misreading of the princeton study?

Matt Stoller has an interpretation of the Princeton Study Jim reported on on our April 20 show which disputes that the study says America is an oligarchy.

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.

It is worth reading his entire post.  Permalink here:

http://mattstoller.tumblr.com/post/83633560938/no-america-is-not-an-oligarchy

More on Matt Stoller.

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links for april 20, 2014 show

John’s topic
Jim’s topic
Charley’s topic
Diane’s topic