Salvador Dali, Summer.
Salvador Dali, Summer.
The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
Inside of this reclaimed lightbulb lies sand, seashells, assorted pebbles, and marimo, otherwise known as Japanese moss balls. Marimo, a prized plant in Japan, is grown underwater and requires only low light and water to thrive. Rests on a driftwood base. Sold on Etsy.
My mom is really having a case of missing child anxiety tonight. Someone go hang out with her.
TINY TURTLE INVESTIGATORS: THE CASE OF THE LARGE STRAWBERRY
GOOD MORNING EVERYONE
“HAVE YOU TRIED BALANCING ON IT”
“YES OF COURSE I TRIED BALANCING ON IT JENKINS THIS IS NOT MY FIRST DAY AS A TINY TURTLE INVESTIGATOR”
This picture fucked me up
I’m daring to keep kids off drugs tonight guys
Anyone who think that human presence doesn’t have any effect on the Earth or our environment is ignorant. We destroy everything we touch.
Did you know that you can make houses out of plastic bottles? By filling them with sand, and molding them together with mud or cement, the walls created are actually bullet proof, fire proof, and will maintain an comfortable indoor temperature of 64 degrees in the summer time.
And it’s not like there is any shortage on used plastic bottles out there. Here are some statistics from treehugger.com:
“The United States uses 129.6 Million plastic bottles per day which is 47.3 Billion plastic bottles per year. About 80% of those plastic bottles end up in a landfill!”
To build a two bedroom, 1200 square foot home, it takes about 14,000 bottles.
The United States throws away enough plastic bottles to build 9257 of these 2 bedroom houses per day! That’s just over 3.35 million homes, the same number of homeless people in America.
Many people in third world countries have taken up building homes out of plastic bottles, from Africa to Asia. Perhaps the trend will catch on in America and all of those bottles will stop ending up in the landfills. Wouldn’t they be better off housing the homeless? Kinda like all those empty houses scattered all over the country?
gentlybrutal, maybe we should start saving our Gatorade bottles :-P
Your mom called. She wants her Earth Ship back.