DEFINITION of 'Plutocracy'

A government controlled exclusively by the wealthy either directly or indirectly. A plutocracy allows, either openly or by circumstance, only the wealthy to rule. This can then result in policies exclusively designed to assist the wealthy, which is reflected in its name (comes from the Greek words "ploutos" or wealthy, and "kratos" - power, ruling).

BREAKING DOWN 'Plutocracy'

A plutocracy doesn't have to be a purposeful, overt format for government. Instead, it can be created through the allowance of access to certain programs and educational resources only to the wealthy and making it so that the wealthy hold more sway. The concern of inadvertently creating a plutocracy is that the regulatory focus will be narrow and concentrated on the goals of the wealthy, creating even more income and asset-based inequality.

  1. Capitalism

    A system of economics based on the private ownership of capital ...
  2. Fiscal Policy

    Government spending policies that influence macroeconomic conditions. ...
  3. Egalitarianism

    A philosophical thought system that emphasizes equality and equal ...
  4. Communism

    A political and economic ideology based on communal ownership ...
  5. Socialism

    An economic and political system based on public or collective ...
  6. Marxism

    A social, political and economic philosophy that examines the ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Top 6 U.S. Government Financial Bailouts

    U.S. bailouts date all the way back to 1792. Learn how the biggest ones affected the economy.
  2. Economics

    How Governments Influence Markets

    The biggest influence in the markets today can create some unintended consequences.
  3. Taxes

    How Your Tax Rate Is Determined

    Feel like the government always has its hand in your pocket? Learn the theory behind how it decides how much to take.
  4. Taxes

    Do Tax Cuts Stimulate The Economy?

    Learn the logic behind the belief that reducing government income benefits everyone.
  5. Investing

    Which GOP Candidate Brings What to the Table?

    What are the major GOP presidential candidates' economic plans and how do they differ?
  6. Economics

    Benefits of China Changing It's One Child Policy

    China's one-child policy is changing, and investors are looking for ways to cash in. The reform might not have the effects that many anticipate, however.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    START-UP NY: How a Tax-Free Zone Would Work

    START-UP NY is an initiative designed to attract companies to New York State by giving them 10 years of tax breaks. Sounds good, but is it a success?
  8. Economics

    Explaining Economic Integration

    Economic integration reduces or eliminates trade barriers among nations, and coordinates monetary and fiscal policies.
  9. Investing

    How Much Money Will It Take to Become President in 2016?

    Learn why the 2016 presidential election is likely to be the most expensive race ever, and estimate how much it is going to take the eventual winner to prevail.
  10. Investing

    Will Donald Trump Be Able to Fund His Entire Campaign?

    Discover why Donald Trump's extravagant wealth and vast net worth may still not be sufficient to self-finance a successful presidential campaign in 2016.
  1. Where are the Social Security administration headquarters?

    The U.S. Social Security Administration, or SSA, is headquartered in Woodlawn, Maryland, a suburb just outside of Baltimore. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the Social Security administration responsible for?

    The main responsibility of the U.S. Social Security Administration, or SSA, is overseeing the country's Social Security program. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is the Social Security administration a government corporation?

    The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) is a government agency, not a government corporation. President Franklin Roosevelt ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does the role of Medicare/Medicaid affect the drugs sector in the U.S.?

    Medicare and Medicaid have enormous influence on the pharmaceutical, or drugs, sector in the United States. For instance, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the ethical arguments against government subsidies to companies like Tesla?

    The ethical argument behind government subsidies is that they should be put into place to help industries that will, in turn, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What do I do if I think an accountant is in violation of the Generally Accepted Accounting ...

    The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) promulgates generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  2. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  3. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  4. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  5. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  6. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!