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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.

Inside Our Profoundly Unequal ‘New Normal’


Wealth’s current tilt to the top sometimes seems almost eternal. But can our mature market economies ‘self-correct’? A provocative new paper out of the OECD, the developed world’s official economic research agency, contemplates our tomorrow if we let current trends play out.

Who Really Rates as a ‘True Egalitarian’?


A nationally prominent conservative academic is charging that critics of America’s top-heavy distribution of income and wealth are missing the bigger global picture. In the process, other economists are pointing out, he’s only fogging that picture up.

Is Climate Change an Engine of Inequality?

Climate change perpetuates inequality by enriching the few and burdening the vulnerable.

Energy policies exacerbate inequality by placing the costs of climate change on the most vulnerable Americans. The general public bears the costs in both higher prices and higher taxes at the same time that fossil fuel companies continue to enjoy massive subsidies.

“The form of law which I propose would be as follows: In a state which is desirous of being saved from the greatest of all plagues—not faction, but rather distraction—there should exist among the citizens neither extreme poverty nor, again, excessive wealth, for both are productive of great evil . . . Now the legislator should determine what is to be the limit of poverty or of wealth.”

Greek philosopher (427-347 B.C.)

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