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5 Falsehoods About The Measles Vaccine That Continue To Be Perpetuated By Mainstream Media

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written By Dr. Alan Palmer, Contributing Writer for Children's Health Defense.

  • Reflect On:

    Why does mainstream media never address the points made by vaccine safety advocates? Why do they always resort to ridicule and use terms like "anti vax conspiracy" instead of simply refuting evidence with their own evidence?

[CHD Note: Page numbers referenced throughout the article are from 1200 Studies- Truth Will Prevail, Dr. Palmer’s free eBook. You will find the download link in the bio at the end of the article.]

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Five key talking points—all of them false—are driving the campaign of measles-related fear and coerced vaccine compliance:

  1. If measles return, thousands of children will die annually in the U.S.
  2. The two-dose MMR vaccine regimen will provide lifelong protection in most people.
  3. Previously vaccinated adults with waning antibody protection can receive effective and lasting protection from MMR booster shots.
  4. We must achieve and sustain a 95% vaccination rate to maintain herd immunity.
  5. The MMR and the MMR+varicella (MMRV) vaccines will protect against all strains of measles.

What follows are my rebuttals to each of these falsehoods.

Falsehood #1: If measles return, thousands of children will die annually in the U.S.

Hyper-exaggeration of the measles threat—and the fear that this exaggerated threat produces in the population—are what the vaccine industry and public health officials are counting on to drive public compliance and legislative action to remove freedom of choice. However, it is time to put this unreasonable fear of measles to rest. The real risks from measles in modern-day America pale in comparison with vaccine injuries and adverse effects on our children’s health (pages 561-564). The measles vaccine has been responsible for serious vaccine injuries, permanent disabilities and deaths.

Although the vaccine industry likes to take credit for the decline in measles deaths, U.S. government statistics tell a very different story. When the first ineffective and problematic measles vaccine was introduced in 1963 (with a second vaccine introduced in 1968), the rate of deaths attributed to measles had already declined by over 98%—between 1900 and 1962—and was continuing its downward trajectory. Some government statistics even say that the measles death rate had decreased by 99.4% prior to the vaccine’s introduction. Regardless of which figure one uses, that is nearly a 100% decline. Moreover, there is no reason to believe that the death rate would have stopped falling if no vaccine had come along. Thus, to suggest that the measles vaccine had anything to do with the decline in measles mortality is dishonest and a poor attempt at rewriting history.

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Prior to the introduction of the vaccine, the government-reported mortality rate for measles was approximately 1 in 10,000 cases. However, in another attempt to exaggerate the facts, officials now often report the rate as 1 in 1,000 cases. What needs to be understood is that 90% of all measles cases were never reported because parents never took their children to the doctor. Most measles cases were mild, lasting just a few days, at which point kids went back to school and life went on. No big deal. In the 1950s and ‘60s, people viewed measles as an inconvenient yet harmless condition that virtually everyone got and recovered from, leaving them with lifelong protection.

Only about 10% of overall cases were severe enough for those affected to seek medical care, and among the subset of cases that sought medical care and were reported, the fatality rate was about 1 in 1,000. By leaving out the crucial word “reported,” news outlets thus inaccurately present the death rate as 1 in 1,000 cases instead of the far more accurate 1 in 10,000 cases.

There is another crucial fact to consider. Studies show that measles fatalities were 10 times higher in extremely low-income, poverty-stricken communities compared to middle-income communities (pages 487-488). The increased incidence of fatalities in poor communities drastically skewed the overall death rate. The death rate in middle- and upper-income areas may have been around 1 in 100,000 cases.

The measles mortality graph confirms that measles was more deadly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the U.S., and this was also the case in Western Europe. In fact, in the 1800s and early 1900s, large cities were ripe for the spread of infectious diseases, due to malnutrition, overcrowding, inadequate personal hygiene, poor sanitary conditions, lack of vitamins and vitamin-fortified foods and limited access to appropriate medical care. In addition, horses were the main mode of transportation and left the narrow streets full of manure. Flies and rats were everywhere. All of these factors weakened people’s immune systems.

