A recent study from Princeton and Northwestern concluded that the United States is an “oligarchy” ruled by a small group of wealthy elites and interest groups.
According to authors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page:
The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.
Fortunately for The Average Joe, however, his stated policy preferences happen to coincide with the desires of the wealthy elites much of the time, (according to the study) so even though his views and desires don’t matter in Congress, he nonetheless sometimes gets what he wants, simply by coincidence.
Full piece: http://mises.org/daily/6732/Our-Olig...-James-Madison