Talk:United States

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q1. How did the article get the way it is?
Detailed discussions which led to the current consensus can be found in the archives of Talk:United States. Several topical talk archives are identified in the infobox to the right. A complete list of talk archives can be found at the top of the Talk:United States page.
Q2. Why is the article's name "United States" and not "United States of America"?
Isn't United States of America the official name of the U.S.? I would think that United States should redirect to United States of America, not vice versa as is the current case.
This has been discussed many times. Please review the summary points below and the discussion archived at the Talk:United States/Name page. The most major discussion showed a lack of consensus to either change the name or leave it as the same, so the name was kept as "United States".
If, after reading the following summary points and all the discussion, you wish to ask a question or contribute your opinion to the discussion, then please do so at Talk:United States. The only way that we can be sure of ongoing consensus is if people contribute.
Reasons and counterpoints for the article title of "United States":
  • "United States" is in compliance with the Wikipedia "Naming conventions (common names)" guideline portion of the Wikipedia naming conventions policy. The guideline expresses a preference for the most commonly used name, and "United States" is the most commonly used name for the country in television programs (particularly news), newspapers, magazines, books, and legal documents, including the Constitution of the United States.
    • Exceptions to guidelines are allowed.
  • If we used "United States of America", then to be consistent we would have to rename all similar articles. For example, rename "United Kingdom" to "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" or Mexico to "United Mexican States".
    • Exceptions to guidelines are allowed. Articles are independent from one another. No rule says articles have to copy-cat each other.
    • This argument would be valid only if "United States of America" was a particularly uncommon name for the country.
  • With the reliability, legitimacy, and reputation of all Wikimedia Foundation projects under constant attack, Wikipedia should not hand a weapon to its critics by deviating from the "common name" policy traditionally used by encyclopedias in the English-speaking world.
    • Wikipedia is supposed to be more than just another encyclopedia.
Reasons and counterpoints for the article title of "United States of America":
  • It is the country's official name.
    • The country's name is not explicitly defined as such in the Constitution or in the law. The words "United States of America" only appear three times in the Constitution. "United States" appears 51 times by itself, including in the presidential oath or affirmation. The phrase "of America" is arguably just a prepositional phrase that describes the location of the United States and is not actually part of the country's name.
  • The whole purpose of the common naming convention is to ease access to the articles through search engines. For this purpose the article name "United States of America" is advantageous over "United States" because it contains the strings "United States of America" and "United States." In this regard, "The United States of America" would be even better as it contains the strings "United States," The United States," "United States of America," and "The United States of America."
    • The purpose of containing more strings is to increase exposure to Wikipedia articles by increasing search rank for more terms. Although "The United States of America" would give you four times more commonly used terms for the United States, the United States article on Wikipedia is already the first result in queries for United States of America, The United States of America, The United States, and of course United States.
Q3. Is the United States really the oldest constitutional republic in the world?
1. Isn't San Marino older?
Yes. San Marino was founded before the United States and did adopt its basic law on 8 October 1600. ( Full democracy was attained there with various new electoral laws in the 20th century which augmented rather than amended the existing constitution.

2. How about Switzerland?

Yes, but not continuously. The first "constitution" within Switzerland is believed to be the Federal Charter of 1291 and most of modern Switzerland was republican by 1600. After Napoleon and a later civil war, the current constitution was adopted in 1848.

Many people in the United States are told it is the oldest republic and has the oldest constitution, however one must use a narrow definition of constitution. Within Wikipedia articles it may be appropriate to add a modifier such as "oldest continuous, federal ..." however it is more useful to explain the strength and influence of the US constitution and political system both domestically and globally. One must also be careful using the word "democratic" due to the limited franchise in early US history and better explain the pioneering expansion of the democractic system and subsequent influence.

