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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What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America

Low-income parents risk jail for putting their kids in better public schools, while the rich bribe colleges to shut the poor out.
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Concentrated Wealth Kills

Two new reports out of Washington trace our growing economic divide and the high price we pay, in dollars and lives, for letting that divide fester.
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The Perils of Billionaire Philanthropy

The ultra-rich are using philanthropic vehicles to shield their wealth—it’s time Congress acted.
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Born on Third Base: Chuck Collins Interview with The Question Lane Podcast

Inequality expert and activist Chuck Collins, who gave away his inheritance at 26, uses his perspective from both sides of the divide to deliver a new narrative.
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Tax the Rich Before the Rest

Candidates should pledge that the middle class won't pay $1 more in new taxes until billionaires put up at least $1 trillion.
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Big Pharma to Pay for Opioid Crisis, But What Happens to the Money?

Big Tobacco settlements didn't help those in need. Let's ensure opioid settlements actually go toward helping impacted people and communities.
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Reflections on the Opioid Epidemic

What we can do to stop America's next horrific eruption of corporate greed?
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400 Years After Slavery, No More Band-Aids

It’s time to heal the deep wounds of racism — not only to ensure equity for African Americans, but for our entire economy.
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Out of Ottawa, Some Deflating New Stats on Life in the World's Richest Nation

An innovative binational analysis details how plutocracy is squeezing low and middle income Americans.
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5 Ways the Economy Is Stacked Against Millennials

Millennials suffer stagnant wages and high expenses in an economy not designed for them — but there’s hope.
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Can Inequality Be Hardwired into Our DNA?

We need more than a moratorium on making inheritable edits in our genetic code. We need a moratorium on people getting rich off of editing our genes.
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A Lesson from West Africa, a Global Inequality Ground Zero

To end poverty at the bottom of our economic orders, we need to stop wealth from concentrating at the top.
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It’s Time For a 100% Tax on Billionaire Estates

Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and her family’s generational wealth have skyrocketed since Trump’s policies were signed into law.
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A Tale of Two Druglords

One gets life behind bars, the other retires into luxury. Guess which one wreaked more havoc.
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Kaepernick Was Right — Racists Love the Betsy Ross Flag

Conservatives may deny it, or say it's a thing of the past. But, hate groups are still flying their Betsy Ross flag right next to their Confederate one.
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Taxing the (Very) Rich: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Here's a primer for enjoying our inaugural conference on taxing the wealthiest 0.1 percent.
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A Deep Data Crunch, a New Atlas of Inequality

Economic segregation divides much more than the neighborhoods where we live.
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Why 21st-Century America Needs to Enact Reparations

The House Judiciary Committee finally debated HR 40, which would form a commission to study the legacy of U.S. slavery — and how to make reparations for it.
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Bernie Is Right: 3 Billionaires Really Do Have More Wealth Than Half of America

And in addition to the 3 billionaires Bernie mentioned, we should also be worried about the expanding fortunes of multi-generational wealth dynasties.
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Does a Presidential Candidate Who Thinks Billionaires Can Be ‘Deserving’ Deserve To Be President?

A clear majority of candidates for the Democratic Party's 2020 nomination seem to have no problem with the presence of grand private fortunes.

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In the News

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

Billionaires and American Politics

The History News Network (GMU) | July 17, 2019