Friday, October 01, 2004
Sometimes it takes a "scientist" to prove the obvious. Well, a group of political scientists have now documented what the rest of us intuitively knew all along. Rich folks have more political power than poor folks, and a lot of it has to do with how they make campaign contributions. There are 24 pages of detail worth reading here.
But, the key fact is this: While just 6% of those who earn $15,000 or less make political donations, 56% of those earning $75,000 and above do.
Now, that is on top of the fact that surely the wealthier you are, the larger a donation you can afford to give.
So, its no surprise that most of the money raised by politicians comes from a pretty small segment of the population. In fact, 95% of the large individual contributions came from people who make at least $100k. But these folks only account for 12% of American households. So, most of us (88% to be precise) are only giving 5% of the contributions.
The end result: "Research strikingly documents that the votes of US Senators far more closely correspond to the policy preferences of each senator's rich constituents than with the preferences of the senator's less privileged constituents."