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United States Politics

Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy 818

Posted by Soulskill
from the cats-and-dogs-governing-together dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. What this means is that, although 'Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance,' 'majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.' Their study (PDF), to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that '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.'"
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

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  • Are you kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sandbagger (654585) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:12AM (#46764459)

    You lift the limits on campaign spending, declare that corporations have the right of political speech and are now surprised that the rich people have all the say?

    I have no sympathy. In fact, many of you cheered it as a sign of greatness and freedom that America was doing this. Your allies, however, were fucking appalled. Let

    • Re:Are you kidding (Score:5, Informative)

      by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:21AM (#46764529)
      This is *before* those limits were lifted. As a citizen, I'm looking forward to seeing the power of the wealthy further cemented in this country, and so exquisitely draped in the pretense of democracy that my fellow citizens believe themselves empowered. It's gonna get better! (For the wealthy). How exciting for those of us who imagine ourselves upwardly mobile within the American caste system.
      • Re:Are you kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rvw (755107) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:54AM (#46764921)

        This is *before* those limits were lifted. As a citizen, I'm looking forward to seeing the power of the wealthy further cemented in this country, and so exquisitely draped in the pretense of democracy that my fellow citizens believe themselves empowered. It's gonna get better! (For the wealthy). How exciting for those of us who imagine ourselves upwardly mobile within the American caste system.

        George Lakoff explained how it works in his book Don't think of an elephant [amazon.com]. People don't vote for what's best for them (using logic). They vote their identity, and the conservitives have made excellent use of language to frame the debate in such a way that poor people actually feel good about removing social services, by voting Republican. Tax cuts are framed as "tax relieve", only relieving the state of so much money it can't afford social programs anymore.

        In their view social programs are bad for poor people, as poor people deserve to be poor, and this punishes them for not working hard enough. Rich people deserve to be rich. They are clever, otherwise they wouldn't be rich. If poor people want to be rich, let them work for it. Poor people are needed to serve the rich. (This is not my view to be clear).

        Another important frame: Pro Life! Abortion is bad, because it undermines the power of the father in the family. When a teenager becomes pregnant, it's her own fault, and she should live with the consequences. She didn't listen to her father, who is the moral authority and who decides what's good and what't wrong. When an adult woman decides to have an abortion because she wants to work on her career, she undermines this strict-father-morale as well. A career is not for women - they should stay at home and raise the children. Pro Life is not about life, it's about male dominance. Pro Life is not about the life of that baby - they don't care about that baby that probably would have little value to them. Pro Life is not about life, because it's OK to physically attack and occasionally kill people who work at abortion clinics. Casualties of war!

        How can you be against life? Are you for real that you want more taxes? Vote Conservative!

        • Re:Are you kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Bongo (13261) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:54AM (#46765299)

          There is a theory, used in South Africa to help ease the transition away from Apartheid, called Spiral Dynamics. It models human development as going through about 6 worldwiews, each with their own sense of morality/justice/values. It spans history, so the first worldview is of a hunter gatherer. The most recent worldview is of an educated Western post-modern cultural relative intellectual interested in minority rights and the environment. Anyway, between those two worldviews you have the view of warlords, then the view of religious-empire-order, and then the view of individualistic achievement/playing to win in a competitive world individualism. That last one by the way was the start of modernity and freedom in the French revolution sense of the word, it recognises that EVERY human is equal and has their won brain and is an equal player and should not be oppressed by religious-empire-orders (Communism is similar in that it is also a single empire order which oppresses individual freedom and ingenuity).

          OK so, this relates to politics because the politicians do, as you say, simply have to FRAME a proposal in language which RESONATES with the worldview of the people being targeted. The point is that when you are born, you are basically at the hunter-gatherer level. Culturally and intellectually and morally you then grow up and somewhere along the way, tend to stop or focus on one of the worldview levels. If you are currently living in a Nigerian bad land, you're probably hovering around warlordism. That's fine, that's just the most appropriate adaption to your environment. A pomo sensitive type will merely become a target in that environment. So whatever level people are at, that's just the best they can manage. Anyway, Spiral Dynamics might not be 100% true, but it is a useful distilling of some of the major differences.

