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

break glass in case of fire

Nonprofits Need Help. An Emergency Charity Stimulus Can Provide it.

Foundations and donors to advised funds ought to be held to new payout standards for a future that requires all hands — and dollars — on deck.
personal protective equipment for the coronavirus

Racial Health and Economic Disparities are Two Sides of the Same Coin

COVID-19 continues to aggravate deeply embedded inequalities. We need bold policy solutions aimed at bridging the racial wealth divide now more than ever.
emergency ambulance

It’s Time for an Emergency Charity Stimulus

To unlock billions in charitable resources during this crisis, Congress should double the mandated payout of private foundations and donor-advised funds.
hundred dollar bills

How to Get $200 Billion for COVID-19 Relief — at No Cost to Taxpayers

We need an emergency charity stimulus and taxpayers have subsidized one, but the $200 billion in funds remain sidelined.
donations in a jar

Time for an Emergency Charity Stimulus

Congress can help nonprofits come up with an additional $200 billion — without costing taxpayers another dime.
rich person looking at his two private jets

Billionaires Are Getting Even Richer From the Pandemic. Enough Is Enough.

With the right policy actions now, we can exit this pandemic on a pathway to a more decent and equitable society.
a billionaire on a yacht

Let's Stop Pretending Billionaires Are in the Same Boat as Us During This Pandemic

While millions of Americans were being thrown out of work by the coronavirus, the super rich saw their wealth increase 10 percent.

US Billionaire Wealth Surges as COVID-19 Pandemic Worsens.

As a percentage of wealth, billionaire taxes have fallen 79% since 1980.
bank vault with lots of money falling out

Rich are Getting Richer, Despite Pandemic

As billionaires' wealth continues to balloon, it’s time for them to pay their fair share.

Report: Billionaire Bonanza 2020

Billionaire wealth has grown astoundingly over the last few decades — and, for some “pandemic profiteers,” even more dramatically since the COVID-19 crisis.
dollar bill

Taxes Paid By Billionaires Decreased 79 Percent Since 1980, as Percentage of Their Wealth

As we emerge from this pandemic, substantial tax increases are inevitable. Central to the program should be a tax that limits the hoarding of wealth by the billionaire class.
A student sits on a bench at an empty school.

A Trillion in Prevention

For working people, our economy was never as strong as it seemed. The trillions we invest in recovering from the coronavirus must change that.
zoom company office

Should Zoom Be a Public Utility?

Online platforms like Zoom and Skype have become basic, public necessities as our lives are upended by the coronavirus. Should they be nationalized?
money-dollars

Billionaires: A Visual Explainer

An illustrated look at a system allowing billionaire wealth to balloon, all at the expense of everything else we care about.
student-loans

Student Debt Relief Is Good Politics — and Good Policy

Investing in student debt relief would have a democratizing effect for young people and median earners, while also boosting the economy.
billionaires-wealth-inequality-jeff-bezos-warren-buffett-bill-gates

The US Would Be Better off With Fewer Billionaires

If we want to expand the middle class, lift up workers and protect the environment, we need to protect our democracy from extreme billionaire influence.
andrew-cuomo-new-york-budget-cuts

Taxing Wealth Emperors in the Empire State

The Strong For All coalition is pressing for higher taxes on the very rich rather than austerity budget cuts that hit the non-wealthy.
opioid-crisis-trump-administration-medicare

Trump Claims Credit for Life Expectancy Rise, Introduces Medicaid Cutback

U.S. life expectancy rose for the first time in four years because of a drop in opioid overdose deaths. Now Trump, who claims credit, wants to cut Medicaid.
united-nations-general-assembly-un

From the UN, New Ammo for Egalitarians

The United Nations might be fading, but this new report deserves a bright spotlight.
pwc-price-waterhouse-cooper-mckinsey-and-company-isabel-dos-santos

Luanda Leaks and the Global Wealth Defense Industry

Why we should focus on the enablers exposed in the Angola scandal: Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, and PwC.

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In the News

Housing affordability crisis goes well beyond homes

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | December 14, 2019

Student Loan Debt Hurts Black Women Most

Tennessee Tribune | December 9, 2019

The audacity of black capitalism

Sacramento News & Review | September 26, 2019

Ban Private Jets

Jacobin | September 18, 2019

American Wealth Is Broken

The Atlantic | August 31, 2019

Simulating How Progressive Proposals Affect the Racial Wealth Gap

Center for American Progress | August 7, 2019

Systemic Inequality: Displacement, Exclusion, and Segregation

Center for American Progress | August 7, 2019