Are you sitting down? If you’re not you should be before reading further because I’ve got some news that will shatter your reality:
A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States.
The new study, with the jaw-clenching title of “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” is forthcoming in the fall 2014 edition of Perspectives on Politics. Its authors, Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University, examined survey data on 1,779 national policy issues for which they could gauge the preferences of average citizens, economic elites, mass-based interest groups and business-dominated interest groups. They used statistical methods to determine the influence of each of these four groups on policy outcomes, including both policies that are adopted and rejected.
The analysts found that when controlling for the power of economic elites and organized interest groups, the influence of ordinary Americans registers at a “non-significant, near-zero level.“
Ho. Ly. Shit. You mean to tell me that economic elites and organized interest groups basically own the government? Mind. Blown.
I can’t believe it! Somebody actually had to do a study to figure this out? It wasn’t at all obvious that the people of the United States have had effectively no say in their government for the last several decades (I would argue since the government’s inception but I’ll be conservative for the sake of this post). Like all men are created equal, the fact that we have no say in our government is self-evident. Without much effort you can usually figure out what special interest group bought a law even when most Americans opposed it.
It’s still nice to see more people pointing this fact out since there are a lot of people who don’t seem to realize it.