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Originally published October 21 2015

Millionaires become disenfranchised with US politics as government caters solely to billionaires instead

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) More and more Americans are becoming disenfranchised with their political system, in large part because they don't see themselves as having much influence.

There are lots of reasons for that. Though Americans voted for "change" with Barack Obama, not much has really changed; in fact, some would argue that things have actually gotten worse. Higher health care premiums and costs (when they were promised to decrease); a moribund economy that has seen a record number of Americans out of the workforce; a spiraling, out-of-control national debt that no one in Congress or the White House seems interested in reigning in - these are just a few of the concerns.

And consider this: A study released in August by political science professors from Princeton and Northwestern University revealed the shocking truth that the American electorate has "near-zero" influence on the U.S. political process.

So who or what influences American politics the most? That would be corporations and other monied interests.

As reported by Charles Greene at Absolute Rights:

By comparing survey data on 1,779 national policy issues, the two profs were able to measure the influence of the four groups on the outcome of the policy-making process. They found that among the four groups, the average American citizen's preferences had virtually no influence at all on how policies are enacted or carried out. Zip. Zero. Nada.

"Should be a wake-up call"

Added Wynton Hall at Brietbart News, citing the same study:

The study's findings align with recent trends, where corporate elites have aggressively pursued pro-amnesty policies despite the fact that, according to the most recent Reuters poll, 70% of Americans believe illegal immigrants "threaten traditional U.S. beliefs and customs," and 63% believe "immigrants place a burden on the economy."

Allan J. Lichtman, writing at The Hill, summed the research up thusly:

This study should be a loud wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans who are bypassed by their government. To reclaim the promise of American democracy, ordinary citizens must act positively to change the relationship between the people and our government.

As Vox notes, much of this outsized influence can be blamed on one simple concept: There is just too much money in American politics. And nothing summed that up more than one line in a recent Washington Post story detailing the laments of the "not quite rich enough."

The "money" quote, as it were: "One longtime bundler recently fielded a call from a dispirited executive on his yacht, who complained, 'We just don't count anymore.'"

Writes Andrew Prokop at Vox: "This is what we've come to: The rich businessman on his yacht feels out of the loop, because campaigns only care about billionaires."

Any attempts to rein in spending on political campaigns has been rendered essentially moot, primarily by the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court case, in which a majority of justices ruled that money - corporate and big union money included - equates to "political speech," and in a country that cherishes free speech, limiting donations is unconstitutional.

But what has that led to? Billion-dollar presidential campaigns; local, qualified candidates for national office being out-spent three- and four-to-one in favor of "establishment" incumbents and candidates; less representation of the people in Washington and more representation of the monied interests (which, as research has shown, rarely align with the majority of Americans).

More people voting could stave off monied influence

Now, it's gotten so bad that the merely very rich are being ignored in favor of only the mega-rich.

It wasn't always this bad. Before the Supreme Court ruling in 2010, individuals were only allowed to donate a few thousand dollars to a presidential campaign, and a little more to party national committees.

"Because of these contribution limits, presidential campaigns were particularly reliant on star fundraisers called 'bundlers,' who could convince many of their rich friends to cough up several thousand bucks each," Prokop wrote.

Super PACs, however, have "changed the math," he said. And so bundlers who were once able to cobble together scores of $100,000 donations from mere millionaires are no longer good enough.

What would fix this? The two political science professors, Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University, said getting tens of millions more Americans to vote would help counter-balance the oligarchs in D.C.


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