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

Plutocracy with a Pleasant Philanthropic Face

Not all plutocrats scheme in the shadows like the rabidly right-wing Koch brothers. We need to learn how to recognize plutocracy’s more subtle putches. The best primer? The battle over education’s future.

Jeff Immelt, GE CEO – Corporate Tax Dodger

If there were an Olympics for tax dodging, General Electric would sweep the gold. Last year GE reaped $3.3 billion in federal income tax refunds, despite more than $5 billion in U.S. profits

Ivan Seidenberg – Corporate Tax Dodger

Phone customers paid more to Uncle Sam than the telecom giant Verizon.

Reality TV’s “Stories of Stuff”

New reality shows offer an unwitting window in to the new green economy.

John Strangfeld, Prudential – Corporate Tax Dodger

Prudential Financial is reaping low-income housing tax refunds by investing in luxury hotels.

John Faraci, International Paper — Corporate Tax Dodger

International Paper CEO John Faraci received a 75 percent pay hike in 2010. He pocketed $12.3 million.

Can Anyone Tackle Our Tax-Dodging CEOs?

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies documents how America’s top corporate execs are stiffing Uncle Sam – and lavishly lining their own pockets in the process.

CEOs Rewarded for Corporate Tax Dodging

Shareholders should reward CEOs for building better products or delivering better services, not for accounting gymnastics that game their tax bills down.

A Response to Disputes by Corporations over our Methodology

Since the release of Executive Excess 2011, several of the corporations included in our study have raised questions about our methodology. Here’s our response.

Corporate Freeloaders Make Taxpayers Pick up the Tab

A troubling number of U.S. corporations behave as moocher guests at our national cafeteria.

Democracy Now!: Study Reveals 25 Top Firms Pay More to CEOs than in Taxes [VIDEO]

Discussing the findings of our report, and answering questions about what comes next.

Big Bucks to Dodge Taxes

When tax shelters allow CEOs to take home more in pay than their entire company pays in taxes, something is very wrong.

Pay Your Share: Stop Corporate Tax Dodgers

Corporate tax dodging has gone so out of control that 25 major U.S. corporations paid their CEOs more than they paid the U.S. government in federal income taxes.

Fracking the IRS

CEOs are routinely rewarded for tax-dodging gymnastics.

A Tip for Joe the Machinist: Watch Your Back

A Labor Day reflection: Corporate America no longer even pays lip service to the importance of encouraging hard work and skill.

High Business Costs a ‘Curse’? Not if it Means the Wage Floor Rises.

A letter to the editor in the Boston Globe emphasizes the benefits of reining in inequality.

America Doesn’t Need a Tax-Dodging Industry

If the companies that offshore their profits and design tax scams paid their fair share, we might not have a budget crisis.

A Strategy for Coping with Unemployment

Resilience Circles are springing up across the United States.

Building Resilience: The New Economy in the Shell of the Old

“Resilience Circles” are popping up all around the country. They’re transformative, hopeful, and fun.