In the present age, measles remain deadlier in some countries than others. This is because conditions in impoverished parts of the world today are similar to urban conditions in the industrialized world in the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s. It is still commonplace for poorer countries and communities to be afflicted by many of the same problems that large American cities once experienced. As already noted, these conditions create an environment ripe for infectious disease and weaken people’s immune systems to the point where they are unable to fight even the mildest of infections. However, these descriptions and pictures certainly do not represent the standard of living that prevails in the U.S., Western Europe and other advanced societies today! This is why the fear-mongering, hysteria and lies about measles returning and decimating our children are so disingenuous.

As the insatiable, profit-driven vaccine makers push measles hysteria, the media—beholden to the pharmaceutical industry for advertising revenue—are their mouthpiece. None of these parties want people to know that solutions other than vaccines exist. Yet we know that vitamin A is a powerful weapon in the arsenal to reduce rates of measles complications. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) promotes vitamin A supplementation in developing countries where measles is epidemic, and its vitamin A campaigns have been heralded as huge successes (see pages 470-471, 481-483 and 687). In addition to vitamin A, modern-day Americans have access to herbal and natural antiviral compounds that can reduce the risk of complications and shorten the illness’s duration. Immune-compromised persons also have access to immune globulin therapy, which is extremely effective in bolstering the body’s resistance to infection and reducing measles complications.

To understand the dynamics of why measles was so deadly 70 to 100 years ago, what makes it deadly in impoverished parts of the world today AND why the death rates declined for measles and other infectious diseases nearly 100% without vaccines, read the section titled “The Truth about the Decline of Infectious Diseases” in my free eBook, 1200 Studies. (Link at the bottom of the article.)

Falsehood #2: The two-dose MMR vaccine regimen will provide lifelong protection in most people

On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the following:

People who receive MMR vaccination according to the U.S. vaccination schedule are usually considered protected for life against measles and rubella. While MMR provides effective protection against mumps for most people, immunity against mumps may decrease over time and some people may no longer be protected against mumps later in life. Both serologic and epidemiologic evidence indicate that vaccine-induced measles immunity appears to be long-term and probably lifelong in most persons.”

This information is outdated and has been proven completely wrong! The information may have been somewhat accurate when there were still large numbers of aging people in the population who had wild measles as children—giving them lasting immunity—and when some children still experienced wild measles, thereby providing adults with natural “boosters.” However, that dynamic changes over time as more people are vaccinated.

Over the last few years, we have learned that antibody levels produced by the measles vaccine wane rapidly, dropping approximately 10% per year, with efficacy lasting no more than 10 years after the second vaccine dose. A 2018 article published in the journal Vaccine (titled “Measles, mumps, and rubella antibody patterns of persistence and rate of decline following the second dose of the MMR vaccine”) confirms this fact, and a 2017 study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (titled “Measles virus neutralizing antibodies in intravenous immunoglobulins: Is an increase by revaccination of plasma donors possible?”) explains how additional vaccine doses provide no lasting protection. These two factors—the waning of the vaccine and the inability to effectively revaccinate back into protection—leave the previously vaccinated adult population completely unprotected.

In essence, measles vaccination programs may work initially (scientists call this the “honeymoon period”), but only when many children have already experienced wild measles at baseline, developing lifelong immunity and staying safe and immune as adults. That natural immunity can keep measles infections in check for several years. As vaccinated children age out of protection and vaccination rates for younger children remain high, there are no longer (as in the pre-vaccine era) young children with wild measles in the population to provide natural boosters to adults. Over time, vaccine-induced antibody levels drop throughout the aging population, leaving people vulnerable to infection. Sadly, the honeymoon is then over (pages 503-504).

