Does the US resemble an oligarchy to you?

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#1 Edited by gamerguru100 (11650 posts) -

Does the US seem like it's ruled by a few super wealthy people while the masses are left to fend for themselves? It does to me. It looks like democracy (specifically voting and electing) is just an illusion to make us think we live in a free society.

Politicians and corporations have most of the money, while the average person either has to work multiple jobs to make ends meet or go to overpriced colleges and universities to get a shot at getting one or two good jobs. Politicians and corporations are all the same: they're all ridiculously wealthy and don't give two shits and a fuck about the 300 million regular people. All they care about is either money or votes.

The income inequality in this country is too fucking massive to write off as mere coincidence.

#2 Edited by playmynutz (6395 posts) -

Buy gold so when the ancient aliens return ye will be rewarded

#3 Edited by jasean79 (2429 posts) -

It doesn't seem like it, that's EXACTLY how it is. Has been for as long as I've been alive and years before.

#4 Posted by GazaAli (24051 posts) -

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

#5 Posted by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@playmynutz said:

Buy gold so when the ancient aliens return ye will be rewarded

Gold's pretty solid for wealth preservation.

#6 Edited by InEMplease (6356 posts) -

I'd have to say yes, but not at all limited to the US. Money makes the world go round. Those who hold the money, hold the world.

#7 Posted by jimkabrhel (15440 posts) -

Pretty much. Yet most people still feel comfortable electing rich, white men to lead. Rich, white men who are in the pocket of other rich, white men.

So it always was, so it must be.

#8 Posted by SpartanMSU (3440 posts) -

I don't think you know what a corporation is or how it works.

#9 Posted by deeliman (3540 posts) -

@InEMplease said:

I'd have to say yes, but not at all limited to the US. Money makes the world go round. Those who hold the money, hold the world.

That's true, but in terms of wealth inequality the US blows all the other western countries away. The top 1% has 40% of the nation's wealth, which is ludicrously high, while the bottom 80% only has 7% of the nation's wealth.

#10 Posted by gamerguru100 (11650 posts) -

@deeliman said:

@InEMplease said:

I'd have to say yes, but not at all limited to the US. Money makes the world go round. Those who hold the money, hold the world.

That's true, but in terms of wealth inequality the US blows all the other western countries away. The top 1% has 40% of the nation's wealth, which is ludicrously high, while the bottom 80% only has 7% of the nation's wealth.

I'm surprised there hasn't been an uprising yet. Oh, wait, Americans are all too busy watching reality TV and worshiping celebrities. Never mind. :P

#11 Edited by Joedgabe (5134 posts) -

@gamerguru100 said:

@deeliman said:

@InEMplease said:

I'd have to say yes, but not at all limited to the US. Money makes the world go round. Those who hold the money, hold the world.

That's true, but in terms of wealth inequality the US blows all the other western countries away. The top 1% has 40% of the nation's wealth, which is ludicrously high, while the bottom 80% only has 7% of the nation's wealth.

I'm surprised there hasn't been an uprising yet. Oh, wait, Americans are all too busy watching reality TV and worshiping celebrities. Never mind. :P

Or too busy working trying to pay rent and bills. At least over here we are NYC.. if we can even find a decent job :/ I didn't even know about the wealth thing, too busy trying to get through my day and school so i can have a better "job" and have 1 less thing to worry about.

#12 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

#13 Posted by deeliman (3540 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

bullshit

#14 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@deeliman said:

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

bullshit

AC, clean water, plumbing, free medical (medicaid), free education (K-12, and FASFA for university), free cell phones, free food (food stamps), etc...

You can't go hungry in America compared to the rest of the world as there's soup kitchens in ever city, food assistance for people with children, and kids are provided 2 free meals by the tax payers at school.

#15 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (16707 posts) -

Bingo.

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

Wtf, lol.