The component states of the Swiss confederation were mostly oligarchies in the eighteenth century, however, much tighter than most of the United States, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Connecticut excepted.
Q4. Isn't St. Augustine, Florida the first European settlement in the United States?
Technically, yes. However, Florida was not one of the original 13 colonies that formed the United States and thus the article mentions Jamestown and not St. Augustine.
This decision has been disputed and no explicit consensus has ever been formed on this question.
If you wish to challenge this decision, please do so on the Talk:United States page.
Q5. Why are the Speaker of the House and Chief Justice listed as leaders in the infobox? Shouldn't it just be the President and Vice President?
The President, Vice President, Speaker of The House of Representatives, and Chief Justice are stated within the United States Constitution as leaders of their respective branches of government. As the three branches of government are equal, all four leaders get mentioned under the "Government" heading in the infobox.
Q6. Why are the President's, Vice President's, and Speaker's parties listed, but not the Chief Justice's?
Though the Chief Justice of the United States may belong to a political party, his or her office is a judicial appointment, not an elected office. Therefore, the Chief Justice's party is not included when referencing him or her. (E.g. John Roberts is a Republican, but he is not referenced as John Roberts (R).)
Q7. What is the motto of the United States?
There was no de jure motto of the United States until 1956, when "In God We Trust" was made such. Various other unofficial mottos existed before that, most notably "E Pluribus Unum". The debate continues on what "E Pluribus Unum"'s current status is (de facto motto, traditional motto, etc.) but it has been determined that it never was an official motto of the United States.
Q8. Is the U.S. really the world's largest economy?
Yes. The United States has been the world's largest national economy since the Gilded Age and the world's largest economy since 2014, when it surpassed the European Union.
Q9. Isn't it incorrect to refer to it as "America" or its people as "American"?
In English, America (when not preceded by "North", "Central", or "South") almost always refers to the United States. The large super-continent is called the Americas.
Q10. Why isn't the treatment of Native Americans given more weight?
The article is written in summary style and the independence and expansion section summarizes the situation.
Good articleUnited States has been listed as one of the Geography and places good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Did You KnowOn this day... Article milestones
December 15, 2005Good article nomineeListed
May 7, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
May 8, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
May 18, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
July 3, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 21, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
June 19, 2007Featured article candidateNot promoted
July 9, 2008Good article reassessmentKept
June 27, 2009Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 6, 2009Peer reviewReviewed
January 19, 2011Peer reviewReviewed
March 18, 2012Good article reassessmentDelisted
August 10, 2012Good article nomineeNot listed
January 21, 2015Good article nomineeListed
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on February 3, 2015.
The text of the entry was: Did you know [...] that the United States accounts for 37% of all global military spending?
On this day... A fact from this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on July 4, 2008.
Current status: Good article

America > United States ???[edit]

What?! I have a "Music Trivia Game" on Facebook. Today's question, #446, was "Who wrote the song, 'America'?" The answer on the game card was Dr. Samuel Francis Smith (which probably nobody is going to know), but somebody answered "Paul Simon". This surprised me, though after a few seconds I supposed that yes, Simon would have enough nerve to use that title. So I went to Wikipedia to look for info on this song before replying to the person who gave the "wrong" answer, entered "America" and... wound up at "United States"! Excuse me, but "America" should surely lead to a disambiguation page, with the USA, songs, seventies rock band (love that "Today's the Day"!), etc. I'm pretty sure this must have come up here before, possibly several times with possible strong disagreement – so what's the word on this? Who on earth would insist on "America"'s directing here? How on earth was consensus reached on this (if it was)? Thanks. –Roy McCoy (talk) 17:44, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

