What signs indicate a representative democracy has shifted towards oligarchy?

We know representative democracy has shifted toward oligarchy ...

* when Congress repeals the Glass-Steagall Act, a law enacted to protect the people from the unscrupulous acts of financiers.

* when the result of the repeal of Glass-Steagall is outrageous financial manipulation that damned near destroyed the world economy.

* when not a single one of the financiers who perpetrated this horror on the people was ever arrested or convicted for their crimes.

* when the Federal Reserve, an arm of the government, steals from the people who have striven to accumulate financial reserves for their family's welfare by reducing interest rates to zero to aid the financiers who created the catastrophe and letting them plunder the public using zero-cost money.

* when the Federal Reserve Board forces a 2% inflation rate on the nation, knowing that inflation is always at the expense of the poor whose meager assets dwindle over time, for the benefit of the rich, whose real and fixed assets are inflated and grow with each passing day.

* when 78.9% of the people disapprove of the job their Congress is doing, but 95% of the members of Congress are repeatedly re-elected. because the people have no options; the elites that control the political parties control the selection of the candidates for Congress.

* when the Congress enacts laws that give 'intellectual property rights' to corporations that have no intellect.

* when the Congress extends those 'intellectual property rights' in a way that prevents competition and lets the corporations impose a tax on every citizen by overpricing their products.

* when the political parties use "party whips" to force members of Congress to vote as their party dictates, not as their constituents want, showing that the political system is controlled by the financial elites that pay the party's bills.

* when no-one is allowed to talk about the simple, obvious solution of imposing a progressive tax on gross receipts, a tax that increases in rate when gross receipts increase, a tax that forces the break-up of companies that are "Too Big To Fail", a tax that builds a cost umbrella under which smaller companies (that hire proportionally many more people in their operations) can flourish, a tax that encourages the largest corporations to fight inflation to prevent an automatic tax increase, we can be sure the oligarchs are protecting themselves from the one control they can't defeat.

* when we look around and say to ourselves, "What can I do to correct the flaws in our government?" and realize we have no way to actually influence the political system, then we know our representative government has been taken over by financial elites (called oligarchs).

Fred Gohlke