Program on Inequality and the Common Good

Extreme inequalities of income, wealth and opportunity undercut democracy, social solidarity and mobility, economic stability, and many other aspects of our personal and public lives.  The Program on Inequality and the Common Good focuses on these and other dangers that income disparities pose for the U.S.

Through research and reporting, this program encourages policy interventions that can reduce extreme wealth inequality, and close the growing gap between the rich and poor. Recent reports have examined the estate tax, the racial wealth gap, inequality in philanthropy, and other topics related to extreme wealth concentration. The central theme of the program is that without significant reform and a systemic view of inequality on both a national and global level, the overall wealth divide will continue to grow exponentially.

Latest Work

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Companies Can Either Make Things Or Make CEOs Rich

Making breakthroughs for consumers is hard, companies have found. But making fortunes for CEOs is easy.
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Honor Juneteenth by Closing the Racial Wealth Divide

Even over 150 years after slavery, black families still lag centuries behind whites in household wealth.
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Who's To Blame for Inequality?

Deep pockets are pushing to place the blame on firms that can't keep up with the top 5% of companies, and want to see labor rights slashed accordingly.
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How to Go the Resistance Distance: Pop-Up Schools for Novice Activists

Modeled after the Civil Rights Era’s citizenship and freedom schools, the new Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership teaches skills for the Trump Era.
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The Growing Problem of Hidden Wealth

The more wealth the super rich pile up, new research details, the more taxes they maneuver to evade.
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Congress Wants to Cut Your Health Care — And Billionaires’ Taxes

But health care costs, not corporate taxes, are the real drain on the U.S. economy.
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Automation Kills Jobs and Brings Mass Poverty. Call That Progress?

The "One Rich Guy" who profits would.

Remembering the Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed

Graef Crystal proved that corporations won't police themselves. Maybe good policies can.
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CEOs Now Make 300 Times More Than Their Workers. This City Is Putting a Stop to That.

Abandoned by Congress, Portland is putting an end to its staggering CEO-worker pay ratio.

Tightening the Strings on CEOs Jeopardizing Work Safety

Corporate CEOs are cheering a new White House executive order that lets them keep cheating on the taxpayer dime. But taxpayers may well be wising up.
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A Tax Plan Only a One Percenter Could Love

Instead of helping average working families, Trump's tax agenda actually targets those already most vulnerable.
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The History of Taxes, in One Mega-Rich Family

The Rockefellers saw their wealth slimmed down by taxes—but it grew back.

Americans Want To Know What Their CEO Makes

The SEC chairman invited America to dump on government regulation. America declined.
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'Deaths of Despair' Rising for White Working Class

A new study points to rising hopelessness as a major driver of the declining health and life expectancy of working class white Americans.
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Seattle Takes on the Trump Budget

Trump's budget would make Seattle's housing crisis worse—so a new campaign is looking to make the city "Trump-proof".
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More Americans Are Drowning Financially in Underwater Nation

20% of Americans have zero or negative net worth—and that number is growing.

Trump's Proposed Budget Would Spell Disaster for Low-income Communities

The administration wants massive cuts to public services, but his base depends on an engaged federal government, IPS economic inequality expert Chuck Collins tells Rising Up with Sonali.

A Labor Trafficking Survivor Speaks Out

A new report helps quantify the abusive patterns experienced by survivors of human trafficking by following the stories of over 100 domestic workers.
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Immigrants Pay More Than Their Fair Share

A new study shows that undocumented immigrants pay $11.7 billion in state and local taxes alone.
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The White House Budget Proposal Doesn't Add Up

The president's budget won't balance federal spending one bit, but it'll move a lot of money up to the rich.
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In the News

The world’s greediest CEO: Hunter Harrison

People's World | April 20, 2017

Corporate Boons in Republican Health Care Bill Draw Fire

Courthouse News Service | March 8, 2017

Why Trumpism Is Here to Stay

Washington Monthly | March 1, 2017

Making Black History in 2017

The Huffington Post | February 14, 2017

Political preferences override performance

Ceylon Today | January 30, 2017

Philanthropy Trends: A Look Back on 2016 and Towards 2017

Bentz Whaley Flessner | January 27, 2017