America has a disambiguation page America (disambiguation) linked to at the top of the article, this then gives you a link to America (Simon & Garfunkel song). Just some up loads of discussion in English the term America is a common name for the United States hence the redirect to here. MilborneOne (talk) 18:02, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
Lots of terms are common names for lots of things, but that doesn't necessarily justify a redirect such as this one. I'm a seventy-year-old US citizen, so I don't need to be informed that "America" is a common name for the United States. Where's the indication of consensus? Discussion can be continued in any event, and a new consensus can be established if necessary (and if possible, of course). If this keeps coming up, it's for a reason. I suppose it's likely that this page is occupied by one or a couple of America > United States enthusiasts, in which case, if anyone opposed to this is (still) around, they should chime in now. I'll check for possible discussion at the "America" talk page before closing here, and... it redirects to here. That's weird, but indicates that this is the place for related discussion. Thanks. –Roy McCoy (talk) 18:24, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
There's nothing to fix here. This sort of redirect situation is very common in WP. "X" is a very common name for "Y", so WP has "X" redirect to "Y" to help the most readers; the fact that "X" is sometimes used for other things dosen't change its primary use; we have an "X (disambiguation)" page for those other things, which is noted at top of "Y". --A D Monroe III(talk) 19:33, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
Once again I'm being spoken to as if I had no idea what I'm talking about. I haven't personally dealt with redirects up to this point, rather than questioning one at... I can't even remember... uh... High Noon? It was some western... yes, The Searchers. I thought that should go to a disambiguation page too, not considering it all that obvious that the film trumped the Merseybeat group to the degree implied (love that "Needles and Pins-ah"!). Both, after all, were from a past era, and both are still remembered today. But anyway I know what a redirect is. And "America", aside from having more than merely occasional other uses, isn't even unitary as regards geography: there are six other Americas listed on the disambiguity page, and this doesn't include another one I'm aware of in Santiago de Cuba. A D Monroe III says there's nothing to fix. I say there is. That's a difference of opinion. But MilborneOne is apparently also of the America > United States camp, and no one else has come in on my side here, and the America > United States camp apparently won the last war on this, and I have no intention of devoting any significant amount of attention to it – so I suppose it will stand as it is (erroneously, in my opinion and that of others). I suspect, however, that a Google search will indicate that "America", aside from being somewhat controversial and offensive, is not equivalent to the other terms redirecting to this page. I'll do this now. Number of finds:
"citizen of the United States of America" – 3,220,000
"citizen of the United States" -"citizen of the United States of America" – 14,000,000
"citizen of the US" – 7,560,000
"citizen of the USA" – 1,610,000
(Note the first find here: "Mexicans and Canadians are Americans, and some of them object strenuously to equating 'American' to 'citizen of the USA'.")
And now let's try:
"citizen of America" – 6,650,000
That's more than I expected for "America" and so the Google search didn't bear me out as anticipated, though there's still a 4-to-1 preponderance of the US variants and "the United States" alone is more than twice as common as "America" here. The redirect is questionable regardless, any assertion to the contrary notwithstanding, but I don't intend to challenge it further in the absence of any other immediate opposition here. –Roy McCoy (talk) 22:27, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
We all understand that this, as most things on WP, has absolutely nothing to do with editors' opinions (nor Google searches), but only about what the RSs say. If they overwhelming use "America" to mean "US", then WP follows them; indeed, it must follow them, as any encyclopedia, by definition, reflects the most common well-sourced information as it currently stands without any attempt to ever "correct" it. Other wikis exist to do just that, but not WP. --A D Monroe III(talk) 17:03, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
There are purportedly reliable sources that are actually reliable and others that are not, and I would hope we all understood this also. But what are the purportedly reliable sources in this case? Have they actually been documented (they may well have), or is it just an "everybody knows that" kind of thing? The New Oxford American Dictionary in my Mac defines America primarily as "a landmass in the western hemisphere that consists of the continents of North and South America joined by the Isthmus of Panama", with "used as a name for the United States" appended below in second place. This is only the first source I have at hand and the one most immediately accessible to me, but I'm sure it's not the only one with such a primary definition of the term in question (which is and remains in question, if not actively here), and it strongly suggests the preferability of a disambiguation page rather than an immediate jump to this one. –Roy McCoy (talk) 17:25, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
There are also ways of measuring traffic patterns that are used in evidence of what people are looking for, as in determining that most people who type in "New York" are looking for the city not the state. Perhaps there has been a pushback by Oxford against US-centric definitions of terms. My copy of Fowler's Modern English Usage says that the use of "America" for "United States" is a matter of laziness rather than arrogance and that people should accept it, analogously as they accept "English" to mean a resident of Great Britain. Dhtwiki (talk) 00:15, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
But I don't accept that! As a matter of fact, I've never even heard of it. Scots have always been Scottish, in my experience. I don't have experience with Welshpeople, but I now see they're not good with this either. By the way, I think it's the Brazilians who protest "America/n" for the US and US American, more than the Canadians and Mexicans as suggested by the Google find above. I myself favor "Usonia/n". –Roy McCoy (talk) 00:54, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, it's been widely debated. The term "USonian" is also something of an ideological cause. It's interesting that French Wikipedia had a long debate about the French equivalent of "USonian," which failed. (The official term remains "American.") The Hispanic world has a different history and usage of the term "America" than the English-speaking and French-speaking realms. You have to accept that they are not the same. Mason.Jones (talk) 23:39, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
You can say I favor a different term – I don't have any problem with that – but don't misquote me. I wrote "Usonian", not "USonian". And this can be said to be a linguistic and not merely ideological preference, with Oxford openly approving the alternative term. I don't think it matters at all whether I conceal my opinion on this or not, but you're right at least in that there are things in languages that I don't like but nonetheless have to put up with, like flammable/inflammable, identical written forms for present and past tenses of "to read", etc. I'm still quite amazed, however, at your casual support for the contention that "English" means also "Welsh" and "Scottish". That, at least, still remains quite debatable, the granted lack of practical perspective for "Usonia/n" notwithstanding. The vastly preferable term is clearly "British", and in no way is "English" worthy of acceptance. –Roy McCoy (talk) 01:12, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
Whether Oxford approves the term isn't relevant. Actually, all French dictionaries "approve" of the alternate French term(s) as well, but that doesn't mean many French-speakers wish to use them. Your preference is a minority viewpoint, and one that English Wikipedia is unlikely to adopt soon. Mason.Jones (talk) 03:12, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
Noted! Thank you. Could you or someone else please explain to me what's been going on with Od Mishehu, by the way? I can't make it out. –Roy McCoy (talk) 03:22, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────"America" redirects to this page because this is the page most readers are looking for when they type in "America." That is in accordance with Wikipedia:Redirect. The redirect is not telling people what the term America should refer to. TFD (talk) 05:33, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 19 June 2019[edit]