          So yes, the tradition-valuing, we are one nation, one flag, NCIS TV show committed marine of honour and purpose, holy order type worldview is about half of America, I forget the exact percentage they estimate, and so anything that speaks about being a responsible individual who self-sacrifices their own selfish needs for the sake of serving the lager community, any issue framed in that way, will gain a lot of voter approval. People like W. Bush, Al Gore, and Hilary Clinton know all about Spiral Dynamics and such theories (various institutes and advisors etc.) and it is anybody's guess how much they are using them.

          • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @08:09AM (#46765867) Journal

            "...because the politicians do, as you say, simply have to FRAME a proposal in language which RESONATES with the worldview of the people being targeted..."

            Sadly, you do not know the US of A.

            The politicians inside the United States of America do not need to frame any proposal to the people, all the need to do to get anything done is to use their influence to rally a portion of semi-elites to his or her cause, and through the butterfly effect , it is done.

            Case in point - United States attacking Iraq

            When George Bush decides to attack Iraq, he did not need to get the approval from the Americans. All he did was to rally the world community (elites from different countries) to his cause, and when he got the support, off goes the Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

            I was from China, and I still remember how hard the Chinese Communist Party had to rally their own people to support their decision to send troops into Korea to fight the Korean war.

            In contrast to what George Bush did - the Chinese government, under Mao, almost tapped into all the resources it could muster, to get the people into the mood.

            In a way, at least back in the time of the Korean War, the Communist government which rule China was more attuned to their own people, than George Bush, to the Americans.

            • by mevets (322601)

              Remember the coalition of the coerced?
              He couldn't even rally the world community....

          • What you call 'spiral dynamics' sounds a lot like Machiavelli's theory of political history, which he laid out in his book The Prince.

            Machiavelli postulated that Monarchy tends to devolve into an aristocratic and oligarchic Tyranny, Tyranny is supplanted via revolution by Democracy, Democracy eventually (and inexorably) falls into Anarchy, and Anarchy is solved when one person rises to lead the masses and forms a Monarchy.

            History is cyclic. The question is whether we can break the cycle, and do we want to.

        • Re:Are you kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:31AM (#46765435)

          As long as the majority of people believe abortion, and gay rights and smoking are the litmus test of politics, we will continue to slip farther away frow constitutional rights of life libery and the pursuit of happiness, which does't really require democracy. Rather, a people not so gullible.

        • by swb (14022) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @07:34AM (#46765701)

          Another important frame: Pro Life! Abortion is bad, because it undermines the power of the father in the family. When a teenager becomes pregnant, it's her own fault, and she should live with the consequences. She didn't listen to her father, who is the moral authority and who decides what's good and what't wrong. When an adult woman decides to have an abortion because she wants to work on her career, she undermines this strict-father-morale as well. A career is not for women - they should stay at home and raise the children. Pro Life is not about life, it's about male dominance. Pro Life is not about the life of that baby - they don't care about that baby that probably would have little value to them. Pro Life is not about life, because it's OK to physically attack and occasionally kill people who work at abortion clinics. Casualties of war!

          This doesn't seem right. I'm not familiar with pro-life rhetoric being about abortion undermining patriarchal power in the family, usually it seems to be a general attack on women, often no different than opposition to contraception. Usually it seems to be about undermining female sexuality by increasing pregnancy risk, which may affect patriarchal authority coincidentally but not specifically. The other angle seems to be a more general cultural conservatism that sees non-reproductive sexuality as a general contributor to moral decline -- with pregnancy as a non-risk (through contraception and abortion), there's no reason for marriage as a necessity for sexuality since there is no pregnancy.

