Alt-text from XKCD: “I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.”
The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
This is the kind of shit that gets civil wars started.
Are any of us surprised by this? People have been saying the same thing for a while now.
…well maybe we will actually have some revolution.
So Princeton needed how much money to figure out what POC have said for years
How is anyone surprised by this?
"That technology was developed by startup Tactus Technology, which uses tiny fluid-filled channels and elastic blisters to make buttons rise up from a device’s screen and then disappear without trace when they’re no longer needed"
Let’s just all agree that when the new Sailor Moon anime comes out, if there is even so much as a hint of the same shit that happened with MLP, we’ll crush it before it blows up. I will not have the Sailor Moon fandom become another misogynistic hellhole.
Wow! That’s like, 6 new episodes to look forward to.
#i’m imagining tyrion running around fucking shit up so jaime doesn’t feel awkward anymore #jaime keeps not being able to open doors #so tyrion yells at people for closing doors #jaime can’t use silverware #so tyrion starts eating with his hands (via jeynegrey)