The U.S. is an Oligarchy
The U.S. is an Oligarchy
Democracy is a fragile thing and is something which can be manipulated with great ease and within the U.S. this is exactly what has happened.
Democracy has been rigged in favour of wealthy elites, leaving elected officials accepting the bidding of major lobbying groups and working in their interests rather than the publics.
For example, “The largest five stock market listed oil and gas companies spend nearly $200m (£153m) a year lobbying to delay, control or block policies to tackle climate change” according to the Guardian (Laville, The Guardian, 2019). Then guess what happens?
“the Trump administration has dismantled most of the major climate and environmental policies” with Trump referring to the rules too burdensome to the fossil fuel industry (Popovich, et al, The New York Times, 2019) despite the fact that, “Two-thirds of U.S. adults say the federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of global climate change.” (Funk & Kennedy, Pew Research Center, 2020). The government’s actions go directly against public interests and benefit the wealthy.
The influence of lobbying in the U.S. has seen an obscene amount of money being spent, which according to OpenSecrets in 2019 reached a total of $3.51 billion. All in efforts to influence the government and have them serving the interests of cooperations & individuals (OpenSecrets, 2020).
While your average American does not have this sway nor influence over the government, who are elected officials supposedly working for? The wealthy or your average American?
The U.S. has proclaimed itself as the bringer of democracy, liberty, and all else their sacred constitution has proscribed. Yet, has been and remains a nation for the wealthy run by the wealthy — how else could you explain the fact that “More than half of those in Congress are millionaires” and that “The median net worth of members of Congress who filed disclosures last year is just over $1 million.” (Evers-Hillstrom, OpenSecrets, 2020). While the median net worth for your average American aged under 35 is $11,000 and for someone, aged 35 to 44 it is $59,800 — truly shocking (Yochim, MarketWatch, 2020).
It is of no surprise then that income inequality, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data in the U.S. is the highest of all G7 nations and that “The wealth gap between America’s richest and poorer families more than doubled from 1989 to 2016” (Schaeffer Pew Research Center, 2020).
The wealth gap, which is growing year by year (exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic) has left a populace with no actual power.
You may be allowed to vote but this is merely a performance as your vote often comes to no avail (if your even able to vote that is as millions in prisons are disenfranchised), as democracy is only a smokescreen.
Why do you think people say “what is the point in voting, nothing changes anyway” or “this vote is a lesser of two evils”. It is because the U.S. is an oligarchy and is not working for you, rather working to further enrich the wealthy and the elite throws you a few crumbs along the way.
The U.S. operating as an oligarchy is reiterated by a study from Princeton University and Northwestern University, which concludes that the U.S. is dominated by a wealthy elite, who possesses the power to alter government policies which work in their favour while the average citizen is left at the mercy of the rich and powerful.
The study found that policy change with high support amongst the economic elite is adopted around 45% of the time, while a policy change which received a low level of support from the economic elite (meaning something which would better your average American) was only adopted about 18% of the time (Gilens & Page, Cambridge University Press, 2014). I feel it could not be any clearer — the U.S. is an oligarchy.