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

Inequality Is Costing Us Big-Time

Americans pay more for an economy that pumps our treasure to the top than you probably think.

Understanding the Trust Fund Loophole

The White House is going after the tax code provision that lets the super rich avoid billions of dollars of taxes.

Obama Strengthens His Backbone

Advancing tuition-free community college is only the latest example of the bold actions he’s suddenly taking.

Racial Wealth Inequality and the Dream Deferred

As protesters march through our cities, a new study dramatizes that at the heart of our racially fractured society is a hidden system of racial wealth inequalities.

Does This Definition Make Me Look Rich?

No statistical contortion can hide the growing divide between the 1 percent and everyone else.

Must Environmentalists and Labor Activists Find Themselves at Odds With Each Other?

The need for jobs, and the ecological limits to growth

Obama Takes Important Step on Student Debt

Until both lawmakers and universities prioritize reinvesting in America’s young people, the student debt crisis isn’t going anywhere.

Student Debt Report Captures National Attention

IPS’ recent report has garnered significant attention in prominent national media outlets.

The One Percent at State U

New report finds that student debt and low-wage faculty labor are rising faster at state universities with the highest-paid presidents.

Infographic: “One Percent” State Universities

Student debt and low-wage faculty labor are rising faster at state universities with the highest-paid presidents.

Fixing and Expanding the Estate Tax: Intervening to Reduce Wealth Inequality

Fixing the estate tax could be the single most important intervention in reducing wealth dynasties in the U.S.

White House Says Raising Tipped Wage Helps Women

President Obama supports raising the tipped minimum wage and emphasizes that this move would help women, who make up the majority of tipped workers.

The IRS at 100: How Income Taxation Built the Middle Class

A century later, it’s clear that taxing the rich is necessary instead of catastrophic.

Inequality for All: Documentary Antidote to “Elysium Economy”

From gated communities in outer space to graphs about who owns the wealth, two new films are giving Americans a window into the issue of income inequality.

A Golden Rule that Might Chip Away at Inequality

By making it mandatory for corporations to disclose the gap between what they pay their chief executives and most typical workers, the government will empower investors and consumers to compare individual corporations by their level of CEO greed.

Danger Ahead: Our Disappearing Pensions

The vaunted 401(k) revolution has left few Americans with a nest egg.

The Political Calculations behind Growing Inequality

A gusher of campaign cash is driving our politicians to comfort the already comfortable.

Paying for Poor Performance

Over the past two decades, the myth of CEOs earning their runaway pay packages has grown into the ultimate scam.

The Bezillionaire Times

Amazon’s take-no-prisoners business model made founder Jeff Bezos staggeringly rich while stranding thousands of warehouse workers on the borderline of poverty.

Blowing the Whistle on Philanthropy

A scion of one of America’s top fortunes has just exposed our “charitable-industrial complex.”