Updated: Jan 14, 2022
"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." Gilens and Page 2014
If you have ever thought your vote does not matter at all in America, you are absolutely correct, it is totally worthless. Nothing I have learned in my lifetime has been more of a crushing reality-check than to know our Congress is completely and totally controlled by money (the rich and corporations) and the will of The People means absolutely zero. Professors Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University looked at more than 20 years of data in 2014 to answer a pretty simple question: Does the government represent the people? What they discovered frankly sucks!
The graph below illustrates the Ideal Representation of percentage likelihood of a particular law being passed on the y-axis and the percentage support by the people on the x-axis. In the system we are led to believe exists, the resulting legislation should be a 45° angle. i.e. A 50% likelihood of a law passing if 50% of average voters vote for it directly or through their representatives. But, what we actually get is a 30% likelihood regardless of the will of The People. But, the wealthy and corporations exert an influence very close to the Ideal Representation, showing who actually controls Congress.
The overall meaning of this study is very clear and goes much deeper than simply our vote and the will of The People. It goes to the core of American society and the truth about our nation. Everything we think is true about this country and our constitution is all one big farce!
“The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." Gilens and Page 2014