Summary of Yes, contemporary capitalism can be compatible with liberal democracy

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Yes, contemporary capitalism can be compatible with liberal democracy summary
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For many Americans, the decades following World War II were golden years: Jobs were plentiful, growth was steady and people trusted government. But with the rise of the information age and globalization, jobs disappeared, the divisions between the educated and the working class sharpened, and inequalities rose. Governance expert William A. Galston dissects this evolution and urges strong public policies to help capitalist markets protect liberal democracy. This article is crucial reading for anyone concerned about the future of democracy, in the United States or anywhere else.

About the Author

William A. Galston is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.



The dynamic between liberal democracy and capitalism has mutated over time.

In societies with deepening financial and social inequalities, conflict among economic classes is unavoidable: The affluent support the institutions that maintain their position, while the less well-off seek dramatic change. On the other hand, a stable middle class tends to support governing institutions and promote gradual change. Policies that raise living standards and grow the middle class can support dynamic markets. Growth that benefits everyone is the cornerstone of a healthy liberal democracy.


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