A project of the
Institute for Policy Studies

New Research & Commentary

Using Public Art to Narrow the Gaps

Artist Francisco Letelier with students from the Latin American Youth Center in front of mural at American University, Washington, D.C.

After his father was killed in a Washington, D.C. terrorist attack in 1976, Francisco Letelier turned to murals as a tool for narrowing our world’s economic, political, and cultural divides.

Who’s to blame for rising inequality in Indiana?


Where did the belief that the poor deserve to be poor come from? Meet John Calvin. The belief that poor people lack moral fiber has for generations profoundly influenced American culture.

Demanding Just Hours for Workers

Make-up artist Kimberly Mitchell is an advocate for fair scheduling.

Large retailers and restaurants are increasingly assigning their employees, predominantly women and people of color, unpredictable schedules. Workers like Kimberly Mitchell are fighting back.

Indiana: A Snapshot of Inequality


Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence calls Indiana is “a state that works.” The facts tell a different story. Indiana “works” particularly poorly for children and working families.

A Soiled Picture of Art and Labor

Washington, D.C.’s Canal Park neighborhood, as captured by artist Janelle Fernandez

The deeply unequal art world’s current economic model simply isn’t working, as the story of one public art effort in a Washington, D.C. neighborhood demonstrates quite clearly.

Why Are We Failing Our Caregivers?

Activist caregiver Karon Hatchett

The caretakers for the fortunes of America’s rich take home a pretty penny. The caretakers for average Americans most certainly do not. But caregivers like Karon Hatchett are working to change that.

Brazil: Elites Behind President’s Ouster

shutterstock_414173887 (2)

Those who conspired against an elected president do not accept that black, poor, indigenous, women, homosexuals, and slum dwellers have the right to respect and dignity.

Obama’s TPP Would Widen the Divide

Manuel Pérez-Rocha protesting an investor-state lawsuit brought by a Canadian mining company against El Salvador, March 2016.

A Mexican activist offers lessons from the North American Free Trade Agreement about the likely impacts of the Trans-Pacific trade deal on inequality.

The Wall Street CEO Bonus Loophole

cover image

If elected, the latest Institute for Policy Studies executive compensation report details, Hillary Clinton would have the chance to fix her husband’s costly and dangerous CEO pay policy mistake.

A Call for Equitable Development

Baltimore, one affordable-housing activist noted at a late August City Hall hearing, “should not be in the business of subsidizing affluent enclaves” like the proposed Port Covington project.

In Baltimore, activists are urging the city to move beyond “tax increment financing” that privileges billionaires at public expense. TIF agreements elsewhere have generated few if any living-wage jobs.

Blogging our Grand Divide

A Journey to the Heart of the Right

How do we make sense of the modern rural right wing consistently voting against their own interests? It starts with empathy…

Some Bad New ‘Good News’ on Wealth

The latest global wealth report out of the financial industry raises some fundamental questions about inequality and our global future.

Another For-Profit College Folds

The closure of ITT Tech should be a warning to other educational institutions looking to make a dime at the expense of students.

Confederate Symbols and Inequality

Modern-day problems of gentrification and racial inequality play into a debate over streets and statues that honor the Civil War south.

Presidential Politics and CEO Pay

If our leaders want to be taken seriously when they rant about runaway CEO pay, they need to embrace solutions that’ll have a real impact.

America’s Heart Problem

Reverend Dr. William Barber II takes the message of the Moral Monday movement to a national audience in his most recent book and Moral Revival tour.

What Explains Median Wages Rising?

New Census data show rising incomes and shrinking poverty. But it’s not quite time to bust out the champagne.

Sandbagging for Fun and Profit

Wells Fargo has just been hit with the biggest banking consumer fraud penalty ever. Yet the bank’s execs are walking out the door with millions in bonuses. Can we stop them?

CEO Pay as a Menace to Our Health

The world’s first great analyst of management urged us to limit the gap between CEO and worker pay. We didn’t listen. How many more life-threatening scandals like EpiPen before we do?

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)