The measles vaccine has destroyed the natural herd immunity we used to enjoy—and the pseudo “herd immunity” highly touted by vaccine proponents turns out to be a complete fallacy, falling apart due to the vaccine’s failure to provide the promised lifelong immunity (pages 572-578). This explains why such a high percentage of the people contracting measles in recent outbreaks are vaccinated adults. For example, during the infamous 2015 Disneyland outbreak and subsequent U.S. measles cases that year, laboratory virus sequences were available for 194 cases. Of those, 73 (38%) were identified as MMR vaccine sequences. While officials like to blame the unvaccinated for measles outbreaks, these and other statistics show that the vaccinated are susceptible. In addition, the age of the California cases ranged from six weeks to 70 years old, with a median age of 22. In the pre-vaccine era, half of all children had measles by age six, with the rest acquiring the illness in the years shortly thereafter—this is when measles are mildest and have the lowest rate of complications. The fact that so many of the California cases were in their 20s or older indicates a significant upward trend in measles incidence at older ages due to vaccine failure.

There is another unintended consequence resulting from low measles antibody titers in previously vaccinated adults: women of childbearing age do not have enough antibodies to pass sufficient amounts to their newborn babies. This makes their infants more susceptible to contracting measles (pages 574-578). Of the 110 California cases from the Disneyland outbreak, 12 (11%) were infants too young to be vaccinated. These infants most likely would have been protected if their mothers had contracted wild measles as children.

In short, the science shows a shift in the demographics of measles cases due to the vaccine program. This shift has effectively transferred the risk to the two groups most vulnerable to serious complications, namely newborns and adults. Scientists are also recognizing the same pattern of vaccine failure for other infectious diseases over which we thought we had achieved control (pages 588-591).

Falsehood #3: Previously vaccinated adults with waning antibody protection can receive effective and lasting protection from MMR booster shots

Research published in 2017 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases demonstrated that additional doses of MMR given to adults have minimal effect on raising antibody levels, and the increased titers are very temporary—decreasing in under four months! Therefore, the kneejerk reaction by some vaccine proponents to mandate adults to get MMR shots every five to 10 years won’t work. It is readily apparent that we cannot vaccinate our way out of this problem (pages 577-578). So, what do we do now? It’s like squeezing toothpaste out of the tube. You can’t put it back in!

Falsehood #4: We must achieve and sustain a 95% vaccination rate to maintain herd immunity

We hear this all the time: “We have to get all children vaccinated to maintain ‘herd immunity,’ and this is what will protect the vulnerable who can’t be vaccinated.” The narrative about “herd immunity” is designed to prop up vaccination efforts and public compliance, but it does not hold water. With an unprotected adult population (as discussed in previous sections), we are nowhere close to the 95% “immune” rate for measles that is supposed to promise herd immunity. In fact, CDC statistics prove that we are nowhere close to 95% for any of the infectious diseases that vaccines are given for.

The CDC website has a section titled Trends in Adult Vaccination Coverage: 2010 to 2016. It reports on results from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and shows the percentages of the U.S. adult population who say they have been vaccinated against various infectious diseases. Conspicuously, measles, mumps and rubella are absent from the survey. I have searched extensively and have not found any other surveys that include them. One has to ask the question—why aren’t national surveys asking about the MMR vaccine, when it is one of the mainstays of the U.S. vaccine paradigm (if not the holy grail itself)? Is it because the vast majority of adults are post-vaccine-era age (i.e., under 60 years old), most of whom would not have received an MMR vaccine since pre-kindergarten? Is it because the survey designers know that the percentage of adults affirming vaccination against M, M or R would be extremely low? Vaccine researchers have known for some time now that the antibody titers wane rapidly and that adults are not protected. Whatever the reason for the survey’s blind spot, the answers to hypothetical questions about MMR vaccination just wouldn’t fit the narrative that officials are pushing, now would they?

