounds of fiat money that have been pumped into our economy by the Federal Reserve. Don’t just get involved politically. Prepare spiritually, financially, socially, etc. for a potential collapse of the system. Read this article for more ideas. Check out the Sound Money Institute website, which I edit, to learn about the economic follies of the Fed and Uncle Sam and how you can prepare for troubled economic times.
Don’t neglect the warnings of this piece. Our beloved country, which millions of patriotic Americans have sacrificed their lives to defend, is being ruled by the elites more than ever. It’s time to speak up instead of bending over. Let’s join together with the power we do have to make a difference for ourselves, our families, and our communities.
Barack Obama and Wall Street CEO Jamie Dimon Photo Credit: SS&SS (Creative Commons)
Goldman Sachs Photo Credit: Ondrej Kloucek (Creative Commons)