Exclusive - Martin Gilens & Benjamin Page Extended Interview Pt. 2

  • Aired:  04/30/14
  •  | Views: 23,188

Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page explain how a broad social movement might successfully reform America's corrupt political system. (5:36)

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Jon: WE'RE TALKING TO MARTIN

GILENS, WE'RE TALKINGTO YOU GUYS ABOUT THIS IDEA THAT

PEOPLE FEEL IN THEIR GUT BUTHAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO QUANTIFY

THAT THE ELITES CONTROL THESYSTEM.

WILL THERE BE AN ANALYSIS WHEREYOU CAN FIND OUT IF THAT

DIFFERENTIAL IS GROWING?

IF THEIR INFLUENCE IS GROWING ORIF, YOU KNOW, -- HOW DOES MONEY

EQUAL INFLUENCE AND CAN YOUQUANTIFY THAT?

>> WE CAN AND THAT'S PRETTY MUCHWHAT WE'VE BEEN TRYING TO DO.

THERE'S EVIDENCE IN OUR DATATHAT SUGGESTS GOVERNMENT HAS

BECOME MORE RESPONSIVE TOAFFLUENT INDIVIDUALS OVER THE

LAST 30 OR 40 YEARS.

THERE WAS NEVER A TIME WHENMIDDLE INCOME AMERICANS HAD SOME

SUBSTANTIAL INFLUENCE OVERGOVERNMENT POLICY MAKING.

>>Jon: RIGHT.>> SO, IT WAS NEVER A GREAT

SITUATION BUT IT HAS GOTTENWORSE.

>> Jon: LET ME ASK YOU -- THIS ITHINK IS AN IMPORTANT ONE.

YOU SAID YOU PICKED OUTLIKE 2,000 POLICY OPPORTUNITIES.

THERE A LARGE POOL OF SHAREDASSUMPTIONS THAT WE ALL SOMEWHAT

AGREE ON AT THIS POINT THATHELPS TO MITIGATE THOSE 2,000 --

IF YOU ARE TO FOCUS ON THOSE2,000 DOES THAT ARTICULATE A

GREATER DIVIDE THAN IF YOU ALSOFACTOR IN THAT WHICH WE DEGREE

UPON?

>> WOW. >> Jon: NO GOOD?

>> THAT WAS A COMPLICATEDQUESTION.

>> Jon: DO YOU GETWHAT I'M SAYING?

>> I THINK THE ANSWER IS THEREIS A LOT OF AGREEMENT.

>> THERE'S ABSOLUTELY A LOT OFAGREEMENT, AND THERE ARE AREAS

THERE'S ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY,THE DRUG WAR, WARS IN

GENERAL YOU DON'T REALLY SEE

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MIDDLE CLASSAMERICANS AND THE WEALTHY.

MAYBE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS.BUT YOU KNOW,

THE AFGHAN WAR IN THE EARLY WARWAS VERY POPULAR, IRAQ WAR IN

ITS LATER YEARS WAS UNUNPOPULAR.BUT, YOU DON'T SEE DIFFERENCES

ON THOSE KINDS OF ISSUES ONINCOME LEVELS.

>> Jon: BUT WHAT ABOUTSOMETHING IN TERMS OF, OK,

85% OF AMERICANS WOULD SAYBACKGROUND CHECKS ON GUNS

ACCORDING TO THE STUDIES WOULDLIKE THAT IMPLEMENTED. THERE'S

REALLY ONLY ONE ORGANIZATIONTHAT WORKS AGAINST IT.

THEY CERTAINLY DON'T SPEND --YOU KNOW, I'M SURE THERE ARE

OTHER THINGS THAT 85% OF THEPEOPLE WANT THAT INTEREST

GROUPS CANNOT STOP. WHY IS THATGROUP SO MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE

THAN OTHER LOBBYING GROUPS WHENA SUPERMAJORITY WOULD LIKE

TO ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING?

>> WELL, ONE REASON IS THAT THEANTI-GUN CONTROL FORCES OUTSPEND

THE GUN CONTROL FORCES BY ABOUT30 TO ONE.

>> Jon: IS IT A PURELY -- CANYOU DO A PURE STATISTICAL

ANALYSIS THAT THE AMOUNT OFMONEY YOU SPEND CAN EQUAL THE

AMOUNT OF INFLUENCE?

BECAUSE IN THESE LAST ELECTIONSTHE REPUBLICANS TRIED TO DEFEAT

BARACK OBAMA.

THEY SPENT MILLIONS AND MILLIONSAND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, THEY

LOST.

