connecting the dots on a growing divide

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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.

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?

“Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only.”

American philosopher (1817-1862)

Our top reads

Technology and Inequality, by David Rotman

Is the creativity and productivity of places like Silicon Valley threatened by a future that favors the fortunes of the very rich over the ambitions of the many? (source)

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