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

Time To End the Capital Gains Rate Giveaway

Our tax loopholes let marginal and arbitrary differences in facts give rise to markedly different tax outcomes.

Gustavo Petro’s Victory Brings an Opportunity to Reverse Inequality in Colombia

Running on a platform of gender equity, progressive taxation, and environmental protection, Colombia’s first leftist president could bring much-needed change to a deeply unequal nation.

The Climate Case for Taxing Wealth

Vast fortunes rely on destroying our planet. Taxing those fortunes to fund climate action could give us a shot at survival.

Visualize This: Donor-Advised Funds As Largest Recipients of Charitable Gifts

Watch this stunning time lapse illustration of the rise of donor-advised funds (DAFs) as the largest recipients of charitable gifts.

Bay State Billionaires

Massachusetts billionaires’ wealth surges 46 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whither the Wealth Squad?

Funding the IRS’ wealth squad can help ensure the nation’s richest pay their fair share of taxes.

Activists Call on Davos Elite to Address Inequality and Hunger

Over 150 millionaires delivered a statement to the World Economic Forum, calling on Davos attendees to take on wealth inequality.

Debunking the Myth of the Fleeing Millionaire

As it turns out, high-earners won’t leave if you increase their taxes.

Billionaire Wealth up $1.7 Trillion as U.S. Passes 1 Million COVID Deaths Milestone

The U.S. has recorded 1 million COVID deaths. In the time it took to reach that grim milestone, billionaire wealth is up $1.7 trillion.

New Data Tells Us Where Donor-Advised Fund Dollars Go—And Don’t Go

A new research database reveals that many donor-advised fund donations take years to make it to the coffers of operating nonprofits.

An Oligarchy Expert Answers Our Questions About Wealth and Empowerment

Northwestern professor Jeffrey Winters says he knows how to get billionaires to jump off the Forbes list of richest Americans.

Elon Musk Is Hiding the Ball Again on Taxes

Fanboys of the richest person on Earth are spinning bogus tales that swell the Musk fortune and embellish his ‘genius.’

Don’t Give Up on Taxing Billionaires

Federal estate tax has become porous and effectively optional for the wealthiest households.

Closing the Loopholes America’s Super Rich Love: Can the Dog Catch Its Tail?

How we can prevent the wealthiest of our wealthy from exempting virtually unlimited billions from tax.

Time to Move the Money: Independent Research on Donor-Advised Funds

Charitable giving has become a taxpayer-subsidized extension of private power and influence for the wealthiest people in the country. It’s time to fix that.

How to Fix America’s Roundabout, Badly Broken System for Taxing Our Richest

Yes, we could ensure that our richest pay something in the neighborhood of their fair tax share.

How to Hide Wealth

The United States didn’t become a tax haven overnight.

Cracking Down on Russian Oligarchs Means Cracking Down on U.S. Tax Havens

While other EU countries have been increasing transparency and cracking down on kleptocratic capital, the U.S. is a laggard.

How Russian Oligarchs Funnel Money to U.S. Charities

But it is not just Russian oligarchs that have been increasingly abusing charity for financial or political gain; U.S. oligarchs do it too.

Top-Heavy Philanthropy Explained in 8 Charts

How the concentration of wealth is warping the giving sector, from our Charity Reform Initiative.