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

billionaire giving pledge and donating money

Voices from the Field: Giving Pledge at 10, Peril and Possibility

The Giving Pledgers set out to give away half of their wealth. Ten years later, their assets doubled. How do we break this pattern?
Bill-Gates-billionaires-giving-pledge

In a Pandemic, Billionaires Are Richer Than Ever. Why Aren't They Giving More?

Billionaires get huge tax breaks to park money in private family foundations operated by wealthy heirs. Little goes to actual charity work
billionaire mackenzie bezos giving pledge

The Perils and Possibilities of Billionaire Charitable Giving: MacKenzie Scott (Bezos) Makes Her First Move

Philanthropy is at risk of becoming another extension of the private power of plutocrats, alongside monopoly ownership and media domination.
philanthropy gold bricks and cash money

How Wealth Inequality Distorts Philanthropy

Inequality is making charity increasingly reliant on the rich. Here's why wealthy people dominating philanthropy a problem and what we can do about it.
Gilded Giving 2020 report cover 950x1237

Gilded Giving 2020: How Wealth Inequality Distorts Philanthropy and Imperils Democracy

How Wealth Inequality Distorts Philanthropy and Imperils Democracy
birth control

SCOTUS Birth Control Decision Favors Medicare for All

Access to essential medications, like birth control, should not be subject to the whims of our employers.
team of corporate executives discussing racial justice

Can Corporations Walk the Walk on Racial Justice?

Many companies are tweeting about their commitment to racial equity, but not practicing it in their own staffing.
san-francisco-golden-gate-bridge-skyline

Fair Tax Solutions for Cities Facing COVID-19 Budget Crises

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has strained municipal budgets. How can cities close the gap fairly?
African American Entrepreneurs at a Conference

The Pandemic Is Accelerating the Racial Wealth Divide. Here’s How We Turn It Around.

If we want justice, we must help Black families invest in themselves
person counting change

Let’s Work to End Racial Wealth Divide

Even before the pandemic, median white families had literally dozens of times more wealth than median Black or Latinx families.

White Supremacy is the Preexisting Condition: Eight Solutions to Ensure Economic Recovery Reduces the Racial Wealth Divide

Eight Solutions to Ensure Economic Recovery Reduces the Racial Wealth Divide.

US Billionaire Wealth Surges to $584 Billion, or 20 Percent, Since the Beginning of the Pandemic

In just three months, the U.S. added 29 more billionaires while 45.5 million filed for unemployment.
emergency-charity-stimulus

Congress Should Pass an Emergency Charity Stimulus

As wealth concentrates, so have charitable dollars. To get donations to frontline nonprofits, Congress must pass an emergency charity stimulus.

Billionaire Pandemic Wealth Gains Surge Past Half-Trillion as 42.6 million File for Unemployment

U.S. Billionaire Wealth Up $565 billion since March 18, a gain of over 19 percent.
money locked

Ipsos Poll: 72 Percent of Americans Support an Emergency Charity Stimulus

New research finds that many aspects of private foundations and DAFs are not acceptable to Americans.
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.

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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