TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Is the American Democratic civilization dying? Why are our electors no longer listening to their constituents? Is plutocracy ruling the US?

Question: Is the American civilization dying? Are we, in reality, being ruled by a plutocracy? Is mankind doomed as a species because we, ignorantly, believe we are the superior species on this planet and have the capacity to control everything? Yes or no to these heavy questions from a 76 year old codger.

Topics: politics

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Aug 4 2013: 1. Not sure if it is dying, it is changing how, not sure.
    2. Believe that the tea party republicans are listening to those that elected them and this is causing a major problem in Congress. It is when politicians make compromises and not listen to their constituents. Mark Twain said "When you are with the majority, it is time to change"
    3. The US has never been a democracy bur a democratic republic and we have always been lead by a plutocracy. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, FDR, etc. have come from the upper tier of society. I would say this was true of all our leaders.
    • Aug 4 2013: Good point!
    • thumb
      Aug 27 2013: "upper tier"? Not the case with Lincoln, Jackson, Obama, and a number of other presidents.
      • Aug 28 2013: http://247wallst.com/banking-finance/2010/05/17/the-net-worth-of-the-american-presidents-washington-to-obama/

        Jackson - 1804 became a large plantation owner in Tenn. and was considered to be part of the elite.

        Lincoln - 1841 became a lawyer and formed his own partnership in 1842. A major customer for his practice was the Illinois Railroads. He presented before the Illinois Supreme Court 175 times. His wife was wealth.

        Obama - by the released Income Tax forms made 3.3 million the year before becoming president. Punahou School is considered the most expensive private school in Hawaii and was only white until the 1960's
        • thumb
          Aug 28 2013: OK, Wayne, I guess I misunderstood you. You were illustrating "plutocracy" by saying that our presidents "have come from the upper tier of society." That usually means from socially prominent families. But I see you just meant that the poor-man's sons I mentioned had worked their way up and thereby had become prominent and "the upper tier."

          So yes, that's true, of course. All presidents have naturally arrived at some eminence before being elected president. That seems to go without saying. If you or I work smart and have success, become famous and get elected president, I don't think we'd call that a plutocracy. That refers to rule by hereditary wealthy families.
      • Aug 28 2013: Yup, and I probably did not state it well.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.