The NHIS asks adults if they have been vaccinated for various infectious diseases, but many of the adults answering in the affirmative—and included in the “vaccinated” percentages—would most certainly have lost their temporary immunity, given what we know about waning vaccine immunity over time. Therefore, those individuals do not really belong in the “vaccinated” cohort, which implies that the “vaccinated” percentages should be even lower. Consider also that while children aged 2-6 years have high vaccine coverage rates (in the range of 80% to 90%), that age group represents a small part of the “herd” (maybe 5%), and persons under 18 years of age account for less than 20% of the entire population.

The pro-vaccine “herd immunity” argument might hold water if all young children were kept in a bubble—fully sequestered from all adults who are either unvaccinated or have lost vaccine immunity—but we know that is not the case. We all live together, with cross-exposure in this big “herd” we call humanity. Thus, the fake talking point about herd immunity has no basis in fact but is an intentional strategy—creating the appearance of a “solution” in order to achieve the objective of full vaccination compliance in all children.

Something else to consider is the phenomenon of “primary vaccine failure,” which refers to the subset of children in whom a given vaccine never produces a sufficient antibody response at all. Vaccine proponents claim that this number is only about 5%, but data suggest that the number may be higher. Even with 100% vaccine compliance in children, this phenomenon means that nearly 1 out of every 10 children will never be protected.

As already discussed, vaccines have destroyed the natural lifelong herd immunity that came from the immune response produced by wild measles infection. This has led to a change in the demographic profile of people who get measles, away from 4- to 12-year-olds (pre-vaccine)—in whom the illness is mildest—toward infants and adults (post-vaccine)—the very populations in whom measles cause the most complications (pages 500-504 and 579-581).

Falsehood #5: The MMR and MMRV vaccines will protect against all strains of measles

Evidence is emerging that the measles virus is mutating as a result of intense vaccine pressure. A 2017 article in the Journal of Virology warns of this ominous signal, a discovery of what they are calling the D4.2 subgenotype. So far, researchers have isolated this “mutant” in France and Great Britain. Moreover, the mutant strain was not effectively neutralized when tested against sera from approximately 70 North American vaccinated individuals. Experts are calling these strains “escape mutants” and are warning that with an unprotected adult population (whose titers cannot be boosted, as mentioned earlier), we face the potential of unprecedented outbreaks.

The concern is that, under conditions of high vaccination coverage, the measles virus is finding ways to survive. In the pre-vaccine era, childhood exposure to wild measles conferred protection for the whole population through maintenance of robust lifelong immunity against all measles variants. Now that vaccines only provide short-term immunity, we are at risk for widespread outbreaks (pages 578-579). The research is signaling a looming crisis, similar to what we have created with antibiotics. The overprescribing of antibiotics has created mutations in bacteria that have outpaced the development of new antibiotics. Not only that, but these “superbugs” are much more virulent (deadly), with well in excess of 100,000 Americans now dying annually from antibiotic-resistant infections. Is it possible that we are setting ourselves up for a similar scenario with vaccines?


For further information, download my free eBook, 1200 Studies: Truth will Prevail. It has easy search and navigation features and links directly to the article abstracts on PubMed or the source journal. These features make it an invaluable research and reference tool. Now 718 pages long, the eBook covers over 1,400 published studies—authored by thousands of scientists and researchers—that contradict what officials are telling the public about vaccine safety and efficacy.


 Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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16 Months of Hidden Camera Footage Shows What Happens At “Humane” Dairy Farms

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Hidden cameras were set u across dairy farms that market themselves as "humane," "free range," and "organic." These labels truly mean nothing when it comes to how the entire dairy industry treats these animals, as the hidden camera footage shows.

  • Reflect On:

    When we've been made to believe something for so long and we are confronted with the idea that it's not true, it can cause cognitive dissonance. In today's day in age, it's best to keep an open mind and question our actions. What are we doing?

