Democracy, as a socio-political phenomenon, is associated with equality, whether the right to vote, expression of will, religious affiliation, or other freedoms. According to Greenberg et al. (2018), the United States, being a country with a capitalist system, largely builds its economy on the wealth-producing principle. At the same time, as the authors state, historical examples of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the financial crisis of 2008, and other cases prove that wealth equality is not a feature of the country (Greenberg et al., 2018). In other words, despite the attempts to build a strong economy, the authorities do not see financial equality as a prerequisite for a democratic order. However, such a position is contrary to the basics of democracy, which is associated with equality, including in the area of income. Islam (2018) notes that “democracy may help countries to lessen the adverse impact of wealth inequality,” which proves that idea about the nature of equality as a basis of such a socio-political order (p. 923). Therefore, the equality of income is more important to democracy than wealth.
Democracy makes a country more egalitarian because the principle of equality, embedded in all spheres of life, is the basis of this order. Greenberg et al. (2018) mention the events of the second half of the 20th century in the United States, when, due to social activist movements, society became more egalitarian and tolerant of racial, sexual, and other minorities. Sigman and Lindberg (2018) describe democracy from the perspective of the absence of a division of society into classes with regard to political privilege. By promoting the democratic order as the basis of the system of statehood, society sets the goal of achieving equality. This, in turn, reflects the egalitarian nature of the way of life in the country.
Greenberg, E. S., Page, B. I., Doherty, D., Minkoff, S. L., & Ryan, J. M. (2018). The struggle for democracy: 2018 elections and updates edition. Pearson.
Islam, M. R. (2018). Wealth inequality, democracy and economic freedom. Journal of Comparative Economics, 46(4), 920-935.
Sigman, R., & Lindberg, S. I. (2018). Democracy for all: Conceptualizing and measuring egalitarian democracy. Political Science Research and Methods, 7(3), 595-612.