Expanding, not cutting, the social safety net remains the key to creating a more just and peaceful society. But safety nets, the evidence shows clearly, wither in deeply unequal nations.
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.
Any solution to the vast national divide the 2016 election has left plain needs to begin with a correct diagnosis. The data, for instance, show that Trump supporters have higher-than-average incomes.
A new study outlines the negative impacts of contracting public services to private companies, everything from rising rates for consumers to wage cuts for workers.
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.
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.
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.
We need to keep in mind the tangible and ever-present economic consequences of membership in a disfavored minority, all of which almost always lead to far greater economic insecurity.
The case for raising the minimum wage in Indiana is clear and compelling, despite state and federal inaction. In not one county in Indiana can a single adult get by on a minimum wage of $7.25.
A new report shows rising inequality linked to rising high school dropout rates — and upends the view that poverty “incentivizes” the working class. “Lower tail” inequality turns out to really matter.
Governments help ameliorate inequality by providing essential services to all citizens, rich or poor. The water crisis in Flint demonstrates the necessary and beneficial role of a strong public sector.
Is American capitalism the cause of our country’s growing and very worrisome inequality? According to Sheila Suess Kennedy, that all depends on how we are choosing to define ‘capitalism.’
In the French newspaper Le Monde, the world-renowned economist Thomas Piketty recently spelled out a highly controversial theory about the cause of terrorism: economic inequality.
New research shows the effects of inequality on health—especially stress levels—have far-reaching societal consequences.
Libertarians and liberals agree that much of what passes for capitalism today is anything but. Increasingly, both groups have noted that what we have today is “corporatism” rather than capitalism.
In our deeply unequal world, we abound with inequalities that deeply corrode our public life and civility.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are stark representations of the fork in our national road.
Canadians view public transit as a vital public utility whereas Americans view it as a social welfare program. Can the influence of Calvinist theology in the United States explain the discrepancy?
Too many Americans ignore off-year elections, and only exercise their franchise every four years. Amidst the frenzy of the 2016 election cycle, let us not forget the importance of local politics.
When a company is truly owned, the owners have incentives to care about their reputation, their workforce, the quality of their products, and the health of the communities in which they operate.
The Pope’s new encyclical has raised an issue seldom recognized in the debate over climate policy: the wildly disparate impact of climate change on those who are “differently situated.”
From strict voter ID laws and gerrymandering to the problem of money in politics, growing political inequality is one of the most pernicious—and least discussed—forms of inequality in the United States.
Like corporate America, the United States Congress is dominated by slash-and-burn conservatives who refuse to invest in critical infrastructure, preferring instead to indulge market ideology.
Disproportionate access to the public square and marketplace of ideas means fewer countervailing and contending perspectives. This doesn’t just disadvantage the poor. It hurts us all.
In Adam Smith’s textbook market economy, buyers and sellers know all they need to know and never get burned. Today’s oligarchs and plutocrats have essentially burned the textbook.
At least some American businesses are realizing that a fairer economy makes eminent business sense. America’s most insightful business leaders have understood that reality for generations.
Economic enterprises need many kinds of infrastructure just to have a chance at succeeding. Unfortunately, America has failed to attend even to our most basic infrastructure needs.
In the 1980s, two political paths diverged in America. We chose the easier, the one that asked less of us. The late Mario Cuomo’s political vision is a reminder of the path America didn’t choose.
Though several members of Congress lauded the 2015 Congressional spending bill as reassuring evidence of bipartisan cooperation, the bill was actually just a holiday giveaway to the 1 percent.
Sheila Suess Kennedy reflects on the potential consequences of a German economist’s prediction that there could be a significant labor shortage by 2030. New social disparities are likely, Kennedy says.
Though rooted in America’s religious past, today’s attitudes about the poor are rarely doctrinal but rather cultural. The problem is that such dismissal of struggling Americans is at odds with reality.
In 1992, James Carville famously coined the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid!” More than 20 years later, inequality has worsened to an unprecedented degree, but progressives fighting to end inequality have forgotten Carville’s lesson and, in the process, the most potent argument of all.
Plutocrats in America have retreated into their gated communities, benefiting from racism and inequality. If we want change, we need to confront the wealthy elite who engage in “makers and takers” rhetoric and remind them that genuine democracy is good for everyone.
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.
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.
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.
The foreclosure epidemic illustrates a problem far larger and more pervasive than current banking practices: America’s growing power imbalance. In our deeply unbalanced economic world, we need to rethink policies that operate to penalize the powerless and reward the predatory.
Energy policies exacerbate inequality by placing the costs of climate change on the most vulnerable Americans. The general public bears the costs in both higher prices and higher taxes at the same time that fossil fuel companies continue to enjoy massive subsidies.
Why do so many contemporary “fiscal conservatives” insist that safety net programs can only incubate a costly “dependency”? To really understand how many privileged today view poverty, we need to revisit the long history of punitive attitudes toward the poor.
A new study provides compelling evidence that public policy decisions in the United States reflect the interests of the nation’s rich and powerful much more than the nation’s political majority. Other developments, notes analyst Sheila Suess Kennedy, back up the study’s conclusions.