Nicholas Stephanopoulos’ Study Demonstrates that Wealth, Gender, and Race Have Little to No Influence on Policy

Nicholas Stephanopoulos’ recent study in the University of Chicago Law Review, “Political Powerless,” analyzes available data and finds, basically and unsurprisingly, that wealth drives democracy. Policy decisions do not follow from the will of the people, in other words, but from the influence of those who hold the most wealth. The Salon article reporting on Stephanopoulos’ study notes that, according to the study, inequality “doesn’t exist.” In effect, conservatism may be a “natural” tendency of democracy, at least in the version operating in the US, as Sean McElwee, research associate at Demos concludes in his article for Salon:

“The net result of the preferences of women, people of color, youth and poor people being ignored is to push American policy in a more conservative direction. Claims that Americans haven’t gotten redistribution because they aren’t aware of rising inequality or are too individualistic have some truth, but they obscure more than they illuminate. In reality, Americans want redistribution, but the elites who control the political system won’t give it to them. Why hasn’t democracy reduced inequality? Because it never had the chance.”


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