The British epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett changed how the world thinks about economic inequality with their landmark 2009 bestseller. Now they have a new book in the offing.
Looking back on 2014, it’s easy to see inequality remains a top issue for Americans. Topping my list of top 5 inequality moments of 2014 is Ferguson, reminding us all that inequality isn’t colorblind.
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.
The corporatization of the university undermines the historic role of college as a site of political protest. The rise of adjunct professors accelerates this trend since they are less likely to encourage protest.
Billions of taxpayer dollars are now going to corporations busy stuffing the pockets of America’s billionaires. The eleven richest Americans have all received government subsidies, details a new report.
This year’s all-stars of avarice range in age from thirty-somethings to nearly octogenarian status. They’re all doing their best to keep our world a staggeringly unequal place.
The marches in the streets may have been provoked by police conduct in Ferguson and Staten Island. But there is a deeper dream that has been deferred.
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.
New research and another dose of on-the-ground reality are shredding what little credibility the rationalizers of inequality have left. New analysis shows that a “rising tide” doesn’t come close to lifting all boats.
America’s 400 richest are collecting far more of the nation’s income than they did two generations ago — and paying Uncle Sam far less. To fudge these facts, pals of plutocrats are working overtime.
Republicans may feign a nostalgia for the 1950s, but they are actually more nostalgic for the Gilded Age. For decades, they have worked to undo the Progressive Era reforms that curbed inequality.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has just released its latest appraisal of America’s income breakdown. Whatever yardstick you use, the CBO shows, the rich are winning. But that hasn’t stopped conservatives from arguing that the nation’s affluent remain oppressed victims.
When you hire someone, you have to pay social security taxes, unemployment, workers’ compensation, and ensure worker health and safety. It’s a lot to put up with. What if you could get people to do the same work without taking on these responsibilities? As it turns out, you can.
Why should our greatest generation be behind us?
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.
An anthropologist follows the everyday struggles of impoverished youth in DC and reveals how businesses target these youth for profit. From used cars to cellphone leases to pawn shops, wealthy investors have made poor neighborhoods into a highly lucrative enterprise.
Americans want what 21st century politics has so far not delivered: real options for challenging concentrated wealth. That’s one conclusion we can draw from new research polling out of Berkeley that gave Americans a choice of seven policy options on federal taxes.
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.
We’ll only make significant progress against the absence of wealth at the bottom of our economic order, declares an ambitious new global campaign just launched by Oxfam International, if we confront the enormous concentration of wealth at our economic summit.
The greater the income gap, the more important it becomes for rich parents to give their children every possible advantage. Increasing inequality thus accentuates elites’ reluctance to pay taxes that could equalize opportunity. Their own children just may have the most to lose.
America’s most powerful economic policy maker dramatically charges that inequality is choking off opportunity for average families. Political candidates pay absolutely no attention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Teenagers are learning lessons — about inequality — on America’s high school gridirons. When are their elders going to catch on?
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 ‘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?
An obscure provision in the Affordable Care Act, a new report details, raises taxes on firms that overpay their top execs. The only problem: The provision so far only applies to corporations in one industry.
America’s top central bankers didn’t make much time for inequality at their annual hobnob in Wyoming’s Jackson Hole last week. Over in Germany, at another confab, the world’s Nobel laureates in economics did. But few Americans seemed to notice. We explore one possible reason why.
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.
Each week, millions of dollars are stolen from American families. The perpetrators act with impunity. There are no arrests, few convictions, and meaningless fines. What is this crime wave sweeping the nation? Wage theft. Some communities are now banding together to put an end to it.
If we want to solve the most pressing issues of our time, we need to change our national political discourse from one that focuses solely on competition, the market, and the individual, to one that focuses on the value of community, civil society, and the public good.
Wealth’s current tilt to the top sometimes seems almost eternal. But can our mature market economies ‘self-correct’? A provocative new paper out of the OECD, the developed world’s official economic research agency, contemplates our tomorrow if we let current trends play out.