At what point does great wealth in the hands of only a few actually harm democracy, threatening to turn a democratic republic into a feudal oligarchy?
It’s a debate we haven’t had freely and openly in this nation for nearly a century, but it’s a question that’s vital to the survival of democracy in America.
In a letter to Joseph Milligan on April 6, 1816, Thomas Jefferson explicitly suggested that if individuals became so rich that their wealth could influence or challenge government, their wealth should be decreased upon their death. He wrote, “If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree.”
In this ...