Since President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted, corporate America and the billionaire class have had a field day. As CNBC recently reported, the beneficiaries of these policies don’t fall that far our of the president’s orbit, let alone his cabinet: Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and her family’s generational wealth have skyrocketed since the policies were signed into law.
At a time when wealth disparity in the United States continues to grow and the lion’s share of the expanding economy moves toward the wealthiest among us, the news that Devos is profiting off the policies of the administration she serves in is anything but surprising, yet wholly counterproductive to a healthy economy and functioning democracy.
We are hurtling towards a destabilizing level of inequality and bold measures are required. Our elected leaders can’t make the 1 percent be generous, and I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath waiting for Devos to give away her inheritance. But we can require them to pay their fair share.
Chuck Collins directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, where he also co-edits Inequality.org. He is co-author, with Bill Gates Sr., of “Wealth and Our Commonwealth.”