Past Event

Dynastic wealth, meritocracy, and democracy in the U.S.

Income inequality in the U.S. peaked in 2007, right before the Great Recession, and has not been corrected by the crisis, defying expectations.

Are we becoming a society dominated, politically as well as economically, by entrenched and inherited wealth?

Thomas Piketty, the French economist, thinks so. The contradictory nature of the capitalist economic system, according to Piketty, allows wealth to be concentrated in the hands of a few undermining not only democracy but also meritocracy itself.

He, convincingly, identified the “key” mechanisms through which inequalities grow and are reproduced in his much acclaimed Capital in the 21st Century.

This event is free and open to the public. However, registration is required.


This event is presented by the Intersections program series at Columbia College Chicago as part of The Collaborative City, a program of Illinois Humanities, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).


For more information, please call Rojhat Avsar at (312) 369-7756.

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580 at least 72 hours prior to the event. For parking locations near the facility, please visit