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

Stephen King Meets the Estate Tax

What horrors will befall our nation’s wealthy when one of the most bizarre twists in tax legislation in history comes to pass?

What Obama is Getting Wrong About Economic Recovery

Obama needs new, bold ideas to get Americans back on their feet and out of recession.

Job Creation: Change Obama Needs to Believe In

With the unemployment rate still in double digits, the Obama administration must step up to the plate and strengthen the job market.

Estate Tax Breathes Life into Economy

Congress had to act swiftly to preserve the substance and the meaning of the estate tax.

Thanksgiving: Time to Consider Native Americans’ Plight

The nation needs to commit itself to lasting Native American advancement.

Challenges to Native American Advancement: The Recession and Native America

Despite some growth, many disparities remain among indigenous Americans.

Neighbors Banding Together in Tough Times

Wall Street might be bouncing back, but what about the rest of us?

Five Benefits of Common Security Clubs Economic Solidarity

These organizations can be a source of comfort and strength in a time of financial uncertainty.

An Estate Tax Victory by Any Other Name

A powerful lobby that’s spent a decade trying to eliminate the estate tax is changing their tune.

Billionaires Thank Tea-Baggers at Glenn Beck’s March on Washington

The Billionaires motto is: “If we’re not broke, don’t fix it.”

The Recession’s Racial Divide

African Americans are taking on the brunt of the recession with disproportionately high rates of unemployment and foreclosure.

Executive Excess 2009: America’s Bailout Barons

The 16th annual Institute for Policy Studies “Executive Excess” report exposes this year’s windfalls for top financial bailout recipients.

Taxing Wealth for the Common Good

Business leaders and wealthy individuals call for a repeal of the Bush-era taxes on high incomes.

The Destruction of the Black Middle Class

Left out of the commentary on race and class over the Gates affair has been talk of the increasing impoverishment — or, we should say, re-impoverishment — of African Americans as a group.

Structural Inequality: News Not Fit to Print?

President Obama’s address to the NAACP acknowledged that racial inequality is not an African-American problem, but rather a problem of our entire nation. So why didn’t the New York Times?

Taxing the Top to Pay for Health Care Reform

The House Ways and Means proposal asks the wealthiest Americans to start to pay their fair share in taxes.

Apologists for the Rich Are Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

In a down economy, apologists for the awesomely affluent are having to dig deep for inspiration. In the process, they’re looking dopey.

What Happened to the Crackdown on Executive Pay?

New Treasury rules have backpedaled on CEO pay reform for bailed-out companies. But we can no longer afford the status quo.

President Obama and the Harsh Racial Reality

Despite electing the first African-American president, the United States still faces deepening racial inequality.

White Privilege in the Americas

Even though white privilege and racist socioeconomic orders in Latin America are different than those found in the United States, the deconstruction of the racial divide is something needed throughout the hemisphere.