A project of the
Institute for Policy Studies

New Research & Commentary

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.”

The Trump Victory and Inequality   


What does the Trump presidency mean for equality before the law? Those who have opposed Trump this past year need to address the structural inequality responsible for his victory.

A New Musical: ‘Pray for the Dead’


A sprightly new play from veteran labor leader Gene Bruskin tells an entertaining tale of solidarity that one wag has dubbed “Norma Rae meets Sweeney Todd meets Bertolt Brecht.”

6 Worst Things About Trump Tax Plan


If Congress takes up tax reform in early 2017, the White House will push cuts that would benefit the wealthy, including the president-elect himself and his family members.

Key Ballot-Box Victories in Maine


Maine raised both the minimum wage and taxes on the wealthy to fund education. Maine People’s Alliance’s Ben Chin explains how the state scored progressive victories despite a national shift rightward.

The Top 10 Films About Inequality


Our picks for your holiday movie-viewing pleasure: an assortment of recent and classic comedies, documentaries, dramas, and science-fiction on our economic divide.

Good News for Global Banks

Protesters march in front of Deutsche Bank towers in Frankfurt, Germany in 2009 under the banner "We're not paying for your crisis." The proposed international agreement on services would help the "too big to fail" banks become even bigger.

A proposed international agreement on trade in services would encourage further financial deregulation while undercutting labor and consumer protections.

Winning on Inequality in Red States

Photo credit:

A bipartisan coalition’s Election Day victory on predatory lending in the conservative state of South Dakota offers progressives in the rest of the nation valuable lessons in a bleak political environment.

Inequality Gave Rise to Donald Trump

South Dakotans for Responsible Lending. Photo credit:

Learning the lessons from this year’s progressive ballot initiative victories — and lessons from the first Gilded Age — will help us move forward and overcome our great divides.

Blogging our Grand Divide

Overpaid Oil CEOs for Top Diplomat?

Donald Trump is reportedly vetting ExxonMobil’s current and former CEO for the job of Secretary of State. Both are poster boys for executive excess.

A Committed Fighter for $15

Workers in Massachusetts are agitating for a $15 statewide minimum wage, buoyed by ballot-box successes in other states and widespread in-state worker support.

The 1% Economy Shatters a Small Town

A character-driven tale from Ohio illuminates how a corporate model fixated on funneling profits to wealthy investors laid the foundation for a Trump victory.

A Cabinet for the Deep-Pocket Ages

Only in America, new stats show, could packing an incoming administration with gazillionaires be so easy.

‘Foreclosure King’ for Treasury

Trump’s pick for the nation’s top financial regulator sparked rave responses from Wall Street lobbyists but a firestorm from public interest groups.

Mile-High Views of Global Inequality

A South Africa-based photographer uses aerial views to document the sharp divides between rich and poor in developing countries.

Perils of Top-Heavy Philanthropy

Charities are increasingly reliant on larger donations from a smaller number of high net-worth donors.

A New Take on Unrigging Our Taxes

Our super rich have their own personal trainers, chefs, and pilots. Maybe we should give them their own personal tax collectors.

Why We Need to Worry about Wilbur

America’s next secretary of commerce may be a private equity kingpin who owes his ample fortune to a career of manipulating the misfortune of America’s workers.

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)