Can the United States rightly call itself a democracy? As long as Paul Ryan and "Fix the Debt" types are able to push extreme austerity measures, Nation writer John Nichols says, we're looking more like a "dollarocracy," where "the ideas that rise to the top are those that are best-financed." In a democracy, Nichols explains, people have a right to say no to bad ideas—but in a dollaracracy, all they get is bad ideas.
What happens when the safety net is torn apart? Read Bryce Covert's take.