When he was 26, IPS’ Chuck Collins gave away all of his wealth after getting a front-row seat into the lives of low-wage workers, he tells Marketplace in an interview about his new book, Born on Third Base.

Collins acquired his wealth as the great-grandson of Oscar Mayer.

“The reality is I still have this mountain of advantage coming from a stable and wealthy family. Social capital. And I’m white, I’m male,  I got a debt-free college education,” Collins said.

Twenty years from now, Collins said, we’ll be in a racial and economic apartheid if we keep on track as we have for the last 30 years “in terms of growing wealth and income inequality, declining social mobility, and the racial wealth divide.”

He said that wealthy people tend to withdraw to their enclaves of private paradises, but in his new book, he’s calling on them to bring their wealth home.

“Take it out of the offshore tax havens and the global finance casino, and actually bring it back to the real economy of goods and services,” he said, because the wealth divide isn’t in anyone’s best interest.

Listen to the full interview on Marketplace’s website.

Chuck Collins directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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