American Oligarchy

Let's open this posting with the definition of an oligarchy according to Mirriam-Webster:

Definition of oligarchy:

1 : government by the few

The corporation is ruled by oligarchy.

2 : a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes

a military oligarchy was established in the country

also : a group exercising such control

An oligarchy ruled the nation.

3 : an organization under oligarchic control

That country is an oligarchy.

It is increasingly apparent that America is no longer a true democracy, rather, it is an oligarchy where government (Washington) is controlled by a small group of people.  This is particularly apparent when one looks at who is donating to federal politics during the 2020 presidential election cycle and how much they have donated so far.  Thanks to Open Secrets, we have access to that data.

Let's look at spending on outside spending groups which are defined as political expenditures made by groups or individuals independently of, and not coordinated with, candidates' committees.  These expenditures include electioneering communications, advertising and other expenditures that are not directly controlled by the candidate.  Here is a list of the top twenty donating individuals who have funded outside spending groups thus far in the 2020 election cycle:

Please keep in mind that there are an additional seven individuals who have donated $1 million to outside spending groups; two of which are to conservative groups and five of which are to liberal groups.

Here is a list of the top twenty donating individuals who have funded Super PACs thus far in the 2020 election cycle:

Once again, please note that there are an additional five individuals who have donated $1 million to Super PACs; four of which are to conservative groups and one of which is to liberal groups.

Here is a graphic showing the portion of money that has been donated to Super PACs by the top 100 donors:

Here is a graphic showing the portion of money that has been donated to Super PACs by the top 1 percent of donors:

Here is a breakdown of the data which looks at the donations to Super PACs by 66,104 donors:

Total donations to Super PACS – $98,335,824

Top 100 individual donors total donations – $86,153,804

Top 1 percent of individual donors total donations – $94,153,439

Interestingly, the top 100 donors gave 60.1 percent of their donations to liberal Super PACs compared to only 39.4 percent for conservative Super PACs.  The top 1 percent of donors gave 60.2 percent of their donations to liberal Super PACs compared to only 39.2 percent for conservative Super PACs.

While America's current political system may be "one person, one vote" it is very clear that some of those "persons" have the financial ability to sway voters to see things their way and as we all know that, once in power, members of Congress are swayed by the donors that provided the financial means that allowed them to win. 

Let's close with this commentary on the state of democracy from former United States President Jimmy Carter:

Click HERE to read more from this author.


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