A project of the
Institute for Policy Studies

New Research & Commentary

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.

Domestic Workers Win Big In Illinois


The National Domestic Workers Alliance and its community allies have overcome strong industry opposition to win landmark labor protections for domestic workers in seven states.

Where Has Money for Schools Gone?

Photo: Tobias Arhelger / shutterstock

Next year, over 50,000 government bodies in the United States will have to report out, for the first time, just how much revenue they’ve lost to tax breaks that enrich the corporate elite.

Who’s #1? The Politics of Olympic Gold


What message do our media outlets send when they relentlessly publicize simple tallies of gold medals won — and ignore the vast differences in national wealth that shape who actually wins medals?

Tackling Climate Change Equitably

Photo: Friends of the Earth International / Flickr

Climate disruption and inequality are inextricably linked. Climate solutions must be, too. A carbon tax could help move wealth from people at the carbon-intensive top to less polluting households.

The Enduring Racial Wealth Divide

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A new report explores the stark history of the racial wealth divide in the United States and the public policies — both historical and current — that contribute so powerfully to it.

An Ever-Growing Racial Wealth Gap


America’s racial wealth gap reflects policies designed to widen the economic chasm between white households and households of color and between the wealthy and everyone else.

Are Basic Income Proposals Crazy?


As proposals for universal basic income gain increasing prominence worldwide, it’s worth asking ourselves if the benefits outweigh the costs to alleviate extreme poverty.

Eliminate Profit from Punishment


How a black youth-led organization aims to cut the profit flow from mass incarceration into the pockets of the wealthy and the multi-billion dollar security industry.

People Power to Stop Gentrification

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Like labor unions, neighborhood unions could help residents bargain collectively for affordable housing and local business protections to prevent increased inequality.

Blogging our Grand Divide

A Do-Over for Our Unequal Economy?

Still another report is documenting the massive new wealth of America’s wealthiest. Could a whopping one-time tax on grand fortunes be a useful antidote?

Trump’s Taxes Won’t Go Away

The candidate’s ongoing scandalous behavior can’t cover up whatever he’s hiding in his tax returns.

Mr. Spock Fixes America

A new book, Five Easy Theses, offers straightforward solutions to the nation’s most vexing problems.

Extracting a Cold Hard Corporate Truth

For today’s top corporate executives, the contemporary corporation has become a personal ATM — with no limits on withdrawals.

Don’t Go To Bowdoin

Malcolm Gladwell challenges firmly held beliefs around social mobility and our education system in a thoughtful, engaging, and wildly popular new podcast.

For the Wealthy, a Taxing New Worry

Lobbyists for America’s grandest fortunes may want to raise their rates. Defending tax loopholes has just become a much dicier business. Capitol Hill is getting a gadfly who can really sting.

Trump’s Trickle-Down Ticket

Donald Trump’s VP pick signals a commitment to slashing taxes for millionaires and cutting services for everyone else.

Poorer Than Their Parents

The promise of market economics is supposed to be that as an economy grows, the paychecks of wage earners grow with it. But according to a new study, this is no longer the case.

Mike Pence’s Partners on Climate

Trump’s running mate is part of a Clean Power Plan opposition network that tax-dodging utilities companies have helped fund.

In Brazil, a Pre-Olympics Folly

No one will ever run the 100-meter dash in less than five seconds. And no one, Brazil’s story suggests, will ever end poverty while ignoring grand fortune.

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)