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

Gloria Vanderbilt, Taxes, and Grand Fortune

The Vanderbilts, once America’s richest family, have become a handy punching bag for the guardians of our new Gilded Age.

Minimum Wage Reaches Lowest Value Since 1960’s

The federal minimum wage has not been raised in 10 years, the longest period without an increase since the program was implemented.

Decent, Secure Housing Is a Basic Human Right

New York’s latest housing legislation turns the tables on the landlord class, offering protections for renters.

How Fair Housing Laws Can Advance Environmental Justice and Racial Equity

Residents of Eight Mile, Alabama await a HUD ruling on a dangerous gas leak. Meanwhile, NCRC and the South Alabama Center for Fair Housing evaluate other legal options to secure compensation for the community.

How Wealthy Have Our Super Wealthy Become?

We now have some new clues, thanks to the tax-evasion records whistleblowers have been so generously sharing.

Business School Graduates — Don’t Work for Billionaires

Billionaires have become a protected class, employing the brightest graduates to defend and multiply their assets and privileges. Don’t help them exacerbate inequality.

Great Fortunes are Suffocating Great Art

How can we save art from the soul-crushing dynamics that our extreme inequality imposes?

For Equality, This Labor Leader Gave a Maximum Effort

The transit worker union’s Larry Hanley lived a life that reminds us what beating back inequality truly takes.

Debunking Myths About Wealth and Race

It’s not individual behavior that drives the racial wealth divide — it’s a system that many folks pretend doesn’t exist.

Help Today’s College Students as We Did for Previous Generations

Can you imagine being 22 and having $150,000 in debt? This is generational abuse.

User Data Could Help Curb Inequality Spurred by the Tech Industry

The work we do online is making a precious few fabulously rich. Now stirring in California, a movement to share the wealth our data create.

How to Shrink the Wealth Gap for Minorities and Everyone Else While We Study Reparations

Reparations need to be part of this discussion, but we should also look at policies that would turn around our regressive economy for all Americans.

America’s Wealthy Want to Silence the Income Inequality Discussion

The richest among us are preaching the ‘opportunity’ gospel. Don’t fall for it.

The Roots of Economic Inequality and the Racial Wealth Divide

Inequality in the U.S. can be reversed, in part, through intentional social programs and tax reform.

We Can Fix the Nation’s Racial Wealth Gap

The divide is much bigger than most people suppose. It’s also fixable.

Patriotic Millionaires Have Simple Message: Tax the Rich

Activists, academics, and elected officials gathered in Washington to explain why and how we should raise taxes on the wealthy.

U.S. Public Opinion Favors Bold Action to Address Rising Economic Inequality

Contrary to Donald Trump’s redbaiting campaign, progressive initiatives such as imposing heavier taxes on the nation’s wealthiest citizens and corporations, establishing a universal health care system and forging ahead with the proposed Green New Deal actually have bipartisan support.

Trump Dumps Nearly 1M People From Food Stamps

Trump administration toughens work requirements for people struggling the most—and 48% are white men.

A Cure for Excessive Wealth Disorder

Here’s a simple test to determine whether politicians are carrying water for the richest 0.1 percent.

Ten Solutions to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide

The deep and persistent racial wealth divide will not close without bold, structural reform.