The US oligarchy study coming from Princeton and Northwest Universities concludes that the U.S. is not a democracy, but an oligarchy. These prestigious universities have access to some of the greatest minds and when a study comes from these institutions of higher learning, folks usually take notice.
So what exactly is the oligarchy that has taken the place of the democracy? According to UPI.com on April 16, “Oligarchy is a form of government in which power is vested in a dominant class and a small group exercises control over the general population.” Is this something to get upset or worried about? It is a disturbing find for those who hold on to the model of democracy that is supposedly handed down from the nation’s forefathers.
The two universities analyzed “extensive data” that they gathered from years that fall within the two decades between 1981 and 2003. They had 1,800 U.S. policies that were enacted between those years. The policies showed preference to special interest groups and and affluent Americans. This showed “substantial independent impacts” coming from elite and specialized groups.
Some democracy remains and American's still enjoy these privileges. While remnants of democracy such as voting, freedom of speech and association are still in place, this new study comes with a warning:
“We believe that if policy making is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.”
In other words, the policies that were enacted during these two decades showed that they benefited the rich, or the elite of the country, as well as groups that represented business interest. In a democracy, you would expect that these policies were enacted to benefit the general masses, but that was not the case. These polices did not have the benefit of the average citizen in mind, or the people that make up the majority of this country when the policies were put in place. Newsmax describes what this new study conveys:
“They concluded that the vast majority of Americans have a "minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."
This new study very eloquently puts into words and offers up evidence of what many people in the U.S. have witnessed time and time again when it comes to policies. They always seem to come with a hidden agenda. Sometimes it is so obvious and other times it takes a while for the real reasons of that policy’s enactment to show its secret benefits that are not usually benefits enjoyed by the average American.