Study: American policy exclusively reflects desires of the rich; citizens' groups largely irrelevant



BBS Review: One year on?

In today's other science news:

1) Extensive theological research proves that the pope is a catholic.

2) Wilderness researchers have finally found out where bears shit.

3) Puppies have been irrefutably proven to be adorable.


well if ordinary people want their views to count, they should become the richest 0.1% of society, then the system of government will listen.


if "adorable" means "scary"!


This is why there's so much political apathy among voters but especially among youth: all could feel this, they just might not have expressed it so clearly.


Edit needed - the "1779" figure is missing a noun. in the WaPo article, the phrase is "1,779 policy outcomes over a period of more than 20 years".


There's more to it than that. Voter apathy is intentionally fed by certain political groups. Apathy serves those groups well, and the rich also. It magnifies the importance of fringe voters.

Can you imagine a world where the Koch brothers only got two votes?


Citizen's United and other events that have conflated wealth and speech seem to rest on the argument that the money is speech because it is "spoken" to the masses, via independent political advertising or filling by the coffers of candidates advertising budgets. This study, though would seem to refute this idea pretty strongly, as you would expect that if all of this "speech" ($peech?) were used for "getting the message out" then public opinion would at least correlate with the political changes measured, if only as a dependent variable of the desires of the wealthy. This instead means that the desires of the wealthy are being directly served in exchange for money, which would seem to weaken the court's argument that there is no quid pro quo as a result of money in politics.


Is this really a surprise? This is the same country in which the catchphrase "money talks" is apparently considered by its highest legal court to be a sound legal argument.


If you really could "eat the rich", I'd bet the Koch brothers would taste like fatty, marbled beef. Mmmmm.

I'd like the juicy brisket, please.


Though given the current makeup of the court I'm probably wrong, I get the feeling that SCOTUS is goading the public into fixing the problem with a constitutional amendment. And that's really how it should be addressed. Corporations are people with the same free speech rights as humans is insane and should be eliminated explicitly instead of trying to use the same weaselly interpretation tools that were used to turn voting rights for former slaves into a government of the Kochs, by the Kochs, and for the Kochs. Hard to see how it could ever happen in the current political system but resetting things to where a few hundred people don't have the same amount of "free speech" as several hundred million combined is essential. A constitutional amendment is the only way I can see that happening in such as way that it is ironclad. Those currently pulling the levers of power however would never all such an amendment to happen. As long as the public is easily manipulated by psychologically designed media campaigns, voting isn't going to matter.


My money is on them being mostly gristle.


A problem with the study in question is that they begin in 1981. This largely excludes any period with an effective labor voice in American politics. More research - going back to the 1930s or 40s, for instance - would show some interesting variations over time, I suspect.


Only one way to find out...


I have it on good authority that Human meat is more like pork than beef, hence the name "Long Pig". . .


I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome all the new commenters who will be joining us shortly.


I would point to 2008 as a year in which there were millions of highly motivated voters, all of us clamoring for hope and change, and look what it got us.

It doesn't matter how motivated the voters are (or aren't), if every type of candidate will capitulate to moneyed interests once in office.


Corporate interest and state need to be separated just like Church and state. The US is moving in the opposite direction at an alarming, Verhoeven-screenplay-like rate.


I'm with you. But how? We can't afford enough congresspeople to make this change, and the courts are cutting us loose entirely.


Yeah I haven't got a clue. I'm guessing the scope of that change would require a popular uprising, or something close. But the only other response I had to your post was just to agree with it, and then go and weep quietly in the corner while rocking back and forth.