Is It Inevitable?

A (reasonably) well-functioning democracy in the U S is under siege. If extreme and rising inequality has not caused that threat, it certainly makes it worse.                             Angus Deaton, in The Threat of Inequality, Scientific American, Sept. 2016

The gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” has always existed throughout the world. But a democratic government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. Common ground and common good. So one question about inequality in the U S is: Is it inevitable, even in an American democracy?

It must be acknowledged that democracy in the U S today is not functioning well. The cause of this poor functioning of course will be debated. However, the belief that inequality makes it worse seems difficult to debate. Today it is apparent that inequality is a threat to American democracy.

Although the inequality in today’s U S democracy is documented and well known, doing something about it doesn’t seem to be a high priority in some parts of US politics. Or in some parts of the voting public. The “have nots” are likely to want to do something, but have little political power. The “haves’, do have political power, but may not notice or may not care. What are the causes of inequality in America? Can the United States expect American democracy to do something about inequality?

I don’t pretend to know the answers to those questions. Inequality has always existed in the United States. In fact, American democracy started out very poorly in terms of equality. Maybe we are asking the wrong questions.  Maybe the question we should be asking is:     Who cares — enough to do something about it?


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  1. betsy collard says:

    It was great to see you last night and thanks for this. I agree about the inequality that exists and how it is not right but I think the question is, “How do we do something about it?” Fund education, have government training for jobs and work toward a greater housing/jobs imbalance locally. Not easy to answer the question I think and know what one can do except locally.

    B >

  2. Eugene Unger says:

    Is, was, always will be in a Democracy. In it we find motivation and a sense of need to change . It is a strength not a weakness.

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Eugene Unger says:

    If we were all equal how would we know it ? Only in America can we ask such questions and not expect a knock on he door

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Eugene Unger says:

    Democracy assumes inequality, Liberals live in the comfortable space of denial 😜 conservatives live in the comfortable space of “I’m right ” and never the trains shall give up their position. 😱💤💤💤



  5. Fontana says:

    I wonder if democracy can actually work anymore in such a diverse country. West coast needs and views are different from the east coast’s. Each coast needs are different from the middle states and southern states. Even in California, the state has at least 4 very different sections with different needs and outlook. Maybe we need two people as presidents, one for national issues and one for internal issues. That would be awkward and probably not very functional. Very difficult issue, I think. We are blessed to have the freedoms we have–that is some of us have. How do we correct any of these problems–wish there were people who knew how to do that.

  6. Robert Leon says:


    We have talked about this before. Certainly

    Sent from my iPad


  7. Robert Leon says:

    Partner, We have talked about this before. Certainly Bernie talked about this many times. It is a matter of economics. Free markets unregulated don’t work. We will see if this is a public concern. We need big changes and we hope Hillary can do them. I saw the doctor today and got a clearance. Let’s try Bills at 9 AM on Saturday. I I am really feeling a lot better just a little weak.

    Sent from my iPad


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