Princeton Study Says U.S. No Longer a Democracy
A joint study by experts at Princeton University and Northwestern University say thousands of policies passed by the U.S. government between 1981 and 2002 reveal that the majority of laws do not reflect the wishes of citizens, but rather favor business groups.
The report is titled, "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens." It concludes, "The positions of powerful interest groups are 'not substantially correlated with the preferences of ordinary citizens.' But the politics of average Americans and affluent Americans sometimes [do] overlap. This is merely a coincidence..." The study's authors call our political system "biased pluralism" or an oligarchy that "tends to tilt towards the wishes of corporations and business and professional associations."
Most of the time period talked about by this study was controlled by Republicans. And that is a business-minded party. They're for business and less oversight. Democrats are more for strong governments and social programs and regulation on businesses and paying for things with taxes. So that finding doesn't surprise me.
I think the situation has slightly improved since 2002. But honestly, Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin for me. They're both about the money -- they seem to be anyway.
I've always been a firm believer that we should take lobbying out of politics and make a it a crime to take money from lobbyists. Lobbying is not bad. Politicians need to know what different groups want. But taking money from them is completely wrong and should be outlawed in my eyes.