Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Democracy in crisis: Not all votes are equal

This surprised me:

Notes on income inequality - Ezra Klein - The Washington Post

... Martin Gilens, a political scientist at Princeton University, has been collecting the results of nearly 2,000 survey questions reaching back to the 1980s, looking for evidence that when opinions change, so too does policy. And he found it—but only for the rich. Policy changes with majority support didn’t become law except when that majority support included voters at the top of the income distribution. When the opinions of the poor diverged from the opinions of the rich, the opinions of the poor did not appear to matter. If 90 percent of the poor supported a policy change, its chances of passage were no better than if 10 percent of the poor supported it...

American democracy is in poor health.

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