. PaulGrasu' (talk) 13:43, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. aboideautalk 13:44, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Pre-foundation dates in infobox?[edit]

I noticed that listed on the infoboxes of many countries' articles are dates that long predate the foundation of the contemporary state, such as the dates of earliest human settlement and formation of predecessor state(s). Examples of this can be seen on the article infoboxes of Ukraine, Montenegro, Serbia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. Thus, I was wondering if we should do something similar here. Add references to earliest Native American settlement, formation of English/British colonies, things of that sort. An example can be something like "Settled by humans 12,000 BC", or some other things along those lines. – Illegitimate Barrister (talkcontribs), 09:08, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

I disagree...Note that United Kingdom is listed as 1535 (a rather useless date) France = Baptism of Clovis I in 496--also rather useless. Germany as 1871 [corresponds to 1776 for USA]. Let's just drop that very confusing factoid since the RS do not have a consensus. Rjensen (talk) 11:09, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

Great seal (reversed)[edit]

What does that great seal (reversed) mean? What do you mean reversed? Pizzasuperman (talk) 15:04, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

Reverse, not reversed. It means the back of the seal, the front is the obverse. Great Seal of the United States has more info. --Golbez (talk) 16:07, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict)You must be referring to the infobox caption, which reads Great Seal (reverse), not "reversed", which would require a correction. "Obverse" and "reverse" are terms that usually signify the "heads" and "tails" of a coin. For the US seal, the design of the reverse is only specified, not a part of the seal as used in practice. See Great Seal of the United States. Dhtwiki (talk) 16:13, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