#16 Edited by gamerguru100 (11650 posts) -

@deeliman said:

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

bullshit

I also find that hard to believe. Poor people may or may not have enough food depending on their situation, and their neighborhoods are generally high crime areas (since people will resort to crime to survive) and also don't get a good education due to poor quality schools. They are also looked down upon in society and seen as lazy and undesirables. A king living a paltry 100 years ago lived in the lap of luxury and was respected unless he somehow became unpopular among the common people. Hell, even 100 years ago, not too many societies were monarchies, and there are even fewer today. Royal families today are just for show. *cough*Kate's royal baby*cough*

#17 Posted by Maddie_Larkin (6899 posts) -

Yes it does, and I think part of the reason why it has not been challanged at all may be because (atleast in part) that the ideologies the US chose to live by has its fair share of the reason why it became this, and the general population is still too proud to acknowlage that they lost control, and Things like "the trickle Down effect" was so widely belived in although it has never once been proven.

#18 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@gamerguru100 said:

@deeliman said:

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

bullshit

I also find that hard to believe. Poor people may or may not have enough food depending on their situation

You can't go hungry in America with children, and if you lack children soup kitchens and churches all across the country offer free food.

#19 Edited by gamerguru100 (11650 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:

@gamerguru100 said:

@deeliman said:

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

bullshit

I also find that hard to believe. Poor people may or may not have enough food depending on their situation

You can't go hungry in America with children, and if you lack children soup kitchens and churches all across the country offer free food.

Not all poor people are obese, and yes, you can go hungry in America, especially if you're homeless. That's why I said, "depending on their situation". Shit, those pics you posted look like those kids are in well-to-do homes.

#20 Edited by deeliman (3540 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:

@deeliman said:

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

bullshit

AC, clean water, plumbing, free medical (medicaid), free education (K-12, and FASFA for university), free cell phones, free food (food stamps), etc...

You can't go hungry in America compared to the rest of the world as there's soup kitchens in ever city, food assistance for people with children, and kids are provided 2 free meals by the tax payers at school.

And if you are a king you can have as much food as you want, and the best quality that is available. Last time I checked, poor people could't afford to eat all the things that kings could 100 years ago.

Free education? Loans are free now?

#21 Edited by one_plum (6366 posts) -

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

+1. Most of the western world put their trust in a democratic (or electoral) system because they know a government that has too much power isn't healthy. I don't know why this logic can't be applied to the ultra rich and powerful tycoons who have the capability to effortlessly affect the entire economy and the lives of millions of people.

#22 Posted by Welkabonz (1700 posts) -

Has anything in history led you to believe that this is unusual?

#23 Posted by Master_Live (15832 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

I don't know why this logic can't be applied to the ultra rich and powerful tycoons

How would that work?

#24 Edited by one_plum (6366 posts) -

@Master_Live said:

@one_plum said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

I don't know why this logic can't be applied to the ultra rich and powerful tycoons

How would that work?

It wasn't really a pragmatic statement. It's more about pointing a double standard.

#25 Edited by Omni-Slash (54450 posts) -

No..I came from an incredibly poor family...single mother ....I am now living in a house my mother only dreamed of owning....my kids go to a very good school and will both attend a great university....if you work hard you can achieve anything in this country....I don't envy anyone else's wealth...

#26 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

idk if i'd rather be poor now than a king 100 years ago

but id definitely take lower-middle class over it

#27 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

anyway, oligarchy would be an overstatement

#28 Posted by Serraph105 (28675 posts) -

I would argue it's closer to a plutocracy given that those in charge largely listen to lobbyists.

