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

Report: Billionaire Bonanza 2020

Billionaire wealth has grown astoundingly over the last few decades — and, for some “pandemic profiteers,” even more dramatically since the COVID-19 crisis.

Taxes Paid By Billionaires Decreased 79 Percent Since 1980, as Percentage of Their Wealth

As we emerge from this pandemic, substantial tax increases are inevitable. Central to the program should be a tax that limits the hoarding of wealth by the billionaire class.

A Trillion in Prevention

For working people, our economy was never as strong as it seemed. The trillions we invest in recovering from the coronavirus must change that.

Should Zoom Be a Public Utility?

Online platforms like Zoom and Skype have become basic, public necessities as our lives are upended by the coronavirus. Should they be nationalized?

Billionaires: A Visual Explainer

An illustrated look at a system allowing billionaire wealth to balloon, all at the expense of everything else we care about.

Student Debt Relief Is Good Politics — and Good Policy

Investing in student debt relief would have a democratizing effect for young people and median earners, while also boosting the economy.

The US Would Be Better off With Fewer Billionaires

If we want to expand the middle class, lift up workers and protect the environment, we need to protect our democracy from extreme billionaire influence.

Taxing Wealth Emperors in the Empire State

The Strong For All coalition is pressing for higher taxes on the very rich rather than austerity budget cuts that hit the non-wealthy.

Trump Claims Credit for Life Expectancy Rise, Introduces Medicaid Cutback

U.S. life expectancy rose for the first time in four years because of a drop in opioid overdose deaths. Now Trump, who claims credit, wants to cut Medicaid.

From the UN, New Ammo for Egalitarians

The United Nations might be fading, but this new report deserves a bright spotlight.

Luanda Leaks and the Global Wealth Defense Industry

Why we should focus on the enablers exposed in the Angola scandal: Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, and PwC.

Trump’s EPA Is a Huge Cancer Risk

Industry-friendly regulators are letting chemical companies flood the country with toxins. It should be a scandal.

Dear Billionaires: Pitchforks or Fair Tax System?

Taxes are the best and only appropriate way to ensure adequate investment in the things our societies need.

Support Native Businesses This Holiday Season

Native American products enrich many corporations — but often not Natives themselves. We can change that.

Boston One Step Closer to a Luxury Real Estate Transfer Tax

A proposed 2 percent transfer tax on residential and commercial properties worth over $2 million could raise $169 million for affordable housing annually.

Economic Inequality Has Gone Bananas

While duct-taped bananas are selling for over $100,000, the Trump administration is slashing SNAP benefits for 700,000 Americans.

Health Care and the ‘Head Tax’: An Unhealthy Combination

We need to fix the health care system that has Joe Six-Pack paying the same basic tax as Jeff Bezos.

Putting the Brakes on Corporate America’s Inequality Engine

The Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act, landmark new legislation before Congress, links corporate taxes to the CEO-worker pay divide.

Are the Rich Secretly Hoarding Their Wealth in Seattle’s Luxury Condos?

According to a new study, nearly half of the units in one downtown building were owned by anonymous entities.

Michael Bloomberg Bought Gracie Mansion. Could He Buy the White House?

With personal fortunes worth dozens of billions, modern American deep pockets can afford one of just about everything.