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

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.

Estate Tax Wars: Pinocchio on Viagra

With outright lies dominating the estate tax debate on Capitol Hill, two Washington Post columnists have incredibly different takes on the untruths of the anti-tax crowd.

A Higher Education Revolution

More robust estate taxes could cover the cost of making public colleges and universities tuition-free.

America’s Billionaires Owe You a Thank You Note

America’s billionaires minimize their tax burdens, making the rest of us pick up their tab.

Betting the Farm on a Lie

Estate tax critics never let facts get in the way of a good story.

Privatizing Public Services

The taxes we pay should bankroll quality public services, not corporations and overpaid CEOs.

The Student Debt Time Bomb

Indebted students are a force to be reckoned with.

Money to Burn

While millions can’t even afford to feed their kids, the super rich are hiring a Swiss company to name theirs.

Marshaling Marooned Tax Dollars

Congress needs to shut down offshore tax shelters without rewarding the corporations that built them.

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.