Who’s doing more globally than the folks at Oxfam to highlight how unequal our world has become? No one comes to our mind. But the folks at Oxfam aren’t resting on their laurels. They’re doing some cutting-edge thinking on what we have to say and do to start making a significant dent on our world’s incredibly concentrated income and wealth.

In this week’s, a key Oxfam leader takes us inside that group’s latest thinking. Lots more this week, too, reflections on everything from the pay of NBA basketball superstars to the shopping apocalypse at what once ranked as America’s most dominant retailer. Plenty of new graphics as well. Please don’t forget to share!

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
Sharing Lessons from Global Inequality Campaigns
The development organization Oxfam has done amazing work raising awareness of today’s extreme levels of inequality, and world leaders routinely cite Oxfam’s global wealth gap calculations. Just eight mega billionaires, the group’s latest figures show, have as much wealth as humanity’s bottom half. But “recognizing an issue” like inequality, as Oxfam GB external affairs director Katy Wright concedes, “isn’t the same as doing anything about it.” Read on to learn how Oxfam campaigners are grappling with the challenge of campaigning against an “abstract noun.”
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For This Rising Cable TV Mogul, It’s Trump 24/7
At One America News, the cable TV network that has become “one of President Trump’s favorite media outlets,” the journalists call him “Mr. H” — and would rather he never call them. That’s because “Mr. H,” aka One America News owner Robert Herring, has a nasty habit of reprimanding his people whenever they stray off the network’s hard-right line. Two years ago, one OAN journalist lost his job after he led off a newscast with an interview sympathetic to Ferguson protestors. During last year’s Presidential campaign, the mega-millionaire Herring has his network broadcast live every word of every Trump speech and “banned stories about polls that showed anyone other than Trump in the lead.” One America News now goes into 30 million homes, about a third of the Fox News reach. The Washington Post last week gave the network its first major national profile. Herring refused to comment for the story.
On this week, former CEO Steven Clifford explores why windfalls make much more sense for basketball superstars than the C-suite executives at major corporations. Speaking of CEOs, Rick Wartzman asks us to consider who should corporate managers serve? The answer from corporate flacks: shareholders and shareholders alone. But a look back at U.S. history offers a much different perspective.

Over in Europe, meanwhile, the struggle to enact a financial transaction tax has just received a big boost from 52 financial industry pros. Sarah Anderson has that story. And on the other side of the planet, New Zealand — a society that once rivaled the relative equality of the Scandinavian nations — is now sliding toward world-class inequality. Peter Malcolm of Closing the Gap has more.

Elsewhere on the web: Jeff Bezos, the Amazon billionaire, took to Twitter recently to ask how he should use his fortune for good. Law professor Edward Zelinsky has a simple answer: pay some tax.

Getting the wealthy to pay higher taxes has been a progressive priority for decades. But the Democratic Party, Josh Mound argues in Jacobin, hasn’t shared that priority. What should Democrats prioritize? Mike Konczal at Vox contrasts party doctrine on the stock market to issues of greater import for America’s working class majority.

One issue of unquestionable importance remains reining in skyrocketing executive pay. Jena McGregor of the Washington Post has the scoop on new developments in the decade-long effort to force major corporations to disclose the gap between their CEOs and workers.

And in a new approach to addressing rising inequality, European researchers have developed a way to map urban transactions between and among rich and poor neighborhoods. Adam Frank at NPR writes that this research could help redirect capital to less wealthy urban neighborhoods.
What’s Behind the Shopping Apocalypse at Sears?
Sears is fading. Fast. The 124-year-old retailer — the place where all America once shopped — is tumbling from irrelevant after-thought to shopping horror. What’s up at Sears? Here’s what’s down: sharing. Back in the retailer’s 1950s heyday, Sears spread the wealth around and prospered. Today’s Sears is concentrating the wealth — and crashing.
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