The practice of drinking cow’s milk begs the question, for the mass consumption of human beings, can it really be done in any sort of humane or ethical way? It’s hard to think of a way it could be, given the simple fact that for one, a cow has to give birth in order to produce milk for their young. This means that if you are going to provide the masses with the milk of a cow, you’re going to have to forcefully impregnate a cow, which today on most farms is done by artificial insemination. Second of all, the milk needs to be preserved for humans, so the baby is prevented from taking the mothers milk and is usually separated from the mother and taken away to be used for beef. Male calves are of no use to the dairy industry and generally less suitable for beef production. This means that every year around 90,000 male dairy calves in the UK are shot soon after birth and discarded as a by-product. Dairy cows are sent to slaughter after around 4 – 6 years, or when they are too weak to continue producing milk. Their natural lifespan is around 25 years.

From the perspective of the animal, and hopefully the human, it’s heart-breaking, depressing and hard, and the animals are predominately kept in terrible conditions. These animals love, they fear, they think and contemplate. They are emotional just like us, and it’s our lack of ability to see ourselves in all other life that continues this pattern.

One of the latest examples comes from footage captured by hidden camera’s that were set up across dairy farms in the United Kingdom by Dismantle Dairy.

We’ve Been Brainwashed Into Thinking A Cow’s Milk Is Necessary.

Calcium has been the backbone of big food companies that have marketed cow’s milk to human beings. These are big corporations that, through lobbying, have basically dictated government policy when it comes to what’s distributed as ‘food education’ in many different countries. It’s ironic, because calcium is largely available in many plant forms. Furthermore, casein, the protein found in dairy, actually triggers something called metabolic acidosis. This happens when the body produces too much acid and becomes very acidic, which can be caused by multiple things, including the absorption of casein found in animal protein. In order to compensate for this condition, the body actually leeches calcium out of its bones, this helps neutralize the increased acidity.

Animal protein in general has been shown to be harmful to human health, while plant protein shows the opposite. You can read more about that here in this heavily sourced article.

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Perhaps this is why multiple studies show that drinking milk from a cow leads to an increased mortality rate and actually makes bones more prone to fracturing, not less. One example would be this giant study from researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden.

This became known to me through the work of Dr. Colin Campbell, an American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long term health. He is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. Scholars like Campbell are vital to the world, because they are among the few who actually examine and study nutrition and health, something that our modern day medical industry completely ignores. You can watch a video of him explaining, here. Dr. Campbell also discovered that animal protein (casein) can accelerate and “turn on” cancer, while plant based protein has the opposite effect. You can read more about that and which him explain in this article.

If we look at all other animals who don’t consume the milk of another animal or after weaning, it is because they do not have the enzymes to break down the sugar found in milk. We are no different, and this explains why in some ethnic populations around the world, lactose intolerance is present in 90 percent of the population. A staggering 70 percent of the world’s population has some degree of lactose intolerance. Humans actually never had this enzyme, and to digest the sugar in cow’s milk, we had to develop the LTC gene, which was acquired by mutation. This is the lactase gene, which allows us to process lactose as adults. Clearly, we are not doing what is natural and in accordance with our bodies. I first came across this information from Katherine S. Pollard, a PhD at the University of California, San Francisco, in this lecture.

More doctors are waking up, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) recently submitted a citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change labeling on cheese to include a cancer warning.

The petition states:

High-fat dairy products, such as cheese, are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. Components in dairy such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and other growth hormones may be among the reasons for the increased risk for cancer.

To ensure that Americans understand the potential significant risks, and resulting long-term costs, of consuming dairy cheese products, the FDA should ensure that the notice above is prominently placed on product packaging and labeling for all dairy cheese products.

The list goes on and on, what’s presented in this article is simply a tidbit with regards to why big milk is going out of business. People are waking up. It’s just not necessary.

Perhaps the biggest indication that people are waking up is the fact that Dean foods, the largest milk producer in the United States has filed for bankruptcy. You can read more about that here.

When it comes to health and cruelty, it’s not just dairy, it’s also meat-eating as well. It’s very in-humane, not all that healthy, and is also destroying our planet.