#29 Posted by GazaAli (24051 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

My part of the world is a hellhole yes, especially in terms of security, basic rights, liberties, education, jobs, power access among other things. But you would never go hungry in here either and you would never be homeless too. I'm sure the average poor Gazan has an overall healthier diet than the average poor American, something that is mainly due to socio-economic differences. For example fresh vegetables are a staple item in all houses no matter how poor you might be, which is the result of relatively cheap vegetables prices and lack of a cheaper alternative, where's vegetables can be absent from the diet of the average poor American due to the availability of cheaper alternatives and the relatively high prices of vegetables there compared to other food items. Besides, as refugees and inhabitants of a conflict zone we're in a situation that is different than that of most naturally-born poor populations in the world. For example we have UNRWA, a UN specialized organization created to attend to the needs of Palestinian refugees that were the result of the 1948 war. We have a few other organizations in the area providing food, cash assistance and some degree of medical care. Add to that local charities and mosques too. Bottom line is, the disparities in the living conditions of the poor in both places are not as wide as you might think, when they exist that is.

But all of that is beside the point. Its embarrassing to compare the U.S to Gaza, I never understood how some people would bring this up as a valid or relevant argument when discussing some topic with me. In any case, distributive justice is a relative notion. It should be more interested in a relatively just and fair distribution of the overall wealth of a nation, instead of stopping at the level of comfortable subsistence. The aim of distributive justice should be the creation of an egalitarian society, as much as that is possible. I also highly doubt that the American middle class' economic conditions are prosperous enough for them to just disregard and pay no attention to income inequalities in the U.S, let alone those of the poor American population. I would understand if for example Scandinavians didn't give a shit about income inequalities in their respective countries, but public services, welfare, healthcare, education, crime and wages are things Americans seem to be significantly discontent with so there's still vast room for improvement.

This is not "anti-Americanism", I simply find it absurd and somewhat sad that the superpower of the world and the state with the largest economy is still unable to provide its citizens with the best possible living standards available in the world. What is even more reprehensible is how a very small percentage of the population seems to be exploiting all that enormous potential for itself.

#30 Edited by wis3boi (32078 posts) -

It's called Inverted Totalitarianism

#31 Posted by airshocker (31258 posts) -

Not really.

#32 Posted by EnoshimaJunko (321 posts) -

@Omni-Slash said:

No..I came from an incredibly poor family...single mother ....I am now living in a house my mother only dreamed of owning....my kids go to a very good school and will both attend a great university....if you work hard you can achieve anything in this country....I don't envy anyone else's wealth...

While its good to know that your life worked out fine, you can't really assume that it will be the same for everyone else.

....And I've never believed the idea that hard work alone will allow you to achieve anything you want.

#33 Posted by Jag85 (5664 posts) -

"Pure democracy is the most vile form of government...such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

– James Madison, Father of the US Constitution

#34 Posted by Brain_Duster (473 posts) -

@Jag85 said:

"Pure democracy is the most vile form of government...such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

– James Madison, Father of the US Constitution

Ok...?

#35 Posted by Jag85 (5664 posts) -

The United States of America Is Not a Democracy

#36 Posted by Brain_Duster (473 posts) -

Ok?

#37 Posted by DaBrainz (7721 posts) -

We really need to stop corporatism.

#40 Edited by HoolaHoopMan (7933 posts) -

Wells there's definitely an enormous income gap with respect to where the wealth is concentrated. That coupled with diminished income/social mobility isn't great either. I'm not sure I'd classify it as an oligarchy although I'm willing to admit that I wish it weren't so unequal in these respects.

#41 Posted by osirisx3 (2039 posts) -

Obama is turning America into stalins russia

#42 Edited by wis3boi (32078 posts) -

@osirisx3 said:

Obama is turning America into stalins russia

lol no

#43 Posted by whipassmt (14747 posts) -

@jimkabrhel said:

Pretty much. Yet most people still feel comfortable electing rich, white men to lead. Rich, white men who are in the pocket of other rich, white men.

So it always was, so it must be.

Except we have a rich black man as president.

#44 Posted by whipassmt (14747 posts) -

Maybe in some regards though I don't know how the U.S. compares to other countries as a whole. The situation in the U.S. is certainly better than many countries though, like North Korea or China or the UK etc.