          I think it's even been argued that contraception and abortion actually contribute to male promiscuity since they also free men from the responsibility burden of pregnancy. It wouldn't surprise me if this doesn't tie into some radical feminist critiques of contraception/abortion as having an inherently patriarchal nature, since it eliminates any male responsibility for their sexuality and reduces women's value to that of merely a transactional sexual partner at best When the classist and gender discriminatory nature of economic relations is taken into account, women are further reduced to near-prostitute status, being obligated by both economy and lack of male sexual accountability. Of course I'm not advocating this as being true, but it's not hard to tie it together with this kind of rhetoric.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Vermonter (2683811)

          This is *before* those limits were lifted. As a citizen, I'm looking forward to seeing the power of the wealthy further cemented in this country, and so exquisitely draped in the pretense of democracy that my fellow citizens believe themselves empowered. It's gonna get better! (For the wealthy). How exciting for those of us who imagine ourselves upwardly mobile within the American caste system.

          George Lakoff explained how it works in his book Don't think of an elephant [amazon.com]. People don't vote for what's best for them (using logic). They vote their identity, and the conservitives have made excellent use of language to frame the debate in such a way that poor people actually feel good about removing social services, by voting Republican. Tax cuts are framed as "tax relieve", only relieving the state of so much money it can't afford social programs anymore.

          In their view social programs are bad for poor people, as poor people deserve to be poor, and this punishes them for not working hard enough. Rich people deserve to be rich. They are clever, otherwise they wouldn't be rich. If poor people want to be rich, let them work for it. Poor people are needed to serve the rich. (This is not my view to be clear).

          Another important frame: Pro Life! Abortion is bad, because it undermines the power of the father in the family. When a teenager becomes pregnant, it's her own fault, and she should live with the consequences. She didn't listen to her father, who is the moral authority and who decides what's good and what't wrong. When an adult woman decides to have an abortion because she wants to work on her career, she undermines this strict-father-morale as well. A career is not for women - they should stay at home and raise the children. Pro Life is not about life, it's about male dominance. Pro Life is not about the life of that baby - they don't care about that baby that probably would have little value to them. Pro Life is not about life, because it's OK to physically attack and occasionally kill people who work at abortion clinics. Casualties of war!

          How can you be against life? Are you for real that you want more taxes? Vote Conservative!

          Ouch, that poor straw man didn't stand a chance against you...

        • Re:Are you kidding (Score:4, Insightful)

          by meta-monkey (321000) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:06AM (#46766401) Journal

          I'm a liberal (leftist, socialist, whatever. Farther left than the democrats for sure) and I'm pro-life. I have no interests in controlling women's reproductive lives, but as a Catholic I believe life begins at conception, and abortion is murder. Put any other false motives in my mouth, but the truth is, I'm pro-life because I'm anti-murder.

      • Re:Are you kidding (Score:5, Informative)

        by guises (2423402) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @04:55AM (#46765131)
        Citizen's United was in 2010. That was the primary one declaring money as speech and establishing the Super PACs - it lifted any limits on contributions to political organizations that are technically separate from the politicians. This enabled a wealthy donor to contribute as much as they wished to the "Elect Politician X Organization" (Super PAC), though there were still limits on what the wealthy donor could contribute directly to the politician's campaign fund. There are some small differences between a Super PAC and the regular campaign fund, but the distinction is fairly trivial. In essence, Citizen's United was the decision that removed what remaining guards we had against the Oligarchy that the paper is talking about. Again, that was in 2010 and was doubtless factored into this analysis.

        I suspect that what you're talking about is the recent McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission decision which lifted another limit, this one pertaining to contributions to campaign funds, not Super PACs. This one was just a couple weeks ago. So, in other words, I think you and the GP are talking about two different decisions. He's talking about Citizen's United, and you are talking about McCutcheon.
    • by lymond01 (314120)

      You lift the limits on campaign spending, declare that corporations have the right of political speech and are now surprised that the rich people have all the say?

      I will remind you that even the summary suggests the average American has near zero say in lifting anything in terms of American policy. I'd also like to suggest that people find it easier to be angry at losing than making an effort to win. Directly related somehow.

