A new study by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern Universities finds that America’s government policies reflect the wishes of the rich and of powerful interest groups, rather than the wishes of the majority of citizens.
The researchers examined close to 1,800 U.S. policy changes in the years between 1981 and 2002; then, they compared those policy changes with the expressed preferences of the median American, at the 50th percentile of income; with affluent Americans, at the 90th percentile of income; and with the position of powerful interest and lobbying groups.
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. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism…
Recent research by Larry Bartels and by one of the present authors (Gilens), which explicitly brings the preferences of “affluent” Americans into the analysis along with the preferences of those lower in the income distribution, indicates that the apparent connection between public policy and the preferences of the average citizen may indeed be largely or entirely spurious.
The theory of Economic Elite Domination is fairly self-explanatory. The theory of Biased Pluralism holds that policy outcomes “tend to tilt towards the wishes of corporations and business and professional associations.” In essence, the researchers found that government policy changes are correlated with the wishes of the wealthy and with interest groups, but not with the wishes of the average American—even though the whole idea of “Democracy” is to ensure that the wishes of the majority tend to carry the day.
This is not exclusive to America. This is not exclusive to American democracy. It pretty much comes with the meal when you decide that you’re going to give a small group of people the power to tax you, pass laws controlling your lives and the markets, and wage wars. The system isn’t broken, it was built this way.
https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Terrorism/form-letter.htmlDo-It-Yourself Counter Notification Letter
One of the favorite tools of both cults and corporations seeking to take embarassing information off the Internet is to falsely claim violation of a copyright or trademark. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, enacted in 1998, set out a notification procedure that can be used to request an ISP to remove allegedly infringing material from a web page. However, there is a defense against this attack: it’s called a counter notification letter. Most people don’t know how to write such a letter, which is why I’ve put together this helpful form. by Dave Touretzky
"There can be no consent where it can’t be withdrawn" - Miguel Duque
South Korea game too stronk
Hello, operator? Yes, yes, I’m going to connect you to another operator, operationally.
Ben, looking cute and badass, as usual.
Today was our last physics lab, and my lab partner got me and our other lab partner both a carton of macaroons! It’s the small things like this that make me happy and optimistic about the world.
Police State USA
|—||Thomas Carlyle (via moralanarchism)|