Representative Democracy?[edit]

Following the Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering on June 27 2019 I deleted the reference to the USA being a representative democracy as the decision clearly states that it not need be so under the Constitution. My deletion was reverted with the suggestion that we need a discussion. So be it. I invite discussion. What are the grounds for describing the USA as a representative democracy? It clearly was not one before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and it is not clear that it is now if a) A president can be elected with many fewer votes than another Candidate, and b) Congress and other legislative bodies (example the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly) can be elected with large majorities that do not reflect political opinion within the collective electorate.

I deliberately did not attempt to provide an alternative description. Some international indexes have used the term "flawed democracy" but I am not sure that their standing is sufficient for Wikipedia so I left it blank. It is my contention that the person who reverted my post has effectively expressed an opinion which may not stand up to close examination.Wickifrank (talk) 16:33, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Representative democracy simply means that people with voting rights elect officials to represent them, and (unlike a direct democracy) do not themselves participate in the decision making. It does not mean that the political system is fair or that everyone has voting rights. One of the key criticisms on representative decocracies is that they are themselves a form of oligarchy:

  • "In his book Political Parties, written in 1911, Robert Michels argues that most representative systems deteriorate towards an oligarchy or particracy. This is known as the iron law of oligarchy.[1]"
  • "A drawback to this type of government is that elected officials are not required to fulfill promises made before their election and are able to promote their own self-interests once elected, providing an incohesive system of governance."[2]
  • "Legislators are also under scrutiny as the system of majority-won legislators voting for issues for the large group of people fosters inequality among the marginalized."[3] Dimadick (talk) 17:26, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
I was going to say something similar but not nearly as well researched. Dhtwiki (talk) 17:57, 27 June 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Zur Soziologie des Parteiwesens in der modernen Demokratie. Untersuchungen über die oligarchischen Tendenzen des Gruppenlebens (1911, 1925; 1970). Translated as Sociologia del partito politico nella democrazia moderna : studi sulle tendenze oligarchiche degli aggregati politici, from the German original by Dr. Alfredo Polledro, revised and expanded (1912). Translated, from the Italian, by Eden and Cedar Paul as Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy (Hearst's International Library Co., 1915; Free Press, 1949; Dover Publications, 1959); republished with an introduction by Seymour Martin Lipset (Crowell-Collier, 1962; Transaction Publishers, 1999, ISBN 0-7658-0469-7); translated in French by S. Jankélévitch, Les partis politiques. Essai sur les tendances oligarchiques des démocraties, Brussels, Editions de l'Université de Bruxelles, 2009 (ISBN 978-2-8004-1443-0).
  2. ^ Sørensen, Eva (2015). "Enhancing policy innovation by redesigning representative democracy". American Political Science Review – via ebscohost.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Thaa, Winfried (2016). "Issues and images – new sources of inequality in current representative democracy". Critical Review of International Social & Political Philosophy. 19 (3).

The phrase used in the article is " It is a representative democracy, "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law" ". This expressly refers to "Majority Rule" . The SCOTUS ruling is that this need not be the outcome of an election in the USA and that a minority ruling over a majority is acceptable even when it is the consequence of a decision made by that very minority. I do not think the description can be allowed to stand any more than one describing the moon as being made of blue cheese.Wickifrank (talk) 21:08, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

