It seems inherently problematic that every person gets one vote, but the top 25% of earners pay over 86% of the income tax.
If everyone votes evenly, then 75% of the people voting aren’t paying for much.
Of course, voter turnout isn’t even.
Why does the United States have such depressed voter turnout among the poor? For one, the United States has numerous barriers to voting that don’t exist elsewhere. Nearly 3.5 million felons were barred from voting in 2014 due to felony disenfranchisement, which exists in no other country Mahler studied and which has influenced the result of Senate and presidential elections ( including possibly the 2014 election). A number of countries have compulsory voting laws which boost turnout. Most European countries that require IDs to be shown at the polls have national ID cards that are provided for free to all citizens. The United States is also an outlier in that it doesn’t have automatic voting registration. In most countries voter registration is compulsory and therefore either universal or almost universal. The United States is also rare among developed countries in the level of politicization that occurs around voting rights.
Individual economics looks like a x^3 chart: wealth grows exponentially, but if you go negative (and continue to go negative), your life decreases exponentially too. It’s easy to be lazy and not earn much, and when you don’t have the motivation to get up early for work, you don’t have the motivation to research candidates and vote. So if you start out in life without somebody prodding you forward, it’s easy to stay at the bottom.
I’ve started reading Piketty’s book (I need to get back to it). But man, the beginning of that Wikipedia article sounds highly politicized. I wonder if the editing history will show it starting out as being even more liberal and then being toned down.