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

Senator Warren’s Wealth Tax: The Moment of Conception

There are great moments in intellectual cross-fertilization. This may have been one of them.

The Moderate’s Case for a Maximum Wage

Democrats have enough heft in Congress to force floor debates on proposals that meaningfully target inequality, but they’ll need support from their moderate contingent if any real change is to occur.

How the 1% Profit Off of Racial Economic Inequality

The racial wealth divide is bringing down median wealth, while wealth at the very top soars.

An MLK Day Reflection: The Racial Wealth Gap Is Killing the Middle Class

Ninety years out from Dr. King’s birth, the typical white family had 41 times more wealth than the typical Black family

The Deep-Pocket Push to Deep-Six Public Schools

The backstory to the showdown in Los Angeles between teachers and billionaires.

When Corporations Pay CEOs Way More Than Employees, Make Them Pay!

Portland’s groundbreaking strategy for curbing executive compensation should be a model for the rest of the country.

The Government Shutdown Expands the Ranks of ‘Underwater Nation’

Unemployment is low, but federal employees are lining up at food banks. They aren’t alone.

A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice Is Far From Reality

90 years after King was born, the racial wealth divide is actually growing — which drags down the entire economy.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Tax Plan Can Get The Rich To Actually Want To Make All Americans Richer. Here’s How.

Linking the top tax rate to minimum wage could be the key to incentivizing wealthy Americans to shrink income inequality.

Report: Dreams Deferred

How Enriching the 1% Widens the Racial Wealth Divide

Beware of Gifts From Billionaires

We must reform the rules governing philanthropy to encourage more broad-based participation and to reduce the risks of top-heavy, tax-avoidance giving.

If Democrats Fracture, This Will Be the Fault Line

Should we treat the super rich as a distraction or a clear and present danger? No question more deeply divides the opposition to The Donald.

The Inequality in Charitable Giving

Why billionaire philanthropy is problematic.

Can Boston Tax Its Way To More Affordable Housing?

From speculation to vacancies, taxing high-end condos may be the solution to affordable housing Boston has been looking for.

Be Wary of Billionaire Beneficence

Massive donations are great, but they mask a troubling trend.

What Does Inequality Cost the Average American? About $150K

Americans pay a steep price for not spreading their wealth around as well as other developed countries.

GM, Jobs, and Corporate America’s Incentive to Exploit

Executive pay excess is driving decisions that are turning workers — and their communities — into sacrificial lambs.

No more half-measures — It’s time for ‘Medicare for All’

Every other industrialized country has already made the transition and seen both improved health outcomes and reduced costs.

It’s Too Easy for the Ultra-Rich to Pass Down Wealth. Here’s How to Fix That

Hint: simply increasing the progressive income tax on top earners isn’t enough.

The Carcinogens That Come in Pay Envelopes

Cancer-treatment executives are reaping fortunes off deeply misleading marketing strategies.