I disagree that the SCOTUS ruling requires the article to drop "representative democracy". While I do agree with the “tendency to oligarchy” analysis above, the most recent holding is flawed because the issues brought before the court were flawed. The recent litigants on gerrymandering challenged the practice on the basis of “uncompetitive political parties” in districts as defined by social science metrics.
But districts defined by “political community” metrics are required by the U.S. Constitution Art. IV, Sec. 4, “The U.S. shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government” , which may or may not produce “uncompetitive party” political landscapes. At Art. II, Sec. 4, there may be Congressional regulation of federal elections, “at any time by law”.
The 1776 Patriots in state legislatures and the 1788 Founders for the Congress agreed with John Locke: a)The people have a right to be distinctly represented as communities, and b) society should be represented in an equal and proportionate manner by population alone, or at the time, the general principle from imperial colonial times had been variously modified by property in farming, commerce or slavery.
However, c) American Patriots had seen the king’s party influence over Parliament’s elections, and they knew that the just power in a legislature is “only to make laws, and not to make legislators”; and d) the king’s partisan legislators who were financially rewarded from “rotten boroughs”, who gave their votes before they examined and debated a measure, were, in John Locke's phrase, “not capable” of freely acting in the public good. (See “Two Treatises sec. 141, 158, 222) TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:01, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
The U.S. is a "representative democracy". We see the U.S. has repeatedly sought to overturn undemocratic and unrepresentative districts fashioned by self-serving state majorities who sought permanent partisan dominance, a decade gerrymander at a time, decade after decade, and sometimes enshrined in their state constitutions.
At various times previously, Congressional Districts were by law to be (a) “contiguous” (Jackson Ds 1842), (b) “compact” (Lincoln Rs 1872), (b) “equal population” (R- & D-Progressives 1911), plus “respect local boundaries” (two most recent House bills). (For 21st century US, see “one-man-one-vote” SCOTUS rulings that conformed to the 1911 legislation passed into law but never enforced by Congress.)
— Further, Art. II, Sec. 5, “Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members” . . . the manner of elections and “under such penalties as each House may provide.” Thus in a technical sense, SCOTUS reaffirmed that the House of Representatives may choose not to seat members elected from either (a) unlawful districts or (b) not compliant with House rules.
— Either the law or House rules may require districts for its membership that are (a) “community based”, respecting local boundaries, without snaking down corridors along highways slicing through multiple counties; (b) “compact”, with tendril off-shoots of odd-shaped precincts and census tracts; and (c) “contiguous”, without jumping rivers multiple times to aggregate partisan turnout among slices of unrelated cities and counties.
The House procedural rule may require the vote to seat a candidate in a contested district by a quorum “of a majority” to prohibit seating any Member carrying the election vote in an unqualified district. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:01, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
It meets the historic definition of representative democracy, even if it falls short of our modern ideals. It's not as if the legislators were appointed or hereditary. TFD (talk) 16:51, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
This source says the United States is no longer a democracy: American Democracy Has Been Eclipsed There is today no institutional counterpower to a presidential tyrant. Bernard E. Harcourt (February 21, 2019) Cmguy777 (talk) 22:44, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
  • "The United States, at this moment, is no longer a democracy, conventionally understood as a political regime of majoritarian popular rule with counter-majoritarian checks. All three branches of US government are now formally counter-majoritarian. There is today no institutional counterpower to a presidential tyrant."
  • "This moment presents a constitutional crisis for the American people."
  • "In rare circumstances, all three branches of government can be counter-majoritarian. At that moment, there is no longer democratic rule."
  • "That is precisely what has happened."
  • "Thus, the majority of the American people are no longer formally represented by any branch of the government."
The above are quotes from the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:44, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
One article doesn't overturn centuries of scholarship. --Golbez (talk) 03:51, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
for such a dramatic conclusion we can expect many leading experts a) agreeing with him, and a lot fewer b) disagreeing. The latest google shows a = zero and b =zero. for the period since Feb 23 2019 when Harcourt's article appeared, google says: No results found for "The United States, at this moment, is no longer a democracy" Harcourt Zero people repeat Harcourt's claim and therefore Wiki should not do so. It resembles that what a fringe theory would get. Rjensen (talk) 05:25, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
