The situation is especially concerning in the United States, where a decade of creeping authoritarianism has produced one of the world’s most rapid paces of democratic deterioration, according to the report. In terms of individual freedoms, we’re now “closer to countries such as Romania and Panama than Western European partners such as France and Germany,” as Ishaan Tharoor noted recently.
But there’s a major economic component to our recent decline, as well: the yawning divide between rich and poor, which researchers have found to be both a cause and a consequence of democratic backsliding here and elsewhere.
The United States scores particularly poorly on equal treatment under the law, for instance. In the workplace, a large compensation gap between White men and virtually everyone else “has remained relatively constant over the past several decades,” the report notes.