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Contrary to some assertions, both US political parties do not represent the interests of the wealthy. Republicans do represent affluent views on economic policy and business interests in all areas, whereas Democrats more often represent the opinions of the middle class over the affluent.

Contrary to some assertions, both US political parties do not represent the interests of the wealthy. Republicans do represent affluent views on economic policy and business interests in all areas, whereas Democrats more often represent the opinions of the middle class over the affluent.

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18 Comments

  1. It was Obama who bailed out the banks and re-inflated asset prices. Trump didn’t do anything to turn it around, but it sounds nice to blame just one side when in fact fed policy has been consistent since around 2010 until now – lower interest rates, QE, increase liquidity.

  2. ‘affluent’ ‘middleclass’ etc and very much moving target definitions.

    A middle-class small business owner may have sentiments that prefer the perceived party of free enterprise, yet not be affluent.

    It’s behind a paywall, so all I think we can say is that one should be highly circumspect of both motive as well as content of this study.

  3. Ah yes, that must be why most of the democrats happen to be millionaires just like republicans. They are not corrupt, they just recieve money from big corporations out of the kindness.

  4. “Support from both parties is associated with policy adoption, but party influence cannot explain the association between affluent opinions and policy outcomes.”

    So, “affluent opinions” tend to win, and it’s not from partisan influence but because of other types of influence, which members of both parties are subject to.

    Okay then.

  5. Abstract:

    > Do policy makers in both parties represent the opinions of the richest Americans, ignoring those of median income? We find that the two political parties primarily represent different interest group sectors, rather than public economic classes. The Republican Party and business interests are aligned across all issue areas and are more often aligned with the opinions of the richest Americans (especially on economic policy). Democrats more often represent middle class opinions and are uniformly aligned with advocacy groups. Support from both parties is associated with policy adoption, but party influence cannot explain the association between affluent opinions and policy outcomes. Rather than an oligarchic political system, these patterns show competition among organized elites that still provides multiple potential paths for unequal public class influence.

    [Ungated version](http://matthewg.org/Gilens-Parties4.pdf).

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