According to a Princeton University study, public opinion has “near-zero” impact on U.S. lawmaking, with one exception. In other words, public support for or against any given idea has no impact on the likelihood that Congress will make it law. What’s the exception? economic elites in the top-90% of the income distribution. Their opinions carry real weight.
“The preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
This comes as no surprise to most of us. We’ve long recognized the rising influence of money in politics (along with reduced social mobility) and lack of political will to address the problem. For the most part, we’ve accepted our powerlessness.
Today, I joined with Represent.US, which actually is trying to address the problem, by advocating for laws at the local and state levels that would influence who gets sent to the swamp in Washington, as well as how federal elections are conducted in every state. They’re pushing what they call the “Anti-Corruption Act,” which comprises a set of principles aimed at increasing transparency in campaign finance, making elections more fair and reducing the influence of money in lawmaking, among other things. They make point to point out they are a decidedly non-partisan group. Check out the policy platform here.
Oh, and there’s an Omaze fundraiser for Represent.US, with the possibility to go wine tasting with Jennifer Lawrence. I haven’t signed up for that yet, but I have a week left to enter.