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The Predicament of ‘One Percent’ Parents

As top incomes increase, ‘one percent’ parents will try to purchase as much influence over the social mobility process as they can.

The greater the income gap, the more important it becomes for rich parents to give their children every possible advantage. Increasing inequality thus accentuates elites’ reluctance to pay taxes that could equalize opportunity. Their own children just may have the most to lose.

Why Research Funding Matters for the Country

Dwindling government resources for research signals a nation in decline.

Researchers across academic disciplines have raised concerns over the dwindling government support available for basic and applied research. This lack of concern for investing in our future, like our disinclination to maintain our basic infrastructure, signals a nation in decline.

On a Top-Heavy Planet, a Bit of a Nordic Puzzler


Income gaps and wealth concentration go hand in hand, the latest annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report makes clear. With one exception. The Nordic nations all have much more top-heavy distributions of wealth than their more equal distributions of income would seem likely to produce.

Our Empathetic Wealthy: The Rarest of Birds


A landmark new study has laid bare the dirty little secret of modern American philanthropy: America’s wealthy don’t particularly care all that much about the rest of us. Low- and middle-income people actually dig far deeper into their pockets for charity than the high-income set.

From the First Forbes Rich List to the Last


America’s super rich today actually hold more wealth than their counterparts back in 1918, the year Forbes first took a stab at identifying the nation’s grandest fortunes. In short, thanks to the Kochs, Waltons, and friends, our new Gilded Age has officially begun.

America’s Ridiculously Rich: the 2014 Edition


Forbes has just released its latest list of America’s wealthiest 400. The new numbers don’t just stagger the imagination. They stagger common sense. The average Forbes 400 member now holds a fortune over 1,000 times the wealth of someone with a $5.2 million fortune.

When Socialism Just May Offer Us an Answer

Thanks to Obamacare, fewer Americans are declaring bankruptcy

Sometimes a socialist solution to a problem might actually be good for capitalism and for ameliorating inequality. A great example of this is the Affordable Care Act. By socializing access to health insurance, the ACA has improved both our economic and moral health as a nation.

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.

“Perhaps you know some well-off families who do not seem to suffer from their riches. They do not overeat themselves; they find occupations to keep themselves in health; they do not worry about their position; they put their money into safe investments and are content with a low rate of interest; and they bring up their children to live simply and do useful work. But this means that they do not live like rich people at all, and might therefore just as well have ordinary incomes.”

Anglo-Irish playwright (1856-1950)

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