Matt Stoller believes that the recent pre-publication release of a study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page doesn't support the idea that the United States is an oligarchy yet. He says:
A lot of people are misreading this Princeton study on the political influence of the wealthy and business groups versus ordinary citizens. The study does not say that the US is an oligarchy, wherein the wealthy control politics with an iron fist. If it were, then things like Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, veterans programs, housing finance programs, etc wouldn’t exist.
What the study actually says is that American voters are disorganized and their individualized preferences don’t matter unless voters group themselves into mass membership organizations. Then, if people belong to mass membership organizations, their preferences do matter, but less so than business groups and the wealthy.
Well, it's true that Gilens and Page never say that United States is an oligarchy, and perhaps it's also true that they don't believe it. But they do say this: Read more about Are We An Oligarchy Yet?
This post goes out to Jonathan Easley, Matt Taibbi, Felix Salmon, Matt Stoller, Dave Sirota, and any other reporter who wants to take a swing at this. Read more about There is more than one way to burn down the Reichstag
Cross-posted from Real Economics.
A week ago, Matt Stoller provoked a lot of discussion with his The Progressive Case Against Obama, a masterful accounting of this administration’s dismal policy record “on the grounds of economic and social equity.” Income and wealth inequalities, Stoller points out, have not just continued under Obama, but have actually become some fifty percent worse than during the Bush regime. Read more about Beyond whether Obama wins or loses
Matt Stoller writes in The Progressive Case Against Obama on salon:
Under Bush, economic inequality was bad, as 65 cents of every dollar of income growth went to the top 1 percent. Under Obama, however, that number is 93 cents out of every dollar. That’s right, under Barack Obama there is more economic inequality than under George W. Bush. ... most of this shift happened in 2009-2010, when Democrats controlled Congress. This was not, in other words, the doing of the mean Republican Congress. And it’s not strictly a result of the financial crisis; after all, corporate profits did crash, like housing values did, but they also recovered, while housing values have not.
Mike Whitney declares:
This is Barack Obama’s economy now....
Obama's failure will likely result in political change that will deliver the White House to the GOP in 2012. Then the deficit hawks will control both houses of congress and the White House, and they will slash spending and push the economy into another Great Depression. This is not speculation. This WILL happen. Obama has made sure it will happen by shrugging off the warnings of every competent economist in the country, all of whom have said repeatedly that we needed more stimulus to lower employment, to reduce the output gap, to increase GDP, and to put the economy back on track.
You know, people should really stop calling for Hillary Clinton's death. It's creepy. And rather uncivil. Even if one well-recognized process for bringing about Unity is to slaughter all your political opponents. Read more about They just can't help themselves, can they?