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

Negative Wealth Matters

What the negative wealth at the bottom of the economic spectrum says about our overall economy matters deeply.

Cash Rules Everything Around Martin

Pharma Bro’s one-of-a-kind album purchase exemplifies how the ultra rich are polluting our culture.

Have We Hit Peak Inequality?

These 400 billionaires are wealthier than 190 million of their fellow Americans.

Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us

Wealthiest 20 people own more wealth than half the American population

Gawdy Not Godly: The Forbes 400

New study shows striking divide between nation’s wealthiest and the rest of us. – See more at:

Free Tuition for Donald Trump’s Kids?

Making college tuition free for everyone, some claim, would waste scarce tax dollars on rich households that don’t need them. Does that claim hold water?

Who stands to benefit the most from Carl Icahn’s new super-PAC? Carl Icahn.

Billionaire Carl Icahn launches a super-PAC with aims to cut taxes for corporations and increase his own influence in Washington.

Seven Substantive Issues That Divide the Democratic Candidates

In a field defined more by conformity than contradiction, here’s where the candidates split.

The Five Worst Ideas Contained in Donald Trump’s Tax Plan

Underneath the populist rhetoric is a regressive tax plan that hurts more than it helps.

Five Biggest Losers of the GOP Debate

Hint: it wasn’t the candidates.

Executive Excess 2015: Money to Burn

This 22nd annual report reveals how CEO pay is accelerating climate change.

Ecuador Puts Piketty Into Practice

This small South American country is taxing wealthy estates and distributing the proceeds directly to workers.

A Manufacturer of Equality

In the United States, top corporate execs sometimes make more in an hour than their workers can make in a year. At Mondragon, one of Spain’s largest companies, no execs can make more in an hour than their workers make in a day.

A Simple Idea: Free Education For All

With two new legislative initiatives, Senator Sanders is proposing to tax Wall Street speculators to guarantee all Americans a good shot at a college degree.

The Cutting Edge of Waste

Ultra-wealthy financiers have hoarded far more cash than they can responsibly invest.

Lending Dreams

An innovative new program helps low-income families become homeowners while engaging in social change.

Obama, Letterman, and the ‘I’ Word

If President Obama really wants upward mobility for poor people, then he should support downward mobility at the top.

Why We Need $50,000 Traffic Tickets

Let’s make sure our penalties amount to penalties for everyone.