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Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy
Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argues that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power. Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters. TPM Interview: Scholar Behind Viral 'Oligarchy' Study Tells You What It Means "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy," they write, "while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."

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Scholar Behind Viral 'Oligarchy' Study Tells You What It Means You published an advance copy of your study on April 9th, and in just the last few days there's been an explosion of coverage and interest. Are you pleased, shocked, overwhelmed, all of the above? I'm delighted to be able to contribute to a terribly important public discussion.

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