Aside from a Google search or popularity contest why is Harcourt wrong ? Research has shown that only 10 percent of the wealthy get representation in Congress. I thought the article was interesting. It did not seem fringe to me. I am not promoting Hartcourt though. Is everyone in America getting representation in Congress ? Wealth does not affect politics ? Cmguy777 (talk) 03:24, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── None of that is the point. If no one is talking about Harcourt's article, then to modify this article based on it would constitute original research. We can only care about it if other reputable sources say we should. Same for all the other articles - their mere existence is insufficient. I mean, I agree with it all on a personal, emotional, and even intellectual level - but it's absolutely insufficient to modify an encyclopedia over. --Golbez (talk) 04:36, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia wants reliable sources. Why is Harcourt's article unreliable ? It is not original research to use a reliable article in this article. What Wikipedia policy says: "We can only care about it if other reputable sources say we should." Where is that in Wikipedia policy ? Would someone please tell me why Harcourt is fringe, unreliable, or wrong ? Harcourt is a web article. Not a book. Cmguy777 (talk) 06:04, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
The article's reliability is not something for us to decide. That's for third-party sources. WP:RS, WP:IS are the applicable policies. --Golbez (talk) 15:42, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
The three other sources I gave indirectly support Harcourt. My question on reliablity is whether the source is pushing and agenda, political and/or social, or objectively researching the government. Bernard Harcourt has a wikipedia aritcle. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:27, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps, but again - even 4 sources can't overturn centuries of scholarship. We can't take the lead on this. When textbooks, newspapers, etc. start universally switching over to a new understanding of the government, then we can follow. Not sooner. If one article isn't sufficient for them, why should it be sufficient for us? --Golbez (talk) 17:33, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
First research can change overtime. Age of a source does matter on Wikipedia. Age matters All Wikipedia requires is that the source is reliable. Where in the Wikipedia guidelines does it say third-party sources verify reliablity of sources or that reliable sources are only found in text books and newspapers? Reliable sources Bernard E. Harcourt is an Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law faculty member at Columbia University. He has authored books. Is Harcourt fringe ? Wikipedia:Fringe theories The Cambridge study shows that a minority of wealthy people are represented in Congress and people who are not wealthy do not get represented. The Huffington Post web article said people feel they are not represented in Congress. Again, I am not pushing any agenda but the above articles are worthy of discussion and could represent a reliable change in research. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:12, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
First, "Age of a source does matter" doesn't make sense in the context of what else you're saying. Secondly, you're arguing ad hominem. Harcourt holds a named chair endowed by rich folk and that makes him more credible? That just makes the Donald's tweets more credible, because he's rich too (FSVO). Thirdly, Harcourt says the government is anti-majoritarian. How does he know? What dismayingly low percentage of voters puts any of them in office; and what is he going by: polling data? Only individual self-delusion seems more anti-majoritarian than that. Dhtwiki (talk) 17:48, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
How reliable is Harcourt? on his recent book the Washington Post reviewer states: "In the end, however, readers are likely to be left unsatisfied. Harcourt works a little too hard to make everything fit. Apparent contradictions and internal disagreements about counterinsurgency strategies are dismissed: Harcourt acknowledges, for instance, heated debates within national security circles about whether drone strikes are a counterinsurgency tactic, but he blithely dismisses this...." online review in Wash Post Note that his article did not appear in a scholarly journal where articles have to pass review by editors and anonymous scholars.--it's n a far-left political magazine The Nation. Rjensen (talk) 19:19, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
I was responding to Golbez "overturn centuries of scholarship" Wikipedia says the age of source matters and I gave a Wikipedia link.Age matters Harcourts article was published February 21, 2019, not a century ago. Wikipedia wants articles to have updated sources. I am not defending Harcourt. Yes. The Washington Post reviewer has a negative review of Harcourts book. But reviewers are suppose to be critical to a certain extant. That is their job. It appears that Hartcourt seems to be motivated by some political ideology. Not that is bad in itself, but his objectivity may be in question. Maybe this is an ongoing issue that needs more clarifiation from another source or sources. Thanks for the discussion. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:56, 7 July 2019 (UTC)