Wealth inequality in the United States is detrimental to democracy (Bibliography)


Support for Democracy in the Age of Rising Inequality and Population Aging (2023)

This article argues that advanced democracies face a dual crisis of rising inequality and population aging, which jointly put pressure on welfare regime sustainability. Particularly vulnerable are young people and the elderly in the context of these structural changes. As a result, young people and senior citizens in advanced democracies are increasingly focused on economic equality, which in turn undermines their support for democracy in its current form that prioritizes liberal economic policies. Survey data collected between 2010 and 2020 support the argument. Regardless of the political issues on which they differ, young and old appear to share similar views on what constitutes an ideal democracy.

Systematic Inequality and American Democracy (2022). While the nation has undoubtedly made progress, entrenched structural racism continues to corrupt American democracy and preserve racial inequality.

The US Inequality Debate (2023). Inequality can also weaken democracy and give rise to authoritarian movements. President Joe Biden has pledged to reduce economic inequality with new social spending financed by higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, but he faces opposition from those who say his plans go too far.

U.N. warns that runaway inequality is destabilizing the world’s democracies (2020)

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens (2014).

Inequality is a threat to our democracy  (2017)

How Inequality Undermines Democracy (2016)

When Does Inequality Threaten Democracy? (2017)

Growing Inequality is a Threat to Democracy (2016)


Relative Policy Support and Coincidental Representation

Remember that study saying America is an oligarchy? 3 rebuttals say it’s wrong.

Has Wealth Inequality Eroded U.S. Democracy?

Wealth Inequality and Democracy (2017). What do we know about wealth inequality and democracy? Our review shows that the simple conjectures that democracy produces wealth equality and that wealth inequality leads to democratic failure are not supported by the evidence. Why are democracy and high levels of wealth inequality sustainable together? Three key features of democratic politics can make this outcome possible. When societies are divided along cleavages other than wealth, this can inhibit the adoption of wealth-equalizing policies. Likewise, voter preferences for the redistribution of wealth depend on the beliefs they form about the fairness of these measures, and some voters without wealth may feel that redistribution is unfair. Finally, wealth-equalizing policies may be absent if the democratic process is captured by the rich; however, the evidence explaining when, where, and why capture accounts for variation in wealth inequality is less convincing than is often claimed. This phenomenon is a useful avenue for future research.

Why Inequality Does Not Undermine Democracy (2018)

Does Rising Inequality Threaten Democracy? (2017)


We Need to Preserve American Democracy. Here’s How to Do It. (2022)


Geographic inequality on the rise in the US (2023)

Can America escape its second Gilded Age? (2023)

Is Wealth Inequality Corroding American Democracy? (2021)