This is some absolutely crazy data. In summary, black and poor people advocating for a policy results in a slightly lower chance of it being enacted. For women, advocating for a policy means it is significantly less likely to be enacted. It is important to note, this data only shows a correlation, so the reasons are purely speculative, but this is really depressing to see.


Also relevant:

    The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite.

    So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page.

    This is not news, you say.

    Perhaps, but the two professors have conducted exhaustive research to try to present data-driven support for this conclusion. Here's how they explain it:

    Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

    In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power.

Chomsky mentioned this many times before, here for example.

    In the United States, one of the main topics of academic political science is the study of attitudes and policy and their correlation. The study of attitudes is reasonably easy in the United States: heavily-polled society, pretty serious and accurate polls, and policy you can see, and you can compare them. And the results are interesting. In the work that's essentially the gold standard in the field, it's concluded that for roughly 70% of the population - the lower 70% on the wealth/income scale - they have no influence on policy whatsoever. They're effectively disenfranchised. As you move up the wealth/income ladder, you get a little bit more influence on policy. When you get to the top, which is maybe a tenth of one percent, people essentially get what they want, i.e. they determine the policy. So the proper term for that is not democracy; it's plutocracy.

posted by rosellem: 1164 days ago