A study that ended in 2014 conducted by Princeton seems to prove that the United States is now an oligarchy. The country began losing its democratic status in the 1980’s, alongside the increase of the wage gap between the ninety-nine and one percent. Political policies enacted since 1980’s seem to be for the sole interest of the one percent. It just so happens that the same time political policies favor the rich coincides with the period of time, where the rich become richer while the ninety-nine percent were stagnant. A possibility here is that since the wealth of the one percent increases, their abilities to influence politics increase. It has gotten so bad that the political candidates cannot have campaigns without the assistance of the one percent. The amount of money necessary for the candidate to be considered competitive is two to three hundred million dollars. Candidates are expected to raise this amount of money by themselves. However, realistically, they cannot do so without the help of the one percent lobbyist. The lobbyist give candidates money and expect political favors when those candidates come into office, which gives the one percent political power.
Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President, said “There’s no way now for you to get the Democratic or Republican nomination without being able to raise two or three hundred million dollars, or more. I would not be inclined to do that, and I would not be capable of doing it.”
Money gives the one percent the ability to win political arguments against the ninety-nine percent.
People who believe the U.S. is still democracy say that the one percent and the ninety-nine percent are approximately even in the amount of victories that concern political arguments. The one percent wins 53% of political debates while the middle class wins 47%. If America is composed of ninety-nine percent middle class and below and one percent upper class, shouldn’t any victory by the one percent be considered a failure of democracy, and even further a perfect example of oligarchy. The very definition of oligarchy means a small group of people controlling politics. This is exactly what the one percent is. They use money to control political debates and favor for themselves.
If we want to revert the U.S. back into democracy, then we have to take money out of political equation. Money gives the power to the few and leaves the many to rot in horrible living conditions and stagnant wages.
PARADIGM THAT FITS?
This time I will use….
This is a classic example of Conflict Theory. Like I have been mentioning this entire time, money gives the power to the one percent to be influential in political debates that they should not have any influence on. However, the middle class and below, who do not have money, do not have as much influence as the one percent do. This causes power disparity within our society. This is not what Democracy is, where everyone is supposed to have an equal say and the government is supposed to work for the majority of the people, whether they be rich or poor.