MARCH 6, 2020 | JEFF SCHECHTMAN
Are politics and economics even more interdependent than we think? Our guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Ganesh Sitaraman, argues that extreme economic inequality threatens the United States’ democratic form of governance.
Having been a longtime senior policy adviser to Elizabeth Warren and a Harvard classmate and close friend of Pete Buttigieg, Sitaraman, currently a Vanderbilt law professor, has a unique perspective on US politics.
Sitaraman brings deep historical knowledge to the discussion as he makes his case that today’s economic inequality is creating deep political instability. He argues that the general idea of economic inequality is something that the founders anticipated, and that we have historically prevented other such periods of inequality from destroying the very constitutional system the founders bequeathed to us. Albeit not without some pain.
He argues that previous attempts to use the government as an engine of economic reform have worked relatively well and have historically prevented economic elites from gaining too much unchecked power.
This time, however, he says it could be very different. If economic inequality continues as it is now, he warns, it could undermine the very idea of representative democracy.
(podcast with transcript...too long to post the whole entry).