Así gobiernan los ricos

PRINCETON – Que los ricos tienen más poder político que los pobres, incluso en países democráticos en los que todo el mundo tiene derecho a emitir su voto en las elecciones, no es noticia precisamente, pero dos expertos en ciencias políticas, Martin Gilens, de la Universidad de Princeton, y Benjamin Page, de la Universidad NorthWestern, han presentado unas conclusiones desoladoras correspondientes a los Estados Unidos y que tienen consecuencias dramáticas para el funcionamiento de la democracia... en ese país y en otros.

La investigación de esos autores se basa en una labor anterior de Gilens, que recogió meticulosamente encuestas de opinión sobre casi 2.000 preguntas acerca de políticas de 1981 a 2002. Después los dos examinaron si el Gobierno Federal de los Estados Unidos adoptaba la política de que se tratara en el plazo de cuatro años después de la encuesta y rastrearon hasta qué punto se ajustaba el resultado a las preferencias de los votantes en diferentes puntos de la distribución de la renta.

Vistas aisladamente, las preferencias del votante “medio” –es decir, un votante del nivel medio de la distribución de renta– parecen tener una influencia muy positiva en la reacción del Gobierno en última instancia. Es mucho más probable que se promulgue una política que guste al votante medio.

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