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Vanderbilt University Law School

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Constitutional theory

2016

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Economic Structure And Constitutional Structure, Ganesh Sitaraman Jan 2016

Economic Structure And Constitutional Structure, Ganesh Sitaraman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In the last four decades, the American middle class has been hollowed out, and fears are growing that economic inequality is leading to political inequality. These trends raise a troubling question: Can our constitutional system survive the collapse of the middle class? This question might seem tangential-if not unrelated-to contemporary constitutional theory. But for most of the history ofpolitical thought, one of the central problems of constitutional design was the relationship between the distribution of wealth in society and the structure of government. Two traditions emerged from thinking about this relationship. The first tradition assumed that society would be divided …