    • Re:Are you kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:57AM (#46764711)

      It starts before that. You must first suppress the knowledge of history by underfunding teaching institutions and manipulating curricula.

      Only when the people are ignorant of their past can you pull such ridiculous capitalist dictatorships without opposition.

      Ignorance is the one and only true enemy. Trying to convince the ignorant is a losing strategy, teaching the next generation is the only correct first step.

    • Rome 2.0 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zediker (885207) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:41AM (#46765281)
      Ahhh America, Rome 2.0. Now I just wonder who will be our Marius to kickstart our whole no limitations on terms, and Augustus to finally rule on us as princeps and make the transition from republic to empire official...
    • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:40AM (#46765473) Homepage Journal
      Do you really think Citizens United magically transformed the U.S.? Really?
      The House of Representatives has been frozen in size since 1910 [thirty-thousand.org].
      Since 1913:
      - The IRS has eminent domain over your wallet [wikipedia.org].
      - Your state, as such, is essentially voiceless [wikipedia.org] in DC, now that Senators represent their parties.
      - The federal government just borrows it forward [wikipedia.org] to inflate the stock market and bind future generations in debt.
      Blame Progressivism? Darn right I do.
      Folks, it's time for a http://conventionofstates.com/ [conventionofstates.com]
    • Re:Are you kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @08:47AM (#46766185) Journal

      Since when is handing someone money free speech?

      What if I practiced my amendment rights by giving a judge $100 of free speech during a trial? I would have my ass behind a prison door faster than you can say bribery! But if a corporation wants to donate HEY ITS FREE SPEECH YOU HAVE IT TOO

      I just do nto understand the logic of the supreme court on this.

    • I have no sympathy. In fact, many of you cheered it as a sign of greatness and freedom that America was doing this. Your allies, however, were fucking appalled. Let

      Let me finish that sentence for you:

      Option 1: "Let me just say that I laugh at your situation, secure in my knowledge that nothing like that can happen where I live."

      Option 2: "Let me see this as a warning that despite rule of law, foundational documents, and all the trappings of representative government, this could still happen here. I will be especially on guard against those that try to subvert my country."

  • "little influence" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kthreadd (1558445) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:13AM (#46764461)

    It took a study to figure that out?

    • by SigmundFloyd (994648) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:38AM (#46764849)

      It took a study to figure that out?

      It took a study to find proof.

      • When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for,

        I'm curious about what "organized interest groups" were "controlled for". Did that include things like the AARP and the NRA, the two largest public pressure groups in the country? How about the various organizations called The Tea Party?

        When a lot of people at the grass roots level want to redirect the government, they often join together and form orgizations to lobby for their interests. These groups a

    • I know it will come as a great shock and surprise but there are some in the world (although it appears fewer every day) who believe that study, evidence and experimentation are required to ascertain the truth of things.

      This is as opposed to "common sense", listening to talk-back radio, speaking at the TV from your armchair and talking shit with your mate over a beer.

      Like yourself, I am sure it is a load of nonsense.
    • by jma05 (897351)

      This is a fairly common pattern for studies. You have a strong suspicion. Then you do a study, which is to collect and analyze the data systematically. That way, a principled debate may be had and further efforts may refine our understanding. Without basing it on data and method, it will just be a shouting match; your opinion against mine. Politics & ideologies vs. science.

      The common understanding of science - that scientists do studies without some an expectation of results at some level, and simply wa

  • Revolt? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by duke_cheetah2003 (862933) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:14AM (#46764469) Homepage

    Does this give us a free pass to revolt now?

    I do believe the founding fathers would like it that way.. if the government isn't right, take up arms, overthrow it, and put it back the right way.

    • Re:Revolt? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:26AM (#46764561)

      Does this give us a free pass to revolt now?

      Yes, but you've had that right the whole time...

      You will, however, find it very much harder to do today than it was 230 years ago...

