April 15, 2014 - In a recent report from the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, the United States is not a democracy, but is instead, an oligarchy. For those who aren't up with fancy words, this means that the US government is very, very corrupt.
The study's opening question is quite an eye-opener in itself, where it asks: "Who governs? Who really rules?" in the United States. The answer: "Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise".
They continue: "But... America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened". The findings in the report shows that there is instead "the nearly total failure of 'median voter' and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy".
It does get worse, with the authors of the study with the title of "Testing Theories of American Politics". The authors even state that they are probably under-representing the actual extend of control that the super-rich has over the US. They said: "Economic Elite Domination theories do rather well in our analysis, even though our findings probably understate the political influence of elites. Our measure of the preferences of wealthy or elite Americans - though useful, and the best we could generate for a large set of policy cases - is probably less consistent with the relevant preferences than are our measures of the views of ordinary citizens or the alignments of engaged interest groups. Yet we found substantial estimated effects even when using this imperfect measure. The real-world impact of elites upon public policy may be still greater".
What makes this report incredibly important, and bold, is that it is the first of its kind. The first-ever scientific study on whether the United States is a democracy. The paper says: "Until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions [that U.S. policymaking operates as a democracy, versus as an oligarchy, versus as some mixture of the two] against each other within a single statistical model. This paper reports on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues".
The study concludes that the United States is absolutely not a democracy, and instead, is an oligarchy.