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Thread: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes[W:192]

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    An excellent question. It's quite possible the answer is in the negative, as to whether we have ever been one.

    Certainly there have always been wealthy people. That is a natural fact.

    Were we ever a democracy? I'm not certain, but it does seem that there was a time when the middle class fairly well prospered in this country.

    Does a prosperous and large middle class mean that a democracy is present? I'm not certain.
    Is middle class prosperity the metric we want to use for whether or not a society & government are oligarchic or not? There have been plenty of authoritarian states that have managed to ride waves of economic success (think South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan) but we wouldn't classify these as democratic states. If we are an oligarchy today have we ever been a democracy? If we haven't then does this report really matter?

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    Is middle class prosperity the metric we want to use for whether or not a society & government are oligarchic or not? There have been plenty of authoritarian states that have managed to ride waves of economic success (think South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan) but we wouldn't classify these as democratic states. If we are an oligarchy today have we ever been a democracy? If we haven't then does this report really matter?
    Maybe I'm being hopelessly romantic and optimistic, but it seems that years ago the ballot box was somewhat useful in helping the electorate control the government.

    And maybe I'm just a cynical old man, but it seems that today the ballot box is absolutely useless in actually effecting government policy.

    And you're right--in a cynical sense this report simply validates what many of us knew--the oligarchy exists in fact, and democracy is very much an illusion.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny5 View Post
    To win elections, of course. Which implies that they have to CONVINCE people of something, which indicates we arent an oligarchy. The chinese communists dont sit around trying to convince people to keep them in power. National policy is entirely controlled by the communist party leaders, and those leaders are chosen by the party elite. The people have only a far removed indirect choice in local congresses, which are basically provides by the party anyway.

    THAT is a oligarchy, and shows how the US isnt.
    An oligarchy is not necessarily a totalitarian government. You can have an effective oligarchy while imitating a democratic republic--this is true of government or organizations at all levels.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    the founders plan for preventing America from becoming a 1 entity government like ........ monarchy, oligarchy, and a democracy.

    DIVIDE power.....into 2 entities[ a republican form of government], the people and the states [a separation of powers] to prevent faction / special interest.............. from seducing, beguiling, a 1 entity government. [the 3 above]

    federalist 45- so there are particular moments in public affairs when the people, stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    I'm not sure the Kennedy family could be described that way, but certainly the Bush family could.
    How have the Kennedys made their money?

    Both families are wealthy, and of course both are made up of humans, but while the former consisted of philanderers and such that the Irish are notorious for, the latter consists for the most part of war criminals and murderers.
    The Bush family came by their wealth quite honestly. The rest of your post is juvenile hyperbole

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    I feel like we are more of a flawed democracy, where visibility and influence are more important than simple voting, than an oligarchy or plutocracy. Interest groups that mobilize in favor of their goals (civil rights, LGBT, etc.) tend to achieve these goals more rapidly than those that do not. Unfortunately, working-class Americans have rarely if ever been effectively mobilized as an interest group, and so the goals of the wealthy/upper middle-class prevail.
    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Hah. If someone put me in their sig, I'd never know. I have sigs off.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    Maybe I'm being hopelessly romantic and optimistic, but it seems that years ago the ballot box was somewhat useful in helping the electorate control the government.

    And maybe I'm just a cynical old man, but it seems that today the ballot box is absolutely useless in actually effecting government policy.

    And you're right--in a cynical sense this report simply validates what many of us knew--the oligarchy exists in fact, and democracy is very much an illusion.
    It doesn't help that people who should know better don't bother to vote, or stay home in 'protest'.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    How have the Kennedys made their money?

    The Bush family came by their wealth quite honestly. The rest of your post is juvenile hyperbole
    It would appear that you don't know your history

    How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power

    George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
    The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

    His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.
    Then there was George Walker Bush
    How the Texas governor made his millions

    Bush started in the Texas oil business, after Yale University and Harvard Business School. Wealthy family friends and others invested millions with him, but with poor results. A 1985 disclosure shows Bush's track record: Investors got back only 45 cents on the dollar, but few complained.

    Bush did not make his fortune in the oil fields. He made it at a major-league ball park heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

    "He put $600,000 into this project and he did a little bit better than Hillary Clinton," Runzheimer said. "She only made ... $100,000 or $200,000, from her dealing in commodities. Gov. Bush has made $15 million."
    and
    Jeb Bush’s Rush to Make Money May Be Hurdle

    Mr. Bush left public office seven years ago with a net worth of $1.3 million and an unapologetic determination to expand his wealth, telling friends that his finances had suffered during his time in government.

    But his efforts to capitalize on his résumé and reputation have thrust him into situations that may prove challenging to explain should he mount a Republican campaign for the White House. Records and interviews show, for example, that Mr. Bush participated in the fevered, last-ditch efforts to prop up Lehman Brothers, a Wall Street bank weighed down by toxic mortgage-backed securities. As a paid adviser to the company in the summer of 2008, he met with Carlos Slim Helú, a Mexican billionaire, as Lehman sought to persuade Mr. Slim to make a sizable investment in the firm, emails show.

    Mr. Bush sat on the board of Swisher Hygiene, a soap maker, at a time when, its executives acknowledged, their financial statements were unreliable and their accounting practices inadequate. That admission contributed to a plunge in stock price that has wiped out more than three-quarters of Swisher’s value and touched off a wave of shareholder lawsuits. Several have named Mr. Bush as a defendant, accusing him and fellow board members of insufficient oversight.
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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    To those of you who fervently believe that the United States is a bonafide Oligarchy I have a question. When were we last a democracy? Have we ever been one?
    Today, and yes. Do we not have elections? Does our congress not vote on laws? Thats what democracy is.

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    Re: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    An excellent question. It's quite possible the answer is in the negative, as to whether we have ever been one.

    Certainly there have always been wealthy people. That is a natural fact.

    Were we ever a democracy? I'm not certain, but it does seem that there was a time when the middle class fairly well prospered in this country.

    Does a prosperous and large middle class mean that a democracy is present? I'm not certain.
    Prosperity has nothing to do with anything. Are you guys just making up definitions?

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