The attention showered in 2015 on Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century brought issues of inequality in the distribution of income and wealth to the forefront of public and scholarly attention. An enormous body of research has been produced over the past two decades to understand the nature of the dramatic rise in inequality, especially in the United States, and its causes. A long list of proposals for legal change has emerged in response to the outpouring of data and analysis. This course explores the facts and the causes of and political barriers to potential responses to these recent developments, principally but not exclusively in the United States. Ultimately, the question requires an examination of the relations between democracy and the distribution of income and wealth. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which different groups, classes, and coalitions affect, and are affected by, democratic distributive politics. Attention is paid to theories of distribution, politics of distribution, distributive instruments, and the implementation of policies affecting distribution. Substantive topics covered include regulation, protectionism, taxes, social insurance, welfare, public opinion, education, and unions. Follows Law School academic calendar.