A project of the
Institute for Policy Studies

New Research & Commentary

The Economics of the New Jim Crow


In the modern era, anti-black racism has evolved into a more insidious form: the relatively quiet economic subjugation that was taken for granted during periods of slavery and Jim Crow.

The Disparate Impact of Climate Change

Pope Francis has raised the issue of how environmental degradation weighs heaviest on the poor.

The Pope’s new encyclical has raised an issue seldom recognized in the debate over climate policy: the wildly disparate impact of climate change on those who are “differently situated.”

Pope Francis on Climate and Inequality

Credit: Shutterstock

Pope Francis’ new encyclical suggests that climate change and inequality are inextricably linked. A true ecological approach, he says, must integrate questions of justice in environmental debates.

Depths of Poverty in the Deep South

Credit: Scott Rodd, ThinkProgress

Tchula, Mississippi is a quiet farm town in the heart of Delta blues country. Its residents, like Andrew featured here, live with deep poverty that stems from slavery and the era of Jim Crow segregation.

Steal from Taxpayers, Blame the Poor

Credit: Ineteconomics

Americans dependent on the safety net are urged to “get a job” by the same free-market system that pays them too little to avoid being dependent on the safety net. It’s a vicious circle of hypocrisy.

Is Political Inequality the Worst Kind?

Strict voter ID laws are erecting unnecessary barriers to the sacred right to vote.

From strict voter ID laws and gerrymandering to the problem of money in politics, growing political inequality is one of the most pernicious—and least discussed—forms of inequality in the United States.

Sanders and Free Market Mythology

Bernie Sanders' campaign is delivering sorely needed truths about today's economic inequality.

Free market mythology has long diverted attention from the reality of a corporate-dominated system. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy has the potential to bust up this common mythmaking.

Elder Care in the Age of Inequality

From 2005 to 2009, the percentage of seniors in America falling into poverty doubled.

From the threat of Social Security cuts and privatization of public goods to rising healthcare costs and financial exploitation, elderly Americans are a major victim of today’s growing inequality.

A Company that Manufactures Equality


Top U.S. CEOs sometimes make more in an hour than their workers can make in a year. At Mondragon, one of Spain’s largest firms, no execs can make more in an hour than their workers make in a day.

From the Great Society to the Debt Trap

About 12 million low-income Americans depend on payday loans to bridge a gap in their cash flow.

The Debt Trap is a tight weave of capitalistic enterprises that leave financially vulnerable Americans locked into perpetual debt, resulting in generations of poverty—and utter hopelessness.

Blogging our Grand Divide

JFK and Today’s Free Trade Agreements

As President Obama tries to save the Trans-Pacific Partnership this week, debate over the goals of free trade intensifies.

A Tax System that Targets Workers

Since 1980, the rate for wealth-based taxes has been decreasing while the rate for labor-based taxes has been increasing.

Warren Buffett: No to Higher Wages

The Oracle of Omaha may not be all that incredibly wise after all, just incredibly rich and sheltered from the real world of work.

A Simple Idea: Free Education For All

With two new legislative initiatives, Senator Bernie Sanders is proposing to tax Wall Street speculators to give all Americans a good shot at a college degree.

Civil War Rages On for Black America

By righting a 150-year-old wrong, re-enactors aim to help remedy long untreated ills at the root of today’s #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Our top reads

Twin Peaks Planet

Between our world’s twin peaks — the ever-richer global elite and the rising Chinese middle class — lies what we might call the valley of despond: the stagnating incomes of the advanced-country working classes. (source)

The Rise and Rise of the Top 0.1 Percent

New research unveiled in 2014 has solved the puzzle in our statistics on economic inequality. (source)

World’s 400 Richest Add $92 Billion in 2014

The globe’s 400 wealthiest billionaires are ending the year worth a combined $4.1 trillion, an average $10.3 billion each. (source)