Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Article: Our Oligarchs Can Thank James Madison

Mises Daily: Thursday, April 24, 2014 by Ryan McMaken

A recent study from Princeton and Northwestern concluded that the United States is an “oligarchy” ruled by a small group of wealthy elites and interest groups.

According to authors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page:

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, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.

Fortunately for The Average Joe, however, his stated policy preferences happen to coincide with the desires of the wealthy elites much of the time, (according to the study) so even though his views and desires don’t matter in Congress, he nonetheless sometimes gets what he wants, simply by coincidence. It’s only when the desires of middle-income Americans are in conflict with the goals of interest groups and the wealthy elites that he is likely to lose most of the time:

Not only do ordinary citizens not have uniquely substantial power over policy decisions; they have little or no independent influence on policy at all.....To Read More....

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