You can read this article for more information about that: Another Study Suggests That Human Beings Are Not Designed To Eat Meat

Let’s not forget about that animal agriculture is also destroying our planet. There is simply nothing good about dairy, period. It’s truly hard to make an argument in favour of it.

The Takeaway

Why are human beings forced into believing things that aren’t true, and that ruthlessly defend them so much? It’s because our consciousness is used against us, and with regards to various topics, we’ve been made to believe the opposite of truth for the purposes of control, profit, greed and ego. Many may have a hard time accepting that our federal health regulatory agencies, or big corporations for example can be so corrupt, but they are. The positive thing is that many truths are not surfacing, as truth cannot stay hidden for long. We live in a world with beautiful people, and there are many great things about our planet. Compassion and empathy are returning to our planet, and that’s the backbone as to why the dairy industry continues to struggle. Let’s keep the awareness going! How have we been made to believe that it’s ok to treat other lifeforms in the manner that we treat them?

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The US Tried To Detonate A Nuke On The Moon – USAF Colonel Says ‘Someone’ Intervened When We Did

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Documents as well as witness testimony from high ranking people with verified backgrounds point to the idea that extraterrestrials have tampered with and disarmed our nuclear weapons on more than one occasion.

  • Reflect On:

    With so much corroborating evidence, it's clear that something is going on which is why the mainstream has started to take this seriously. But why are stories like this never presented by the mainstream, are they trying to control the narrative?

Did the United States try and detonate a nuclear weapon on the Moon? Well, there is a slew of declassified documents that clearly show it was a deep desire for the United States to do so. These documents were heavily classified, and you can be assured that if the United States did, or at least did attempt what they were planning to do, it would remain highly classified and away from public knowledge. A declassified report by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center from June 1959 shows just how seriously they considered the plan. It was called Project A119, and it outlines the desire of the government to investigate the capability of weapons in space, as well as gain further insight into the space environment and the detonation of nuclear devices within it, hence why they wanted to detonate a nuke on the Moon.

Again, it’s s just one of multiple documents that show a high level of interest with regards to detonating weapons on the Moon. There are even strange documents with regards to supposed bases on the Moon. To complement the disclosed desire is the testimony of a very interesting person, Colonel Ross Dedrickson. Dedrickson was a real whistleblower, meaning his background can be verified, he actually was who he says he was. In the episode below we present multiple documents that show this, including a list from the Air Force registrar as well as a document from the atomic energy commission. He is one of hundreds of high ranking people to discuss and share his experiences with UFOs and what he knows and extraterrestrials. He is one of many who specially worked close with nuclear weapons.

He was assigned to the US Atomic Energy Commission and served with them from 1950-1958. His job dealt with the administration duties at Nevada test sites, Pacific Nuclear Test Areas west of Hawaii, nuclear weapon manufacturing and quality assurance in Albuquerque, and inspection of nuclear and non-nuclear facilities throughout the country.

In our latest episode of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, founder Joe Martino and I go in deeper into the discussion of the desire of the United States to test nuclear weapons on the Moon for scientific purposes, measurements and such. We also present the video testimony of Ross Dedrickson, which show his claims that yes, the US did attempt transporting nuclear weapons to the Moon, but extraterrestrials destroyed the weapon before it they got there, according to him. We go deep into the connection between nuclear weapons and UFOs and provide more evidence in the form of documentation and witness testimony from more high ranking military personnel , as well as dive deeper into the discussion about possible extraterrestrials and their interest in our nuclear weapons as it seems that, on more than one occasion, they’ve destroyed and or deactivated these weapons of ours.

The clip below is just the introduction, for the full episode and hundreds of other inspiring shows and interviews, you can start a free 7-day trial on CETV today and watch it. We created this platform in an attempt to stay alive and allow us to continue to do what we do as we are experiencing tremendous amounts of censorship from social media platforms

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Princeton Study: The U.S. Is Not ‘Losing’ Its Democracy, It’s Already Long Gone

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A Princeton University study found that the United States operates much more as an Oligarchy than as a Democracy.

