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…
Hemingway and James Joyce were drinking buddies in Paris. Joyce was thin and bespectacled; Hemingway was tall and strapping. When they went out Joyce would get drunk, pick a fight with a bigger guy in the bar and then hide behind Hemingway and yell, “Deal with him, Hemingway. Deal with him.””
Between this and the story about him reassuring F. Scott Fitzgerald re dick size, I’m developing a picture of Hemingway as the mother hen of the disaffected white male literary set of the early 20th century.
He probably called up Steinbeck sometimes and was like I CAN’T EVEN WITH THESE DIPSHITS and Steinbeck was all “That’s what you get for living in Paris, asshole”.
I like sharing food knowledge with people. I pretty much like anyone who likes any kind of food.
this cow is prettier than me
Dude someone once told me I look like a cow and I was like “omg really? Have you seen cows? Because I have and they’re fucking gorgeous and adorable, so thanks”
Fun fact: “cow-eyed” was often used to describe Hera’s beauty since the Athenians considered cows faces so beautiful.
what a beautiful cow
Consumer Alert - Trojan Fire & Ice Condoms
Also, Trojan packages their Spermicidal Lubricated condoms with nonoxynol-9. Exercise caution y’all, buy plain latex condoms and get your own separate water-based personal lubricants. And if you’re allergic to latex, use alternative condoms.
Upon examining a Trojan Fire & Ice condom, I immediately noticed something was very wrong.
Fuck no to Fire and Ice condoms.
holy shit why would you put capsacin in a fucking lubricant
well this is fucking horrifying