American voters think that they got a raw deal from the bailout of the financial sector. In fact they did well, thanks to U.S. regulators' ability to bully big U.S. banks into accepting help they didn't want.
Research from 20 advanced capitalist democracies shows that while political parties have incentives to respond to voter preferences, they only do so when the national economy is sufficiently sheltered from the world economy.
The United States uses enormous fines to get foreign actors such as BNP Paribus to comply with its foreign policy goals. It can do this because it has unparalleled influence over the world financial system.
A lot of research suggests that dictatorships see faster economic growth than democracies. However, the differences may be exaggerated by dictatorships' penchant for lying about how fast they are growing.