      It isn't just that the US military has tanks and stealth bombers (they help of course), it is that they more or less control the media, thus control what people see, read, and think...

      To this day, the average person continues to believe the news, as if everything they say is a "fact"...

      The other truth is... the American Revolution wasn't started by a bunch of serfs, it was started by rich land owners who didn't like their deal...

    • Re:Revolt? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Tumbleweed (3706) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:29AM (#46764571)

      Does this give us a free pass to revolt now?

      I do believe the founding fathers would like it that way.. if the government isn't right, take up arms, overthrow it, and put it back the right way.

      I don't know about you, but I'm already revolting! :)

    • by qbast (1265706)
      Sure. You go first. I will be right behind, supporting you with tweets and facebook posts.
  • Tune into http://www.whitehouse.gov/ [whitehouse.gov], just like any other idiot box channel be it http://abc.go.com/ [go.com], http://www.nbc.com/ [nbc.com], http://www.cbs.com/ [cbs.com], http://www.cwtv.com/ [cwtv.com], http://www.fox.com/ [fox.com], suck up the corporate cool aide and be informed, of what you are meant to know, and about how you are meant to think and whom you have to vote for. All the channels with the same corporate message, all the talking heads reading off the same Teleprompter feed. The US no longer has a president, it just has another puppet, sa

    • Carter (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bussdriver (620565) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:47AM (#46764885)

      Carter was the last President; after him, it has been a complete sham. One reason he had it so bad is because he went up stream against a system that was near death.

      You only have power in a corrupt system as long as you go with the flow; it's empty power but it is enough to still attract tools. Like a C or B movie villain's 2nd in command, the second he falls out of line all that power does nothing to stop a dramatic (and cliche) example from being made of them.

      • Re:Carter (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:00AM (#46765141)

        Carter was already the liquidator, the system was rotten long before that. I dare say the last prez you had that was decent was Eisenhower. Oddly enough, since I'm neither very pro-military nor Republican. But he was a very level headed politician, he sure made a few rather tough decisions, but he never gave me the feeling that he made any for his personal gains or his cronies, he really strikes me as a man who wants to "serve his country", something that I not only expect but demand from a politician if he wants my respect.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:24AM (#46764549)

    Benjamin Franklin chose his words well.

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:39AM (#46764611) Homepage

    The original paper is an interesting approach to studying power balances.

    The summary is puerile flamebait.

    The actual conclusion of the paper is simply that the power in government is not concentrated in massive grassroots organizations or in direct electoral representation, but rather it is concentrated in the small-but-vocal interest groups and economically influential individuals. In other words, causes, no matter how big, don't really get power until they can pay enough to be taken seriously. That might mean lobbying, marketing, or awareness campaigns, but it still takes money to look like your cause has merit.

    • So in other words, it just brings truth to the old saying: The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

      Cool.

    • by dave420 (699308) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:46AM (#46764875)
      Which is the very definition of oligarchy... your point? :)
    • by stenvar (2789879)

      but rather it is concentrated in the small-but-vocal interest groups and economically influential individuals.

      Actually, if you actually think about it, what the study amounts to is saying that political power is "concentrated" in the educated, older, upper middle class, if you can call have a moderate bias for the preferences of tens of millions of people a "concentration". That is, the kind of people who influence policy a bit more than others is the kind of people who become politicians, academics, and pr

    • by cwgmpls (853876)

      "The actual conclusion of the paper is simply that the power in government... is concentrated in the small-but-vocal interest groups and economically influential individuals."

      Oligarchy: a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people, distinguished by wealth.

      In other words, the summary was exactly correct. By definition, the U.S. is an oligarchy, not a democracy.

  • by Chas (5144) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:45AM (#46764643) Homepage Journal

    Is that it's time to start killing our way through politicians until we find some who are properly terrified of the general populace enough to actually simulate honesty and do their job with minimal graft and corruption.

  • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:58AM (#46764715)

    I learnt an interesting political lesson on my Commodore 64 back in the day.

