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

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.”

11 Reasons to Divest from the Fossil Fuel Industry

Our current economy, based on insatiable extraction and consumption, is simply unsustainable – for the planet as well as for us.

What’s Driving America’s Flagging Vital Signs?

Inequality is behind the nation’s dismal life expectancy rates.

The Tradeoff Between Apple and Apples

There would be no need for our elected leaders to trim our safety net if our richest corporations didn’t turn avoiding their fair share of taxes into an art form.

A More Perfect Union

Our elites have lost that selfless spirit.

New Guide Explains How and Why America Has Become So Unequal

Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality, a new publication of by Colin Gordon, dives deeply into history, explores current events, and examines the root causes of inequality.

A Tax System that Targets Workers

U.S. rates on wealth have fallen while rates on labor income have gone up. That’s unsustainable.

Taxing Work Too Much: Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by Sam Pizzigati and Bob Lord

They pinpoint what’s truly unsustainable about the nation’s tax system.

Snooping Makes an Easy Road to Riches

Corporate execs at firms like Booz Allen have a vested self-interest in pumping up demand for their snooping services.

They Can’t Stop Beethoven, Can They?

For the grasping managers of Corporate America – and the institutions their wealth dominates – no workers deserve dignity, not even the most amazingly accomplished.

The Wealthy’s Free Pass

Our tax code pads the bottom line of the Americans who need help the least.

These Hedges Need Trimming

Are hedge funds a financial service or a racket?

Money Still Can’t Buy Happiness

And we finally have a nation that’s taking that reality to heart.