Business Insider - The U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country's citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern universities has concluded.
The report, "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, used extensive policy data collected between 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the U.S. political system.
After sifting through nearly 1,800 U.S. policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile), and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the U.S. is dominated by its economic elite.
Researchers concluded that U.S. government policies rarely align with the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying organizations: "When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it."