A Healthy Economy or a Healthy Democracy? It Shouldn’t be a Choice.

Far too often, our political system forces Americans to make false choices. Here’s one: In a new poll from CBS News and YouGov, Americans were asked whether they were more concerned about the United States having a functioning democracy or a strong economy.

Why should the American people have to choose between the two?

The simple answer: they shouldn’t.

In China, the Chinese Communist Party has promised constant economic growth in exchange for authoritarian rule. As a result, factories in Xinjiang sit side-by-side with concentration camps for the Uyghur minority.

But in the United States and many other countries democratic rule and a healthy economy have long gone hand-in-hand.

The economic benefits of adopting democratic rule hold true for younger democracies, too. According to a 2019 study by economists from MIT, Columbia, Boston University, and the University of Chicago, countries that adopt democracy will see their economies grow by 20% more over a 25-year period than they would had they remained authoritarian states.


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