>> YEAH, AND THANK GOD THATMONEY ISN'T THE ONLY THING THAT

DETERMINES ELECTION OUTCOMES.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Jon: ALL RIGHT.

GETTING BACK TO WHAT YOU ARETALKING ABOUT.

SO, WHEN YOU SAY, WELL, WE CANDO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, IN SOME

RESPECTS IS THE ONE SPECTER THATHANGS OVER ALL OF THIS

REVOLUTION?

IN SOME REGARD WITH SOCIETIESISN'T THAT REALLY WHAT

ULTIMATELY THE ELITES THATCONTROL IT ARE TRYING TO

MITIGATE THROUGH CERTAIN POLICYCHANGES.

YOU TALK ABOUT THE TURN OF THECENTURY.

>> I WOULD PUT IT A LITTLE MORESOFTLY. I MEAN,

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SEE AREVOLUTION IN THE UNITED STATES,

I DON'T THINK, BUT UNEASE,PROTESTS --

>> Jon: DO YOU KNOW CLIVENBUNDY?

>> YOU'VE DONE A GOOD JOB ONHIM. I'VE WATCHED THAT.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> Jon: WHY THANK YOU, AND I'VE

AUDITED BOTH YOUR CLASSES.

LISTEN, BUT DO YOUUNDERSTAND WHAT I'M SAYING?

A LOT OF SAFETY NETS, SOCIALSECURITY, A LOT OF THE NEW DEAL

HELPED MITIGATE THE INFLUENCE OFCOMMUNISM WHERE IT TOOK

OVER IN CERTAIN AREAS.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.>> Jon: AND THAT'S MY POINT.

THAT THE THREAT OF THATTYPE OF UPRISING.

>> THAT'S RIGHT. IT'S TRUE. AND

IN THE 30s WERE A LOT OF THREATSFROM FATHER COUGHLIN AS WELL

AS ON THE FAR LEFT AND SO FORTH.UM, I THINK IT'S RIGHT, AND

THAT'S WHY I SAY A BROAD SOCIALMOVEMENT IS THE START.

A LOT OF UPSET PEOPLE, MAYBE NOTREVOLUTION, BUT ANGRY PEOPLE --

>> Jon: BUT ISN'T THAT, COULDN'TYOU -- YOU KNOW, AND I'M

GATHERING FROM WHAT YOU GUYS ARETALKING ABOUT THAT

YOU DON'T AGREE WITH IT, ISN'TTHAT THE TEA PARTY?

ISN'T THE TEA PARTY A LARGESOCIAL MOVEMENT OF A LOT OF

UPSET PEOPLE AND WHAT ARE THEYOFFSETTING IN TERMS OF THE

MONEYED ELITES THEN?

>> WELL, YES AND NO.

THEY ARE A FAIR NUMBER OF PEOPLEBUT THERE'S A TON OF MONEY

BEHIND IT.

>> Jon: SO THIS HAS TO BEPEOPLE WITH NO MONEY.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> THIS HAS TO BE AVERAGE PEOPLE

IN THE SOCIAL MOVEMENT.

BUT ALSO YOU NEED -- ABSOLUTELY,I THINK, YOU NEED SOME AFFLUENT

PROFESSIONALS, SOME BUSINESSPEOPLE WHO ARE TIRED OF BEING

HIT FOR CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS,

PEOPLE WHO JUST DON'T LIKE ACORRUPT POLITICAL SYSTEM.

>> Jon: WHAT WOULD BE THECRITICAL MASS, THOUGH, OF

SOMETHING LIKE THAT WHEN YOU SAYA MOVEMENT SUCH AS THAT?

DOES IT HAVE TO BE A MAJORITYMOVEMENT OR DOES IT JUST HAVE

TO BE A MOVEMENT LARGE ENOUGHTO CAUSE FEAR IN

THE ELECTION OR INTERRUPTIONIN THE ELECTION PROCESS?

>> I THINK IT HAS TO BE AMAJORITY. AND AGAIN,

I'M THINKING ABOUT THEPROGRESSIVE PERIOD AND THERE YOU

HAD LEADERS IN BOTH POLITICALPARTIES.

LIKE TEDDY ROOSEVELT WASEXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND

WOODROW WILSON. AND YOU HADA LOT OF PROFESSIONALS,

QUITE A FEW BUSINESS PEOPLE WHOWERE REALLY SICK OF

CORRUPT POLITICS.USED TO BE THAT THE SENATORS

WERE ON THE PAYROLL OFCORPORATIONS.

>> Jon: BOY THAT HAS CHANGED.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> THEY TEND NOT TO BE ON THE

PAYROLL NOW.

>> Jon: UNTIL THEY RETIRE.>> YES.

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