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The Vanishing Middle ClassPrejudice and Power in a Dual Economy$
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Peter Temin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036160

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036160.001.0001

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Concepts of Government

Concepts of Government

(p.87) 8 Concepts of Government
The Vanishing Middle Class

Peter Temin

The MIT Press

This chapter describes three concepts of government. Democracy is the government of, for and by the people. It provides services to all its members and insures them against a variety of risks, ranging from bankruptcy to the accident of being born poor and with a dark skin. Autarchy is government by a person or family that takes care of itself with little or no concern for the rest of the population. Oligarchy stands in between these extremes and varies by the size of the oligarchy. The United States in the 19th century was the uneasy combination of a demographic North and an oligarchic South. The country approached democracy in the 20th century, but this trajectory reversed after 1970, leading to an oligarchic dual economy.

Keywords:   Democracy, oligarchy, autarchy, risks of birth, risks of business, 1970s, dual economy

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