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

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?

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

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.

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: How Wealth Inequality Distorts Philanthropy and Imperils Democracy

How Wealth Inequality Distorts Philanthropy and Imperils Democracy

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.

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.

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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Time for an Emergency Charity Stimulus

Congress can help nonprofits come up with an additional $200 billion — without costing taxpayers another dime.