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

U.S. Billionaire Wealth Grows $1.3 trillion Since Mid-March 2020

The 664 richest Americans are now worth a collective $4.2 trillion, up 44 percent since COVID shutdowns began in March 2020.

Nomadland: The Impact of Gender-Bias in Wages

If you grew up agitated that “women earn 59 cents on the dollar,” for the same work as men, there’s a movie for you.

America’s Future: Trillionaire Trust Fund Babies?

Billionaire wealth is exploding. They’re passing that wealth to heirs and heiresses virtually tax-free.

Beyond Lucrative: Jeffrey Epstein’s Billionaire Tax Avoidance Assistance Business

The infamous financier’s exploits cast a shadow on the one of Wall Street’s favorite tax avoidance schemes.

Taxes on the Rich: One-Sixth of What They Used to Be

A new IPS briefing paper highlights the unique role of tax policy in wealth concentration.

The Movement for a Wealth Tax in Washington State

A levy of just 1 percent on wealth over $1 billion would raise more than $2 billion per year to meet the state’s urgent social needs.

U.S. Billionaire Wealth Surpasses $1.1 Trillion Gain Since Mid-March

Ten months into the COVID-19 crisis, 660 billionaires see their wealth rise 40 percent.

Six Questions for Justin Farrell, ‘Billionaire Wilderness’ Author

Concentrating wealth hasn’t just disrupted our major cities. It’s now changing our towns and countryside. Author Justin Farrell shows us how.

Trump and His Many Billionaire Enablers

Trump didn’t get here on his own. Many have enabled him, especially the billionaires who funneled money his way and then stood by as he damaged our democracy.

MacKenzie Scott’s Bold and Direct Giving Puts Shame to the Billionaire Class and Their Perpetual Private Foundations.

The billionaire philanthropist continues to defy the charitable norms of the 1 percent.

Celebrating the Passage of the Corporate Transparency Act

This week, Congress takes a meaningful step toward eliminating anonymous shell corporations.

Billionaire Made $1 Trillion Since COVID-19. They Can Afford to Protect Their Workers.

In a holiday shopping season with rampant rates of COVID-19 infection, we must protect frontline workers before it’s too late.

U.S. Billionaire Wealth Surges Past $1 Trillion Since Beginning of Pandemic — Total Grows to $4 Trillion

The total wealth of U.S. billionaires reaches $4 trillion, over $1 trillion of which has been gained since the beginning of the pandemic.

In Arizona, a Progressive Ballot Victory Exposes the Inequitable Federal Treatment of State and Local Taxes

The Trump 2017 tax act penalizes states that tax income responsibly.

Facing Holiday Rush, Frontlines Retail Workers Urge Billionaire Bosses to Share the Wealth

This essential workforce is hustling to help holiday shoppers while also organizing hazard pay and other COVID-19 protections.

Why We Must Protect Essential Workers From Billionaire Pandemic Profiteers

Billionaires are sequestered in protective bubbles and private jets while essential workers are without adequate personal protective equipment.

Billionaire Wealth vs. Community Health

‘Billionaire Wealth vs. Community Health’ report urges Delinquent Dozen companies to protect workers from exploitative owners and executives.

One Key Overlooked Reason We Need the 2017 Trump Tax Act Axed — ASAP

The longer the law remains on the books, the tighter the squeeze on funding for state and local public services.

Donald Trump’s Abuse of the Conservation Easement Tax Loophole Shows How the Tax Code Favors the Ultra Rich

How to ‘donate’ land to a charity, but keep it for your own exclusive use.