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The Rich Own America (Shown in Two Charts)


The chart below shows the precent of Americans supporting a policy change and the likelihood that Congress adopts that change, according to a Princton study. (Gilens and Page, 2014). You can see that there is about a 30% chance of a policy change getting passed if 0% of average citizens support it. While there is also a 30% chance of a policy change if 100% support it. In the words of Gilens and Page, “When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” (Gilens and Page, 575).



This next chart shows the percentage of rich people supporting a policy change and the chance it will be adopted. You can see that Congress is much more likely to adopt a policy change when the richest Americans support it. Can we really call the United States a “representative democracy” when Congress only represents the richest Americans?


The richest Americans are the ones who fund Congresspeople's campaigns. They are the ones who hire teams of lobbyists on their behave. Some would say that corruption is legal in America. See my other article for more details. 

Do you think Congress should reflect the average Americans policy preferences or only the people who fund their campaigns?


Works Cited



Gilens, Martin, and Benjamin I. Page. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.” Perspectives on Politics, vol. 12, no. 3, 2014, pp. 564–581,

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