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Institute for Policy Studies

New Research & Commentary

Treasury Pick’s Trail of Suffering

Heather McCreary speaking at a January 18 Capitol Hill Forum on the lending practices of OneWest, the bank formerly led by Trump Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin.

While Trump Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin was at the helm, OneWest bank turned my American Dream into a nightmare.

MLK’s Dream of Housing Equality


Never mind the White House. What many black people still long for is any house at all. More than half of African Americans don’t own their own homes. Federal policies help explain why.

A Global Week of Action on Inequality

global week

With political and business elites gathering for their annual retreat in Davos, a coalition of international groups is launching a series of efforts to battle the great economic divides these elites foster.

Equality for Taxi Drivers and Surgeons?

What level of  income disparity between brain surgeons and taxi drivers ought to give us pause? As a society, we need to ask that question.

Those who defend extreme inequality by arguing against complete equality are trying to divert our attention from the questions that matter. The New York Times has just handed us another prime example.

‘Philanthro-Barons’ Distort Democracy

In the 2016 Washington State Supreme Court election campaign, billionaires spent big to defeat an incumbent judge who had challenged their personal take on education reform.

Billionaire philanthropists are combining outsized political contributions with the glow of their reputations as selfless doers-of-good. They have the wherewithal to hammer away at pet policies ad infinitum.

Ideology, Inequality, and the Safety Net 


Expanding, not cutting, the social safety net remains the key to creating a more just and peaceful society. But safety nets, the evidence shows clearly, wither in deeply unequal nations.

A Tale of Two Unequal Retirements


A new Institute for Policy Studies report reveals a wide divide in retirement assets between America’s top CEOs and average Americans. Chalk that gap up to rules rigged against workers.

Walking Away from Wall Street


Sam Polk had a cushy hedge fund job worth potentially hundreds millions of dollars. His new book outlines his rags-to-riches climb — and what happened next.

Fighting the London Housing Crisis

Credit: Craig Morey

Activists are pushing for affordable housing in a city where prices have spiked for various reasons, including foreign residents buying luxury second homes.

South Africans Demand Free College

Protesting students gathered outside the buildings of parliament in Cape Town, South Africa on October 26, 2016. Credit: Kim Harrisberg

For students demanding access to higher education, the inequalities created by the country’s Apartheid past are always present. They’re battling a state they see as “near-kleptocratic.”

Blogging our Grand Divide

A Viable Billionaire Tax?

New paper makes the case that a global billionaire tax is ethical, good for growth, and could solve a lot of the world’s problems. Oh and politically viable.

Searching for Dignity at Davos

At the annual World Economic Forum, dancing Cossacks and mixologists give the private jet-set the inner strength to endure the preachy naggers.

The Hypocrisy of Puzder’s Perks

While fighting basic worker protections, Trump’s Labor Secretary nominee has enjoyed special executive rewards on a grand scale.

A Bold UK Echo of FDR’s Income Cap

The leader of the British Labour Party has just outlined an ambitious set of proposals for shearing the incomes of the ultra rich down to more democratic proportions.

Laboring for Trump’s Labor Pick

At a Capitol Hill forum, Roberto Ramirez shared his experience as a long-time employee of fast food king Andrew Puzder, Trump’s choice to head the U.S. Department of Labor.

Exposing the Wealth Defense Industry

New book examines the hidden world of wealth managers to the ultra-rich driving today’s offshore tax sheltering.

Narrowing the Paid Leave Divide

A pet salon owner in Washington, D.C. helped win one of the country’s most generous family and medical leave plans.

An Arrogant Entrance, A Sad Exit

With a new Congress and White House committed to wealth’s concentration, we’ll sorely miss the scholar who dedicated his life to documenting wealth’s maldistribution.

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)