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Member since: Sat Jun 13, 2009, 06:39 PM
Number of posts: 7,018

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Princeton makes it official: USA has become an Oligarchy

by F. William Engdahl | November 11, 2014

<< American media is fond of speaking about “Russian Oligarchs” as if Russia were the only nation that allowed accumulation of such unprecedented wealth. The Yeltsin days of dis-order and collapse indeed saw the rapid rise of many fortunes and oligarchs—persons of very much wealth. Some of them have proven patriotic citizens, some like Khodokorvsky or the late unlamented Boris Berezhovsky proved to be loveless gangsters. A new study, however by a Princeton University Professor of the influence of very wealthy or economically powerful persons on American political policies makes clear for the first time that a genuine American Oligarchy has staged a slow coup d’etat over US foreign and domestic policy over the past three decades since the era of Ronald Reagan. This American oligarchy today is the major force for war and dis-order across the planet.


Martin Gilens is Professor of Politics at Princeton University together with Benjamin I. Page Professor at Northwestern University have published results of a unique analysis “using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.” The study concludes that, “Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination…”


In a subsequent media interview, Gilens noted what they concluded in their analysis of volumes of data from 1981-2002 for government policy decisions and the role of elites versus ordinary citizens in some 1,800 different policy initiatives: “One central factor is the role of money in our political system, and the overwhelming role that affluent individuals that affluent individuals and organized interests play, in campaign finance and in lobbying. And the second thing is the lack of mass organizations that represent and facilitate the voice of ordinary citizens. Part of that would be the decline of unions in the country which has been quite dramatic over the last 30 or 40 years. And part of it is the lack of a socialist or a worker’s party.” [The GOP is making very sure that there will be no Worker's
Party now or in the future].

The study verifies with ample empirical data what I have witnessed during the course of my own life as an American over the past four decades. There has been a silent coup d’etat of the monied class, an American oligarchy. Names such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller, Sheldon Adelson (main financier of Mitt Romney for President), the Koch Brothers (main financiers of the Tea Party political movement), George H.W. Bush and family. The top 1% have reshaped the fundamentals of American life, culture and above all politics. A decision to wage war today against Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria depends not on the will of average Americans. Obama was elected on a pledge to close the US Army torture center at Guantanamo and six years on has yet to do. He won a Nobel Peace Prize in his first month and proceeded to wage more war in Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya and most recently Syria and Ukraine.

It is important to have this in mind when judging “America.” The United States of America today bears little resemblance to that I knew when I grew up in the early 1960’s, when a used good Chevy cost $650 and college tuition could be afforded by ordinary Americans if they were willing to study. The oligarchy that has taken policy control behind a thin façade of “democracy” has ultimately ruined the industrial and social fabric of the United States. They are the ones behind the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or bank deregulation so they can loot the planet. This new study by Princeton’s Prof. Gilens is a refreshing attempt, even if academic and from one of the most elite academic universities, to shed some light on what is fundamentally wrong with America over the past three decades. >>

Small wonder that the GOP is afraid of Elizabeth Warren, she is fighting for the life of and trying to resuscitate the American
Middle-Class. They are afraid that she might succeed.


Bernie Sanders to propose bill to break up big banks, he'll be supported by Sherrod Brown. But, i

question if there will be enough time for it to succeed, because the Republicans will
have the majority in the Senate in 2 weeks+. I wish Bernie had thought of this sooner.


With Elizabeth Warren, the Dem. Party can be in for a serious change - for real, this time:

This is what the vast majority of Democrats really want. We've been waiting so long
that it seemed to be forever. And now suddenly, here is Elizabeth! She definitely is
our best hope! I think this is why her popularity went up as rapidly and fast as a
shooting star.


More than 300 former campaign staffers and organizers for Pres. Obama have signed on to letter to

Elizabeth Warren asking her to run .....

Many are volunteering to work for her, but she has yet to give any sign of even considering
to make such a move.


One way of improving the quality of police officers:

Stories of police brutality seem to be popping up all over the country of late. I remember
having read not long ago that police departments have the practice of hiring as police officers
applicants whose IQs are 102 to 104. They do not hire applicants with higher IQs because
these tend to get bored with the job, and too many of them quit before long. It takes a lot
of money to train police officers, and their quitting early becomes too expensive.

