Oligarchy is a word often thrown about with little regard for what it actually means.
It refers to a small group of people holding disproportionate control over an organisation, or a country or an institution.
So it's a bit alarming if a Nobel prize winning economist suggests the United States is becoming one.
In a recent interview at the Economic Policy Institute, MIT professor Robert Solow talked about inequality and the increasing concentration of wealth :
If that kind of concentration of wealth continues, then we get to be more and more an oligarchical country, a country that's run from the top.
Inheritance plays a much bigger role than earned wealth and meritocratic wealth, so you get not only real danger to democratic institutions, but you get it concentrated in families and that's a regression.
He asked in his interview:
Wouldn’t it be interesting if the United States were to become the land of the free, the home of the brave, and the last refuge of increasing inequality at the top and perhaps also at the bottom?
Would that work for you?
Watch the full video, below:
HT The Atlantic