  • Reflect On:

    Can the current system be fixed or do we need to walk away from it to get what we really want?

The notion that citizens of the United States don’t actually live in a democracy has been picking up steam for decades, with scars from economic, social and political decay inflicting themselves ever more deeply into our psyches as the years move on.

You would think that, with the rise of science and technology, we would have been able to build a far more prosperous nation. Instead, we have seen a vast reduction in our standard of living, and are being forced to work longer and harder in increasingly menial and unfulfilling jobs across the board. We are ever more being subjected to the control-hungry vicissitudes of mega-corporations that are swallowing up American entrepreneurship and prosperous self-employment.

The notion that we as individuals are failing ourselves as a nation, and somehow have earned the massive and growing national debt as a result of our own poor decisions and ineptitude, is only valid if you still believe that we are living in a democracy, where the majority of individuals directly make policy. If in fact the United States ever fully operated this way, the least we can say is that our democracy is currently broken.

Of course, if you are in the small coterie of economic elites at the top of the pyramid, you don’t feel that anything is broken. In fact, in the back rooms where all the important meetings take place, you likely spend part of the time congratulating each other because things are going exactly according to plan.

Princeton Study

A study by two political scientists at Princeton and Northwestern, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, analyzed 1,779 recent policy outcomes found that “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” while average citizens “have little or no independent influence.”

The research had two parts: First, they measured the amount of political influence various groups have in America. Then, they checked this against some technical definitions of democracy, oligarchy, and other forms of government.

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In our latest episode of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, Joe Martino and I discuss this study and the broader notion of whether the system itself is simply broken and can be fixed, or if we should start thinking about how we can move away from it altogether. The opening clip is below, and for the full episode and hundreds of other inspiring shows and interviews, you can start a free 7-day trial on CETV today.

The Wealthy Have More Influence

The chart below shows how much political influence different groups have in America today. Not only do the wealthy have the most influence, ordinary voters have basically none.

To have “political influence” in this case means that Congress responds to you by passing the laws and policies you like. Low influence means you’re ignored — Congress passes laws that have no relationship to what you want.

Special interest groups also have sway over public policy. The researchers divided them into two types. “Mass” interest groups, which represent large groups of organized citizens, have a small amount of power. Business groups, like trade associations, have a moderate amount, likely because they can afford to spend more on lobbying and political donations.

None of this means that ordinary people never get what they want from Congress. Sometimes public opinion data matched up with things Congress actually did. However the vast majority were also outcomes favored by the wealthy and business interests. Statistically speaking, the government doesn’t care what 90% of Americans think.

America Is an Oligarchy

The authors defined four possible systems we might have: (1) democracy, (2) oligarchy, or semi-democratic systems dominated by (3) interest groups generally or (4) business groups especially. You can look at the chart below and judge for yourself: America in 2014 matches mostly with the oligarchy model — an oligarchy of wealthy individuals. In fact, the general public has even less influence than it does in a typical oligarchy model.

The problem here isn’t the existence of wealth, or that wealthy Americans have political opinions. It’s that the government is representing only 10% of the American people. Everyone else is living with something less than democracy.

The authors make the following observations: Organized groups regularly lobby and fraternize with public officials; move through revolving doors between public and private employment; provide self-serving information to officials; draft legislation; and spend a great deal of money on election campaigns.

At its heart, this is a problem of corruption – caused by money in our political system. Such corruption is fundamentally opposed to the ideals of our republic because “the public is likely to be a more certain guardian of its own interests than any feasible alternative.”

The Takeaway

While some might argue that introducing new campaign finance laws as well as anti-corruption legislation is the answer, we have to remember that the foxes remain in charge of the hen house, and there is always resistance from lawmakers to introduce, implement, and enforce legislation that will reduce their power and ultimately find them guilty of having obtained their power through corrupt means. More than likely this problem will only get solved when we amass the collective will to walk away from this system, and create one that is more aligned with our values and aspirations.

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