INEQUALITY.ORG
THIS WEEK

President Trump released his latest budget last week, and, to no one’s surprise, his budget plan calls for massive cuts to social services. This same budget, again no surprise, funnels billions more to the Pentagon.

Increasing military spending at the expense of social services has, of course, come to seem standard operating procedure for Republican presidents. But we once had a GOP president, Dwight Eisenhower, who actually worried about inequality and a “military-industrial complex” enriching itself at the expense of America’s greater good.

In some nations, Ike noted in 1960, “a few families are fabulously wealthy, contribute far less than they should in taxes, and are indifferent to the poverty of the great masses of the people.” These nations, he went on, face “continual instability.” They invite “revolution.”

This President’s Day, Donald Trump would be wise to reflect on Ike’s admonition. More this issue on today’s “continual instability."

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies Inequality.org team
INEQUALITY BY THE NUMBERS
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FACES ON THE FRONTLINES
The Fight for Worker Rights Continues in Memphis
In February 1968, Memphis sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker were crushed by faulty equipment while on the job. Their deaths spurred a massive strike as city sanitation workers demanded better working conditions — and dignity. Now, 50 years later, workers across the country are paying tribute to those strikers by demanding dignity in their own workplaces. One of those workers, Memphis resident Shavonda Wilson, joined fellow fast-food employees following in the literal footsteps of the 1968 Memphis marchers. This week, she tells us why.
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WORDS OF WISDOM
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PETULANT PLUTOCRAT
OF THE WEEK
How Quickly a “Wynn” Can Turn into a Loss
Las Vegas gaming mogul Steve Wynn has always been the ornery sort, even in the good times. And times certainly seemed good in December after the GOP tax cut went into law. A month later, a defiant Wynn lashed out at the tax cut’s critics: “Any attempt to vilify or criticize this tax bill is a fruitless and pointless exercise.” Just days later, Wynn’s good times ended. The Wall Street Journal revealed that the 76-year-old billionaire had been systematically abusing women working at Wynn Resorts for decades. Wynn soon had to step down as the company’s CEO. He blamed his departure, naturally, on “an avalanche of negative publicity” and a “rush to judgment.” Last week, the nation’s top hospitality school acknowledged a rush to judgment on its own part. Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration has now stripped Wynn of the “Hospitality Icon” designation the school bestowed upon him last year.
GREED AT A GLANCE
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TOO MUCH
The Big Pharma Family Behind the Opioid Crisis
Earlier this month, flacks at Purdue Pharma announced that the company will no longer be flooding doctors’ offices with sales representatives hawking OxyContin, the now-notorious opioid painkiller. This move may be the closest admission of guilt we will ever see from Purdue Pharma — or the billionaire patriarchs of the Sackler family that gave it birth. Inequality.org co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more on the deadly machinations behind one of America’s grandest fortunes.
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MUST READS
This week on Inequality.org 

Irene Tung and Teófilo Reyes, Tips Are for Servers, Not CEOs. The Trump administration wants restaurant workers and other tipped employees to hand over nearly $6 billion to their bosses.

Jake Johnson, Under Trump, Consumer Protection Agency Becomes Anti-Consumer. The new CFPB budget proposal, says one watchdog, further reveals the president's “unwavering loyalty to the big banks, predatory lenders, and Wall Street special interests.”

Elsewhere on the web 

Lindsay Koshgarian, Trump Hates the Poor, U.S News & World Report. Trump’s budget proposal has something to hurt almost everyone, but it’s a perfect storm for the poor.

Rachel West, Rebecca Vallas, and Eliza Schultz, Rising Inequality Is Threatening the Health of Social Security, Center for American Progress. Growing incomes only at the U.S. economic summit have left less of the nation’s income subject to Social Security payroll taxes.

Thomas Edsall, Why Is It So Hard for Democracy to Deal With Inequality? The New York Times. One reason in the United States: The share of political contributions that come from America’s richest 0.01 percent has soared over recent decades.

Larry Beinhart, The mini crash and class warfare, Al Jazeera. On the ideas that pave the way for a world where a few billionaires own as much wealth as half of humanity.

Shellie Karabell, Executive Compensation Is Out Of Control. What Now? Forbes. Management guru Peter Drucker believed the proper ratio between CEO and worker pay should be around 20-to-1, as it ran in 1965. Today’s CEO-worker ratio: well over 300:1.

Andrew Whalen, The Alienist Shows How Serial Killers Benefit from Economic Inequality, Player.One. We cannot understand killers, this series contends, if we do not understand the environment in which they kill.

Ed Burmila, Jeff Bezos, Amazon and Why 'Charity' Is the Wrong Solution, Rolling Stone. The world’s richest man’s pledge to send Dreamers to college sounds great, but his company's poor treatment of its workers is a bigger problem.
A FINAL FIGURE
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