Princeton Researchers Conclude US Political System Has Been Almost Completely Usurped

There is an interesting article written by Steve Watson of that illustrates how we, as a nation, excluded all other forms of government and settled on a republic as the form of state in the years after 1776, the breakaway year from England and the horrors associated with rule by a king.

Having a republic meant that the outcome of any disturbance was settled by law. The laws would by established by representatives of the people and be subsequently signed into law by a president, who would enact those laws.  Differences in the meaning of the law would be decided a court.  This, in essence, is our form of federal and state governments today.

It is important to remember that our federal form of government was established only after the thirteen colonies that formed the initial territories of the United States had built their own structures based on republic model.

It is for this reason that the federal government is subservient to the state goverment.  Present day federal politicians err in the sense that they say that states followed the federal government in established their rule of law.  This is untrue.

Steve Watson has the story.
A recent scientific study by Princeton and Northwestern universities, which has gone somewhat under reported in the mainstream media, concludes that the US is now a fully fledged oligarchy.

The paper, entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens, notes that America is no longer even a Democracy, which begs the question, how far removed is the country from being the Republic envisioned and painstakingly established by Benjamin Franklin and the founding fathers.

“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,” the study notes.

This film establishes how and why the republican form of government formed.

In other words, powerful elites have taken over the country and effectively run the government, it is official. Of the people, by the people, for the people is now a thing of the distant past.

The research undertaken by the universities included the study of close to two thousand government policies enacted over a 21 year period between 1981 and 2002.

Using a framework of political models – Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic Elite Domination, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism – researchers found that the majority of those US policies were specifically designed to benefit wealthy elites.

Policy outcomes “tend to tilt towards the wishes of corporations and business and professional associations,” the research states, meaning the US falls into the category of Biased Pluralism.

Researchers concluded that the reason for the trend is that policies are made by special interest groups rather than by politicians acting on behalf of average Americans.

“When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.” the study also notes.

“In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes.”

“Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.” the study also notes.

The study points toward the conclusion that the US is nothing more than an illusion of democracy.

“Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association” the study notes, while warning “we believe that if policymaking 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.”

The authors of the study, Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page concur that the will or opinion of the majority in the US has no effect on the way government is run.

“The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

“Perhaps economic elites and interest group leaders enjoy greater policy expertise than the average citizen does,” Gilens and Page write. “Perhaps they know better which policies will benefit everyone, and perhaps they seek the common good, rather than selfish ends, when deciding which policies to support.

“But we tend to doubt it” they add.

Steve Watson
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