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

New Research Suggests DAF Payout Is Worse Than We Thought

We must prevent our charitable system from being misused by those with the means and motivation to do so.

Billionaire Pandemic Wealth Gain Could Pay For Biden’s American Families Plan

U.S. billionaires have reaped $1.8 trillion in wealth gains since March 2020.

What Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta Means for Charities — and Our Democracy

A new Supreme Court decision enables billionaires to anonymously weaponize their philanthropy.

REPORT: Silver Spoon Oligarchs

How America’s 50 Largest Inherited-Wealth Dynasties Accelerate Inequality

The rich got richer while millions lost their livelihoods. It’s time for a wealth tax

The rich got richer while millions lost their livelihoods. It’s time for a wealth tax.

How Billionaires’ Secretive Speculation Threatens the Next Financial Meltdown

The implosion of Archegos is an early warning sign about the next generation of unaccountable capital and exotic, risky financial instruments hidden inside ‘family offices.’

Who Owns the City? Luxury Towers and Supercharged Gentrification

Wealthy workers moving into central, walkable neighborhoods has long caused gentrification, but global capital is exacerbating the situation.

Decades of Warehousing Charity Dollars — the ‘Fidelity Effect’ on Charitable Giving

Critics of Donor-Advised Funds, or DAFs, have long argued that they starve nonprofits of much-needed funds by “warehousing” charitable donations.

Family Offices: Trillion Dollar Pools of Unregulated Capital You Haven’t Heard About

With the collapse of Archegos Capital, family offices — a main tool of the wealth defense industry — are in the headlines.

U.S. Billionaire Wealth Skyrocketed 55 Percent During Pandemic, Accelerating Inequality

Pandemic inequalities may explain the popularity of proposals to restore progressive income and wealth taxes on the very wealthy.

Don’t Let the Rich Avoid Taxes

A progressive tax system is one of the few tools we can deploy to slow and reverse the growth of billionaire power.

Responding to Concerns about the Emergency Charity Stimulus Proposal

Make no mistake: this pandemic is the “rainy day” DAFs and foundations have been saving for.

A Third of U.S. Billionaire Wealth Gains Since 1990 Have Come During Pandemic

U.S. billionaire pandemic profit balloons to $4.56 trillion, a 55 percent increase.

Global Billionaire Wealth Surges $4 Trillion Over Pandemic

A Warren-Jayapal style wealth tax on global billionaires would raise $345 billion in its first year. The cost of vaccinating the world is estimated at $141.2 billion.

Raising This Tax Would Make the Ultra-Rich Pay Their Fair Share

A reformed estate tax could reduce extreme wealth inequality and end tax breaks for dynasty trusts and other loopholes exploited by the rich.

BOOK: The Wealth Hoarders

How billionaires pay millions to hide trillions.

Sanders Estate Tax Bill Shuts Down Wealth Hiding Loopholes

The Vermont senator and former presidential candidate takes shot across the bow of the wealth defense industry.

A Year of Billionaire Pandemic Gains

Who are the ten biggest pandemic profiteers?

Tax Wealth to Fix the Nation’s Woes

Members of the billionaire class have used their clout to rig the economy in their favor.

For Every Buck a Billionaire Gives to Charity, You Chip in Up to 74 Cents

The wealthier the donor, the bigger the taxpayer subsidy.