Dissident Iranian journalist; Intl. Press Association World Press Freedom Hero The Transformation of American Democracy to Oligarchy The United States has the world's largest economy, is the most important contributor to scientific advancements, has the most powerful military and some of the best universities in the world, is a democratic state, and accepts more immigrants than any other nation. But, over time the democratic foundations of the United States, equality of the citizens and their human rights, have been eroding. It is impossible to make inequality a pillar of the structure of the state and deepen its roots, and yet to be proud and claim that the citizens have equal voting rights.
Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. But, over time the democratic foundations of the United States, equality of the citizens and their human rights, have been eroding. It is impossible to make inequality a pillar of the structure of the state and deepen its roots, and yet to be proud and claim that the citizens have equal voting rights.
When all types of inequalities take deep roots and expand, citizens lose their power to influence the political process. Let us take a look at some facts. According to this theory, certain capabilities, such as having food and drinks, a place to live, health care, education, and job are essential to the definition of human being.
The capabilities theory proposes two threshold states for the people.
A life below the first threshold is not humane, while a life lived below the second threshold is not a good life. Tens of millions of people in the United States are living their lives below the first threshold.
The economic gap has been widening, denying millions of people a respectable life. Speaking about the widening economic gaps in the United States in JulyPresident Obama pointed out that the American middle class has hardly experienced any significant wage increase over the preceding decade, and that the "American dream" is turning into a myth.
Statistics indicate the huge gap between the average incomes of the top 1 percent of Americans versus the remaining 99 percent: In the top 1 percent received only 5 Oligarchy or democracy of the total incomes produced during the economic expansion.
The top 1 percent now receives 95 percent. In his book, The Price of InequalityAmerican economist and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences indemonstrates that, over the past few decades, economic inequality has increased dramatically.
He shows that 1 percent of the American people own 25 percent of the total wealth. In interviews with Jon Stewart herehereand hereder Spiegeland Euro NewsStiglitz argued that the only solution to the problem is an economic model similar to that of the Scandinavian countries, and that the "American dream" has become myth.
Many liberal thinkers believe that money is an enemy of democracy. In his book, The Law of PeopleRawls stated that a constitutional-based democratic state is a pillar of liberalism, and that p. Otherwise, politics is dominated by corporate and other organized interests who through large contributions to campaigns distort if not preclude public discussion and deliberation.
Rawls offered a masterful critique of the economic gap in the United States, and pointed out that lobbies for American corporations have transformed Congress to a center for buying and selling laws, writing p. When politicians are beholden to their constituents for essential campaign funds, and a very unequal distribution of income and wealth obtains in the background culture, with the great wealth being in the control of corporate economic power, is it any wonder that congressional legislation is, in effect, written by lobbyists, and Congress becomes a bargaining chamber in which laws are bought and sold?
In his book, Bowling AlonePutnam demonstrates that since WWII the widening gap between the rich and the poor has been in parallel with a decreasing rate of participation by the people in the political process.
Statistics confirm his claim. The percentage of people voting in the Congressional elections in the s and the year was never more than 39 percent. Less than 30 percent of the eligible voters voted in the last Congressional elections, although another study put it at less than 19 percent.
The voting rate in the presidential elections is higher, but not too high. It declined from In his essay, America in Decayconservative political scientist Francis Fukuyama analyzed that processes that have contributed to the decay of democracy in the United States.
In particular, he identified the distribution of power as one of the main contributing factors. It becomes highly problematic, however, when the economic winners seek to convert their wealth into unequal political influence.
They can do so by bribing a legislator or a bureaucrat, that is, on a transactional basis, or, what is more damaging, by changing the institutional rules to favor themselves -- for example, by closing off competition in markets they already dominate, tilting the playing field ever more steeply in their favor.
In his view money enters from the back door and creates supporters [for the lobbyists]. The lobby industry bribes the congressmen and later demands what it wants. Reciprocal altruism, meanwhile, is rampant in Washington and is the primary channel through which interest groups have succeeded in corrupting government Interest groups are able to influence members of Congress legally simply by making donations and waiting for unspecified return favors.
And sometimes, the legislator is the one initiating the gift exchange, favoring an interest group in the expectation that he will get some sort of benefit from it after leaving office Oftentimes, the impact of interest groups and lobbyists is not to stimulate new policies but to make existing legislation much worse than it would otherwise be.Oligarchy is a form of government in which all power resides with a few people or in a dominant class or group within the society.
These groups of people may be distinguished by royalty, wealth, education, or military control. •Choose the type of government that you would like to represent in your cartoon: Autocracy, Oligarchy, or Democracy.
•Create a comic strip that represents the leadership of the government and the citizen participation (who votes) in the government. Apr 21, · America is no longer a democracy — never mind the democratic-republic envision by Founding Fathers.
Rather, it's taken a turn down elitist lane and become a country led by a small dominant class comprised of powerful members who exert total control over the general population — an oligarchy, a new study said.
Democracy vs Oligarchy Characteristics: While comparing Democracy vs Oligarchy characterisitcs it is essential to consider the benefits and demerits of both the types of governments. Both oligarchy and democracy refer to different types of ruling systems.
Oligarchy is a ruling system in which only a few number of privileged people get the power over ruling and decision-making in a political system. Aug 06, · The United States has the world's largest economy, is the most important contributor to scientific advancements, has the most powerful military and .