#45 Posted by jimkabrhel (15440 posts) -

@whipassmt said:

@jimkabrhel said:

Pretty much. Yet most people still feel comfortable electing rich, white men to lead. Rich, white men who are in the pocket of other rich, white men.

So it always was, so it must be.

Except we have a rich black man as president.

A rich, black man who scares all the rich, white men.

#46 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

@jimkabrhel said:

@whipassmt said:

@jimkabrhel said:

Pretty much. Yet most people still feel comfortable electing rich, white men to lead. Rich, white men who are in the pocket of other rich, white men.

So it always was, so it must be.

Except we have a rich black man as president.

A rich, black man who scares all the rich, white men.

lol no

#47 Edited by mattbbpl (11052 posts) -
@Fightingfan said:

@gamerguru100 said:

@deeliman said:

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

bullshit

I also find that hard to believe. Poor people may or may not have enough food depending on their situation

You can't go hungry in America with children, and if you lack children soup kitchens and churches all across the country offer free food.

I can assure you that you're grossly misinformed. I see hunger every day as I'm part of a group that tries to minimize it in nearby communities, particularly among elementary schoolchildren.

Unfortunately, we don't have near the resources to keep up.

#48 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:
@Fightingfan said:

@gamerguru100 said:

@deeliman said:

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

bullshit

I also find that hard to believe. Poor people may or may not have enough food depending on their situation

You can't go hungry in America with children, and if you lack children soup kitchens and churches all across the country offer free food.

I can assure you that you're grossly misinformed. I see hunger every day as I'm part of a group that tries to minimize it in nearby communities, particularly among elementary schoolchildren.

Unfortunately, we don't have near the resources to keep up.

When you're obese/overweight (like the majority of America) you're always hungry.

You can't compare American hunger to real hunger like Africa.

#49 Posted by mattbbpl (11052 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:

@mattbbpl said:
@Fightingfan said:

@gamerguru100 said:

@deeliman said:

@Fightingfan said:

@GazaAli said:

The income inequality in the U.S is mind blowing, and the accumulated wealth of the rich is astronomically unprecedented in history. I sometimes find myself wondering how it would make one feel and what it would do to him if he realized that he owns billions of dollars, if he knew he can buy anything, ANYTHING and if he knew he has virtually unlimited power to affect the lives of millions and shape the face of the earth even. That can't be healthy and that can never lead to the public good.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

A pretty much homeless person living off of section-8 (Assisted living) probably has quadruple the living space compared to your part of the world, and that's being conservative.

Essentially poor America lives more luxurious than kings 100 years ago.

bullshit

I also find that hard to believe. Poor people may or may not have enough food depending on their situation

You can't go hungry in America with children, and if you lack children soup kitchens and churches all across the country offer free food.

I can assure you that you're grossly misinformed. I see hunger every day as I'm part of a group that tries to minimize it in nearby communities, particularly among elementary schoolchildren.

Unfortunately, we don't have near the resources to keep up.

When you're obese/overweight (like the majority of America) you're always hungry.

You can't compare American hunger to real hunger like Africa.

The people we serve aren't overweight. Maybe the fact that not everyone is overweight should be a clue that you shouldn't use some overweight people as a demonstration that hunger doesn't exist in the country. Just a thought.

#50 Edited by Barbariser (6761 posts) -

"Oligarchy" is a pretty broad term and looking at the TC's classification of it (a small bunch of people are moneyed and powerful) practically all nations are oligarchies, which makes the term meaningless and insignificant. In reality, I've observed that recent American politics involves many people from lowly backgrounds rising to positions of immense power and prestige, corporate interests getting majorly thrashed by ideological ones, mostly weak and/or fragile dynasties like the Bushes falling within two generations and a military that has very little control over the civilian government.

The only consistent "factor" that really helps to empower individuals there is high education at Ivy leagues (Harvard, in particular). Otherwise, I doubt you can really call America "oligarchic" because no small group of people is really capable of dominating it through wealth, force or blood.