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.

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