A project of the
Institute for Policy Studies

VIDEO: Wealthiest One Percent, Come Home!

Chuck Collins believes that extreme wealth inequality and our global ecological crisis are bad for everyone, including those with great wealth. He invites all of us — but especially wealthy Americans — to come home, deepen their stake in the common good and invest more of their time and wealth to fixing the future.

VIDEO: Wealth Inequality and How to Change It

Dr. Jan Tobochnik uses his decades-spanning expertise in computer simulations to present a simple model that shows how wealth inequality is intrinsic to economic activity. He further tweaks the models to demonstrate various mechanisms that can effectively reduce wealth inequality.

VIDEO: WhatsApp With Stagnant Job Growth?

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains why the remarkable success of a company like WhatsApp, which was recently purchased by Facebook for $19 billion, is symptomatic of the larger problem of income inequality that has plagued the US economy for a generation.

VIDEO: Republicans vs. Democrats: Why So Angry?

Americans are more bitterly divided along political lines today than they have been in nearly a century. While the advent of social media and the shout-fests of opinionated radio and cable TV have played a role, the greatest factor driving today’s political polarization is income inequality.

VIDEO: Are Republicans Losing Battles But Winning the War?

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains that while Republicans appear to be losing political battles, the right is actually winning the larger war over the direction of political debate. Instead of talking about real issues like income inequality, wealth concentration, unemployment and the declining middle class, the right has obfuscated the issue by pulling Democrats […]

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VIDEO: Bring Back the Basic Bargain

Throughout much of the 20th century, the American political and economic system thrived based on a fundamental bargain – that US employers would pay their workers enough to purchase the goods and services US companies produced. Meanwhile government’s role was to maintain this bargain, allowing wages and living standards to rise across the board.

VIDEO: Ending the Global “Race to the Bottom”

Even as the Apple Corporation is being roundly criticized for using its Irish affiliates to avoid paying billions in US taxes, officials continue to call for lower corporate taxes to make the United States more “competitive.” The cause of this seeming disconnect: a worldwide “race to the bottom” in which nations compete to attract capital […]

VIDEO: The Economic Elephant

Unemployment is still high and job creation hasn’t made a big dent this many years into the so-called recovery. Who has the best plan? Is it the Keynesians? The Austerics? Or are they both missing the bigger picture?

VIDEO: Why Our Democracy is Succeeding on Social Issues and Failing on Economic Issues

How do Americans feel about cutting tax loopholes? How do they feel about Medicare and Social Security? Socially, elected officials listen to the public. But, why is it that deals over economic policy almost always compromise what Americans want? Why is any tinkering of taxes forbidden?

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VIDEO: Breaking Up the Banks

Robert Reich explains why it’s so important to break up the biggest banks, which have grown exponentially over the past few years. This idea isn’t new, and is supported by Federal Reserve Governor Dan Tarullo, Former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Senator Sherrod Brown, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

VIDEO: The Myth of Americans Living Beyond Their Means

There is a belief that Americans got into economic turmoil because of living beyond their means. Robert Reich explains why this is a myth, that most Americans do not live beyond their means and that their “means” have not kept up with the economy. Where has the wealth accumulated and why aren’t the top of […]

VIDEO: Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney presents his take on the gap between rich and poor Americans in Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream. Gibney contends that America’s richest citizens have “rigged the game in their favor,” and created unprecedented inequality in the United States.

VIDEO: Wealth Inequality in America

This superb six-minute video builds on pioneering research about American attitudes toward wealth by economists Michael Norton and Dan Ariely. Most Americans, the research shows, would like to see wealth in the United States much more equally distributed than they believe it is. But most Americans underestimate how staggeringly unequal the United States has become.

VIDEO: Sarah Anderson on CEO Pay and America’s Great Divide

The U.S. Senate Budget Committee February 9, 2012 hearing on “Assessing Inequality, Mobility, and Opportunity” featured testimony from Institute for Policy Studies analyst Sarah Anderson. In her remarks, Anderson showcased how excessive corporate executive pay has turbocharged the gap between America ultra wealthy and everyone else.

VIDEO: Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies

TED Talk: We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.

VIDEO: America Loses with “Tax Holidays”

Some of America’s most flush corporations are demanding a tax holiday on their profits sitting offshore. In 2004, 58 corporations that benefited from a holiday slashed a total of nearly 600,000 jobs through layoffs while they collectively saved $64 billion from what they otherwise would have owed in taxes.