    There was this political sim called "Tyrant" (ancient descendant of Tropico, or civilisation), and you played as the dictator of a communist state.
    It was a pretty hard game, as most times the state would collapse and there'd be a revolution.

    Eventually, after playing it long enough I managed to find the one way to prevent that state from ever collapsing and have it eternally make money.

    Firstly, you had to invade all the surrounding countries and smash external threats.
    Then you convert to a democracy and install elections.
    Then you generate lots and lots of jobs for people in the secret police
    Then you brainwash the populace with masses spent on election funding.
    With the population happy and brainwashed, you could raise the tax rate through the roof and no-one would care... also thanks to the huge secret police force they would turn on each other instead of resist the ridiculous taxation and the root cause of said taxation (thanks to election brainwashing)

    Does this sound familiar?

    It was kinda fun for a buggy BASIC program.

  • Summary Fail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShoulderOfOrion (646118) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @04:18AM (#46764997)

    As usual. It implies that the views of 'average Americans' are abrogated by the economic elite. As the PDF clearly states on page 14 "It turns out, in fact, that the preferences of average citizens are positively and fairly highly correlated, across issues, with the preferences of the economic elites." It also turns out that the paper defines 'average American' as someone at the 50% income level, and 'economic elite' as someone at the 90% income level or above, which works out to $146,000. The paper than argues that this 'elite' population fairly represents the truly elite (the top 2%) based on 13 policy preference questions--which aren't listed in the paper--with a correlation of r=0.91 vs a correlation of r=0.69 for the 'average' population.

    Sorry. There ain't nothing in this paper about the Koch brothers, Soros, Oprah, Bill Gates, or any of your other favorite elites. This is all about Joe the Plumber vs your mid-level Google executive.

    So how does the paper define the views of the 'average American'? Well, on page 15, there's this "Some particular U.S. membership organizations--especially the AARP and labor unions--do tend to favor the same policies as average citizens. But other membership groups take stands that are unrelated (pro-life and pro-choice groups) or negatively related (gun owners) to what the average American wants." A footnote 40 then directs you to another paper by one of the same authors, presumably for the corroborating data.

    Finally, on page 18, we encounter this: "Because of the impediments to majority rule that were deliberately built into the U.S. political system--federalism, separation of powers, bicameralism--together with further impediments due to anti-majoritarian congressional rules and procedures, the system has a substantial status quo bias. Thus when popular majorities favor the status quo, opposing a given policy change, they are likely to get their way; but when a majority--even a very large majority--of the public favors change, it is not likely to get what it wants."

    In other words, here's the real summary: "Elite academic researchers at elite universities have conducted a study in which they find that the constitutional system put in place by the founders of the republic to prevent mob rule is thwarting their elite progressive agenda by working as intended. Oh, and throwing a lot of money around and making noise tends to draw attention to your cause, particularly when it aligns with the majority view, which it does most of the time."

    Nothing to see here. Move on.

  • by 50000BTU_barbecue (588132) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @04:54AM (#46765121) Homepage Journal
    Not just the USA. Pretty sure boring old Canada is as well. And Quebec, and Montreal, and my condo. Just the way it really is. Pane et Circem.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:16AM (#46765371)
    It's virtually impossible to reach high office without being a millionaire or being bankrolled by a millionaire and other rich interest groups. It's virtually impossible to reach high office without belonging to one of two political parties. Is it any wonder at all that democracy has been corrupted?

    It would be nice to see some practical proposals that could be implemented to remedy this.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      There is only one way to fix it. and most people are not really interested in going that far.
      History has proven that it is the only way to fix that problem.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:32AM (#46765437) Homepage

    Anyone that has had any real American history education knows this. Back in the 80's when I was in college that was taught to us in the American history classes, it was intentionally built that way. Just like how the founding fathers did not do all that Independence stuff out of the goodness of their heart, all of there were filthy wealthy and were trying like hell to protect their wealth.

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