The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
#this is disturbing#and um#i’ve been boning up on roman history#you know what happened to them?#they had a republic#that had reforms#and then turned into a full-blown oligarchy#and then they had EMPERORS#and look#i’m not saying that history is cyclical#but history#is#cyclical
"Our friend Miche Braden returned to help us show what Guns N’ Roses "Sweet Child O’ Mine" would have sounded like if New Orleans blues legend Bessie Smith had recorded it back in the ’20s. That note at 3:58 was so powerful that the room literally shook…”
the last minute ho shit
Omg watch this
This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard. Holy crap.
Nobody has to deal with americans more than other americans.
I am an american and I can verify that this is indeed true.
#everyone else gets to be annoyed by Americans from afar #while Americans have to be annoyed by other Americans loudly and up close
Summer is just around the corner! Which means you’re probably fervently preparing for ~bikini season~, trying to get back into that beach bod! Well here are some dieting tips from Denny’s Diner to help you feel a little more comfortable this year:
- Bikini season? Shmikini shmeason.
- You look wonderful already.
- Whatever makes you feel best is best.
- There is no “right” way to look.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Build a sandcastle.
- Seriously, you look wonderful.
- Denny’s loves you.
Ziad Nakad Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2014
I’m glad you asked! I got a few asks/comments about this, so let me tell you.
I’m not a fan of John Green. I’ve read Looking for Alaska, and that’s it. Since then, I’ve been able to take a step back, and really look at him and his writing.
Here is a good list of, overall, most of his problematic actions. It includes links to his comments of slut shaming, fat/thin shaming, sexism, transphobia, racism, etc., including links to him refusing to apologize when called out on his actions. To me, that’s the problematic part. It’s one thing to use a slur in ignorance, or say something without realizing the impact, but when called out on it, and you refuse to apologize, that’s what makes you an asshole.
Here’s whitegirlsaintshit’s list of issues with his writing, including his strange fascination with writing manic-pixie-dream-teenage-girls.
Here’s thedramaticmurderer’s list of problems, including talk about his romanticism/bigotry towards people with mental illnesses.
Here’s motherhenna’s post on the problems with his writing. It’s very long and detailed and talks not only about the problems with his writing style, but also his ideas of romanticizing illnesses.
Also, though, I will link this, which is yourfaveisproblematic’s post about being a conscious fan.
I’ll encourage other people to reblog with any links that they may have as well. I hope that clears up some of the questions y’all had!!
Welcome to Night Vale, the desert community where everything’s made up and the Sheriff’s Secret Police don’t matter
The head-turning Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie is a towering 6ft 3in tall and admits she often felt she couldn’t relate to women on the big screen because of her Amazonian frame, but is now relishing the opportunity to play a tough, fierce warrior in the medieval fantasy drama.
She said: “It’s really vitally important to me the way women are portrayed. As someone who has always felt at times pretty genderless because of my size, it interests me to challenge ideas of prejudice and femininity, and what it is to be a woman.”
The towering actress reveals that she had numerous setbacks in her career before landing a prized role as Brienne of Tarth in the hit show, adding: “I found it so frustrating, particularly at the beginning, because I would be told, ‘Sorry love, you’re too tall.’ At one stage I was like, ‘I’ll give this another six months and if this persists, ‘I’ll become a nun.’ “
For her role as warrior Brienne, Gwendoline trained how to fight with swords and ride horses and says it’s “empowering” to know she can “break a man’s nose with my elbow.”
"I do all my own stunts and come away with bruises and scratches. After one scene I was absolutely covered in bruises all down one leg and up one arm. But it’s worth it. It’s quite fun. I enjoy knocking around with the boys."
I cannot get enough of this woman. She deserves all the awards.
I think I’m in love.
When we talk about freedom, we restrict ourselves to so few images. Images of freedom should be as liberating as the feeling itself!
I want to talk about freedom as a drum set being thrown down a hill. As opening a book one night and water gushing from the pages, until my life is a lake and I swim away. Or as a bird in flight, with all the dependence on physics, and exhaustion, and food supply, and merciless gravity that the actuality implies.
I just don’t want to talk about freedom in terms of numbers. Anything but that! I am so tired of numbers.
Welcome to Night Vale
Episode 42, “Numbers”
Guys, I swear I didn’t mean to escape prison, it was an accident.
— Level 2 Warrior (via outofcontextdnd)