Veteran labor journalist and Institute for Policy Studies associate fellow Sam Pizzigati co-edits, the Institute’s weekly newsletter on our great divides. He also contributes a regular column to OtherWords, the IPS national nonprofit editorial service.

Sam, now retired from the labor movement, spent two decades directing the publishing program at America’s largest union, the 2.8-million-member National Education Association, and before that edited the national publications of three other U.S. trade unions.

Sam’s own writing has revolved around economic inequality since the early 1990s. His op-eds on income and wealth concentration have appeared in periodicals all around the world, from the New York Times to Le Monde Diplomatique.

Sam has authored four books and co-edited two others. His 2004 book, Greed and Good: Understanding the Inequality that Limits Our Lives, won an “outstanding title” honor from the American Library Association’s book review journal. His 2012 title, The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970, explores how average Americans ended the nation’s original Gilded Age. Sam’s most recent book, The Case for a Maximum Wage, offers a politically plausible path toward ending that Gilded Age’s second coming.


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.

How Extreme Inequality Breeds Contempt for the Vulnerable

We need to do more than assail the heartless new Trump budget. We need to understand its roots in our chronic and continuing inequality.

The Walmart Tax

When you pay your workers so little, it’s the American taxpayers who make up the gap. But how do we stop subsidizing wage theft?

Where Did Our Trade Unions Go?

In today’s ‘union-free’ environment, top corporate execs can pay themselves at levels their predecessors would have considered unimaginable.

Reagan’s Tax Reform Was A Bipartisan Effort of Surrender to America’s Deepest Pockets

The Reaganites didn’t compromise away any of their core commitments. The Democrats did.

How Will the White House Try to Sell its Corporate Tax Cuts?

In real life, these lavish tax breaks for corporate titans have nothing to do with protecting the health and safety of American workers.

Remembering the Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed

Graef Crystal proved that corporations won’t police themselves. Maybe good policies can.

In French Presidential Race, Echoes of FDR’s Income Cap

With a call for an income cap on society’s richest, a longshot presidential campaign has thrown a giant scare into the French political elite.

Airlines Profit From ‘Economy-Class’ Misery

A deregulated industry made flying better—if you fly first-class. Otherwise, it’s cruel.

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.

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.

The Best Education Our Money Can Buy

Taxpayers are subsidizing the private universities that service America’s rich.

‘Only the Little People’ Face the Law

The White House wants crackdowns on poor people who break federal laws on immigration. Why not a crackdown on the rich who scoff at tax laws?

Right-Wingers Want Us to Accept Inequality and Move On

They say the fight for a more equitable society isn’t worth the trouble.

This Trump Appointee Says He’s Standing Up for ‘Bullied’ CEOs

Fortune 500 chiefs make twice as much in a month as U.S. workers make in a decade. But any move to require corporations to document that disparity would be shameful, a new Trump appointee argues.

Inequality Was Responsible for the Depth of the Great Recession

The deeply unequal America of 2006 had a greater proportion of low-wealth households than the America of earlier postwar decades — that contrast really mattered.

America’s Construction Carnage

Some of the same factors that make Wall Streeters fabulously rich are making construction work tragically unsafe.

Mnuchin’s Misplaced $100 Million

Trump’s pick for treasury secretary isn’t the only one rich enough to lose track of millions. There’s an enormous disparity in corporate pay and some states are ready to take action.

UK Labour Party Proposes a Maximum Wage Gap

The UK Labor Party has revived an FDR-era aspiration of imposing a maximum wage on the highest earners, among other radical proposals to stem inequality.