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

Make the Speculators Pay

Funds for the economic recovery should come from the Wall Street gamblers and the wealthy CEOs who profited from the casino economy.

The Massive Wealth Redistribution that Doesn’t Bother John McCain

Upward wealth redistribution has taken billions of dollars out of the pockets of average Americans.

Talking Points: Economic Meltdown

The following document is a series of talking points, in an easy-to-read question-and-answer format, on the key questions being discussed today about the global economic meltdown.

Analysis of Treasury Department Rules on Executive Compensation for Bailout Firms

Treasury Department’s new rules clarify some provisions in the bailout but fail to set monetary limits for CEO pay.

IPS Plan to Pay for Recovery

Where to Find $900 Billion from the Wall Street Speculators.

A Problem of Riches

Why concentrated wealth and the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us are not only bad for our economy but threaten democracy itself.

Private Jet Passengers Still Go Their Own Way

Private jets strain the air transport system, and they impose costs on taxpayers and other travelers because they don’t pay their fair share.

Seeking a Sign of CEO Excess? Look Up in the Sky

The private-jet perk is – literally and figuratively – a high-profile sign of an executive reward system out of control.

The Mirrors of History

Members of a prominent slave-trading family confront the wounds of the past and present.

High Flyers

How private jet travel is straining the system, warming the planet, and costing you money.

The Rich and the Rest of Us

In this age of inequality, the wealth that should be shared by all Americans trickle up to the rich.

Race and Extreme Inequality

Will Obama’s presidential candidacy signal a change for impoverished African-Americans?

This Land Is Their Land

In the era of the superrich, if a place is truly beautiful, ordinary people can’t afford to be there.

The Economic Side of MLK’s Dream

We’re not much closer to the promised land than we were at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination.

40 Years Later: The Unrealized American Dream

Economic inequality between African Americans and whites is still at the foundation of racial inequality.

U.S.: 40 Years in the Wilderness

Four decades after his death, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words tragically speak to our current reality.

The Great Reckoning Is Here

A corrosive problem lies at the root of our economic instability: our society and economy are rapidly polarizing.

Change to Believe In

Forty years after the Kerner Commission report, the nation remains divided into separate and unequal societies.

Want to Stimulate the Economy? Tax the Wealthy

Underlying our economic crisis is a polarization of income and wealth.