We’re tugged between plutocracy and monarchy

In the Nov. 28 edition of the Globe, Jeffrey D. Sachs calls out the United States as a plutocracy on one page (“The tax bill shouts, ‘Greed!’ ”), while Indira A.R. Lakshmanan bemoans the royalist tendencies of the president on the other (“At the State Department, l’état, c’est Trump”). I’m sure both authors are familiar with Baron de Montesquieu’s pithy observation that “republics end through luxury, monarchies through poverty.” Whether we should luxuriate in that delicious irony or wallow in this inequitable vale of tears presents a uniquely 21st-century political thought experiment.

C. P. Carlin