An IQ of 100 is smack in the middle, or 50 percentile. So 102 to 104 is very slightly above
average. Could this be one of the reasons for the wave of police over-reactions in situations
that require good judgment?

We all know that police officers have to use good judgment in dealing with people, and quite
often life-and-death situations are involved in their work. Intelligent people tend to have
better judgment than less intelligent ones. But police departments don't hire those with
higher intelligence because of the reason described above.

Perhaps if they hired as policemen only those with an IQ of at least 110, the number of police-
connected deaths might come down? If more intelligent applicants are given to understand
that the chances of promotion for doing a good job are excellent, as well as other incentives
(such as being allowed to do other more interesting jobs, in addition to working their beat)
they would be more willing to stay.

I think we should have as police officers those who are more intelligent and have better
judgment than average. Plain average is simply not enough.

Which is more important, money or human lives?

Sen. Sanders unveils his 12-point economic plan. I guess he is serious about running for president.

He is one of the people I am in favor of. Officially he may be an Independent, but he is more
Progressive than many a Democrat, and he has consistently voted with the Democrats on the
Progressive side.

He is stating loud and clear here on what's wrong with the American economy, and how to go about
correcting them. He is very much in sync. with Elizabeth Warren:


"Who's Afraid of Elizabeth Warren?" Here' a very challenging article by H. Nolan, and it's followed

by some equally challenging comments (a dozen so far). There is also an interesting link to a poll.


E. Warren, "Enough is enough," when Obama appointed another banker Antonio Weiss as Under Sec'y to

the Treasury. Weiss was heavily involved in helping firms to move overseas in order to avoid paying taxes.
Warren is the only one who has spoken out against the large numbers of Wall Street people appointed by
Obama into the Treasury as well as other government departments.

We need more people in government with the courage she has. We're having too many spineless showcases
in recent years. No wonder our country is falling apart.


Who Controls our Government? The Psychopathic Corporate Elites of America. This is a very thorough

article written by two authors, one of whom is a psychoanalyst who has treated many
Wall Street CEOs over the years. Highly interesting reading!


America is half-starved to death for a source of news that is truly INDEPENDENT from

influences of all shapes and forms.

It's obviously quite clear to all that the news media have a tremendous impact on
informing, misinforming, as well as exposing or hiding facts from the general public.

We also know that 90% of the news media are Republican-owned. This is one of
the issues that has given the Republicans an incalculable political advantage over
the Democrats. There is not much we can do to successfully counteract the
Republicans' twisted info, half truths and outright lies. In short, it helps them to win

Running a news media company (newspaper, magazine, TV, radio ..... ) is an
expensive enterprise. It will be very costly, especially at the beginning. It will also
take a long, long time before any profits can be expected.

There are many wealthy Democrats who are known to be philanthropists. It occurred
to me that if they were to join together and combine their resources, couldn't they
start up a news media company (and a very large one at that) that would be totally
INDEPENDENT of any outside influence, and spread REAL NEWS, the truth, and also
counteract any and all misinformation that have been deliberately spread by dishonest
news sources?

This could help to defeat the present one-sided lopsided nonsense and garbage that
has been dished out as news, and which has been used to brain-wash and dumb down
the American people for the past half-century. It is also destroying our democratic
way of life - which is exactly what the 1% Oligarchy is doing. These psychopaths
are trying their best to rule the world and make it into their own private fiefdom!

What would DU members here think of making up a suggestion of this nature? If
one wealthy Democrat could be found who would be interested in this idea, s/he
would probably know others, and these in turn would know still more others, who might
be persuaded to join.

I would like to bring up this as an idea only, and leave it entirely up to those who
would be willing to participate. If it should become a great and prosperous company
in the future - more power to them. Our democratic way of life will have been preserved.

The American people are half-starved to death for want of real, true and accurate
information, because this situation has been foisted on them by the Oligarchs who see it
as a means of getting to their own selfish greedy way.

I'm just tossing out an idea to be discussed.

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