connecting the dots on a growing divide

News and Reporting

Why an Unequal Planet Can Never Be Green

A protester carries a sign during the "People's Climate March" in the Manhattan borough of New York

The more income and wealth concentrate at our global economic summit, the greater the strain on our increasingly fragile biosphere. Environmentalists the world over, analysts and activists alike, get that connection. Now our societies must. Or suffer the consequences.

The ‘New Normal’ of Unbalanced Growth

The differential in income growth rates has been with us for decades.

Everybody knows that the United States has become much more unequal since 1980. Can we expect the nation to get still more unequal? Unfortunately, yes. With top 1 percent incomes growing faster than the incomes of everyone else, increasing inequality will be inevitable.

America Needs a New G.I. Bill

We need a new GI Bill to ensure civic participation and an affordable college education for the poorest  Americans.

A new G.I. bill that included one year of civic learning and civic participation would provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds with an affordable college education — and give them the civic skills needed to have a meaningful voice in the democratic process.

Is Education the Answer to Income Inequality?

Is improved education the answer to rising income inequality?

It has long been fashionable to assert that education is the answer to our growing inequality problem. But even if increasing educational attainment reduced inequality of opportunity, this does not imply a direct acceleration of the rate of average income growth of the bottom 99 percent.

The Fed Finds an America Deeply Divided


The ‘average’ U.S. family is doing just fine, suggests the Federal Reserve’s latest triennial portrait of household income and wealth, the Survey of Consumer Finances. But typical Americans, the report also makes clear, are struggling something awful. Could both be true?

New Scorecard Grades CEO Pay Reform

Ordinary taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for excessive executive compensation.

The just-released Institute for Policy Studies 2014 Executive Pay Reform Scorecard – part of the latest edition of the IPS annual Executive Excess report – evaluates an extensive list of creative and practical proposals for reining in excessive executive compensation.

Inequality and the USA: A Nation in Denial?

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America’s top central bankers didn’t make much time for inequality at their annual hobnob in Wyoming’s Jackson Hole last week. Over in Germany, at another confab, the world’s Nobel laureates in economics did. But few Americans seemed to notice. We explore one possible reason why.

Foreclosing on the American Dream

Home is more than a roof over one's head; it’s a time-honored symbol of the American Dream.

The foreclosure epidemic illustrates a problem far larger and more pervasive than current banking practices: America’s growing power imbalance. In our deeply unbalanced economic world, we need to rethink policies that operate to penalize the powerless and reward the predatory.

Wage Theft: The New American Crime?

Many working people are paid less than the legal minimum, not paid for overtime, and deprived of legal protections.

Each week, millions of dollars are stolen from American families. The perpetrators act with impunity. There are no arrests, few convictions, and meaningless fines. What is this crime wave sweeping the nation? Wage theft. Some communities are now banding together to put an end to it.

What Has Happened to the Public Good?

The influence of money on politics in the United States has led to a corruption of the political process.

If we want to solve the most pressing issues of our time, we need to change our national political discourse from one that focuses solely on competition, the market, and the individual, to one that focuses on the value of community, civil society, and the public good.

“The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly. The rich have always objected to being governed at all.”

English essayist (1874-1936)

Our top reads

Darden’s Golden Goodbyes, by Sarah Anderson

Restaurant colossus Darden, the owner of Olive Garden and a host of other chains, has just handed three departing top executives a going-away package worth an estimated $68 million. At least one fifth of Darden workers currently make no more than the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. (source)

Forbes 400 Set New Wealth Record

The combined wealth of the just-published Forbes’ 2014 ranking of the richest people in America has hit $2.29 trillion, up from $2.02 trillion in 2013 and the highest total ever. (source)

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