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

Big Pharma to Pay for Opioid Crisis, But What Happens to the Money?

Big Tobacco settlements didn’t help those in need. Let’s ensure opioid settlements actually go toward helping impacted people and communities.

Reflections on the Opioid Epidemic

What we can do to stop America’s next horrific eruption of corporate greed?

400 Years After Slavery, No More Band-Aids

It’s time to heal the deep wounds of racism — not only to ensure equity for African Americans, but for our entire economy.

Out of Ottawa, Some Deflating New Stats on Life in the World’s Richest Nation

An innovative binational analysis details how plutocracy is squeezing low and middle income Americans.

5 Ways the Economy Is Stacked Against Millennials

Millennials suffer stagnant wages and high expenses in an economy not designed for them — but there’s hope.

Can Inequality Be Hardwired into Our DNA?

We need more than a moratorium on making inheritable edits in our genetic code. We need a moratorium on people getting rich off of editing our genes.

A Lesson from West Africa, a Global Inequality Ground Zero

To end poverty at the bottom of our economic orders, we need to stop wealth from concentrating at the top.

It’s Time For a 100% Tax on Billionaire Estates

Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and her family’s generational wealth have skyrocketed since Trump’s policies were signed into law.

A Tale of Two Druglords

One gets life behind bars, the other retires into luxury. Guess which one wreaked more havoc.

Kaepernick Was Right — Racists Love the Betsy Ross Flag

Conservatives may deny it, or say it’s a thing of the past. But, hate groups are still flying their Betsy Ross flag right next to their Confederate one.

Taxing the (Very) Rich: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Here’s a primer for enjoying our inaugural conference on taxing the wealthiest 0.1 percent.

A Deep Data Crunch, a New Atlas of Inequality

Economic segregation divides much more than the neighborhoods where we live.

Why 21st-Century America Needs to Enact Reparations

The House Judiciary Committee finally debated HR 40, which would form a commission to study the legacy of U.S. slavery — and how to make reparations for it.

Bernie Is Right: 3 Billionaires Really Do Have More Wealth Than Half of America

And in addition to the 3 billionaires Bernie mentioned, we should also be worried about the expanding fortunes of multi-generational wealth dynasties.

Does a Presidential Candidate Who Thinks Billionaires Can Be ‘Deserving’ Deserve To Be President?

A clear majority of candidates for the Democratic Party’s 2020 nomination seem to have no problem with the presence of grand private fortunes.

Taxing the Rich Starts With Knowing Who They Are

Taxing the rich won’t be effective unless we deploy a variety of policy approaches. After all, the richest among us are often experts at dodging taxes.

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.