Como governam os ricos

PRINCETON – Não é novidade que os ricos têm mais poder político do que os pobres, mesmo nos países democráticos onde todos têm um único voto nas eleições. Mas dois cientistas políticos, Martin Gilens da Universidade Princeton e Benjamin Page da Universidade Northwestern, apresentaram recentemente algumas descobertas duras para os Estados Unidos da América que têm implicações dramáticas para o funcionamento da democracia – nos EUA e em qualquer outra parte.

A pesquisa dos autores baseia-se no trabalho prévio de Gilens, que meticulosamente reuniu pesquisas de opinião pública sobre quase duas mil questões de política, de 1981 a 2002. O par então examinou se o governo federal dos Estados Unidos da América adoptou a política em questão no prazo de quatro anos após o inquérito e controlou o quão próximo o resultado se assemelhava às preferências dos eleitores em pontos diferentes da distribuição do rendimento.

Quando vistas de forma isolada, as preferências do eleitor “médio” – ou seja, um eleitor que fica a meio na distribuição do rendimento – parecem ter uma influência fortemente positiva na resposta final do governo. Uma política da qual o eleitor médio gosta é significativamente mais propensa a ser promulgada.

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