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 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.

Tax Day: You Pay Your Taxes — Why Don’t the Rich Pay Their Share?

Few Americans realize just how incredibly little our nation’s wealthy now pay in taxes. Our grandparents seriously taxed the rich. Why can’t we?

Reversing the Great Tax Shift: Seven Steps to Finance Our Economic Recovery Fairly

Tax Day 2009 will come upon a time of financial crisis and extreme economic inequality. The Institute for Policy Studies proposes a series of measures to alleviate both problems.

The Foundation of the Racial Divide

People of all racial and ethnic backgrounds must recognize the racial wealth divide, and work together to overcome it.

What Would the Man Who Got Us Out of the Last Depression Do About Wall Street’s Greed?

What would FDR do if he were around to see AIG’s bonus bozos spit in the face of the American taxpayer?

Looking for Support in Hard Economic Times?

Part mutual aid association and part social action group, common security clubs offer a great way to take action.

Common Security Clubs: Working Together to Face Hard times

Across the U.S., a mini-movement of people coming together to build security in economic bad times.

Paying for a Strong Economy

IPS scholars find that taxes on the wealthy don’t hurt consumption, and discourage the type of speculation that fueled the high-tech and housing bubbles.

Obama Is Right to Take on the Very Rich

They’re paying far less of their incomes in taxes than average Americans.

Corporate America, Ground Your Jets

The American taxpayer, reeling from the economic meltdown, doesn’t feel like subsidizing lavish jets and bonuses any more.

WANTED: A Commerce Secretary for Main Street

Obama should appoint someone who knows her way around Main Street