Democracy in China? In 2017..

there is no case of a  democracy collapsing into a non-democratic form government once it has achieved per capita annual incomes of $10,000. The 45 larger democracies to have made the $10,000 grade now include Mexico and Lebanon on 2009 data.  Turkey, Brazil and Serbia probably joined the club in 2010, says Robertson. Even above $6,000 per capita per year, the chances of a democracy “dying” are only 1 per cent in any given year.   Only five have ever lost their democratic status – Greece in 1967 (with an annual per head income of $9,800), Argentina in  1976 ($8,180) , Thailand in 2006 ($7,440), Venezuela in 2009 ($9,115), and Iran, which  slipped from fragile democracy back to autocracy in 2004 ($8,475). The big exception are energy producers, notably in the Middle East, where autocracies have survived with very high income levels, beyond $19,000 annually. Robertson says the answer is straightforward – these states don’t need to tax their citizens. (summary of today’s democracy blogging favourite topic by Stefan Wagstyl)

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