[A synopsis by gryposaurus on the basic notions in political philosophy, with slight edits.]
The issue of income disparity and democracy go back to its creation. Aristotle argued that large income differences and usurious behavior create an unstable democracy, ie you can not have the poor voting away rich people’s possessions, nor can you have the rich subverting the poor with their economic power. Having either make a mockery out of democracy. He said you either have to either end poverty or end democracy. His solution was to have each person (except woman) own land and have high participation in the economy
The federalists, during the creation of the Bill of Rights, argued otherwise. The prospect of the poor voting away the rich’s land and power was thought to be such a problem that James Madison eventually agreed with John Jay that voting privileges should be guaranteed to heads of household, land owners, and that the country should be ruled by wealthy, educated people. In their defense, these were days where thoughts of the way modern capitalism works, were impossible, where the classical liberals like Mill had arguments that made sense in their time period.
But these ideas persist today and freedom is thought of as only what you are “free from”. Berlin, a classical liberal, but from a more contemporary view in capitalistic world ruled by global finance, also included the “free to” inclusion into liberal thought.