A new political science study that's gone viral finds that majority-rule democracy exists only in theory in the United States -- not so much in practice. The government caters to the affluent few and organized interest groups, the researchers find, while the average citizen's influence on policy is "near zero."
"[T]he preferences of economic elites," conclude Princeton's Martin Gilens and Northwestern's Benjamin I. Page, who work with the nonprofit Scholars Strategy Network, "have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do."
TPM spoke to Gilens about the study, its main findings and its lessons.
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