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Democracy Won't Cure Rising Inequality

A new study shows the link between money and political influence is even stronger than we thought.
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Money buys power.

That's the bottom line of a new study from Princeton University political scientist Martin Gilens, who looked at 1,779 U.S. government policy decisions between 1981 and 2002. Gilens found that the preferences of the median earner had no impact on whether policies are adopted -- but that politicians march in lockstep with what the top earners wanted.