Young people gathered on Saturday for the March for Our Lives, with protests around the country in support of gun law reforms. Americans have long wondered how to cure a gun violence epidemic. One place to start: taking a longer, harder look at the research that shows that more equal societies also turn out to be safer societies. 

This week, we have more on the new numbers that point to growing inequality in the United States. We also look at a victory over the “other NRA” — the National Restaurant Association — that reminds us we can make change even in the most difficult of political moments. 

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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Tipped Workers Win Big with Spending Bill
President Trump signed a massive omnibus spending bill last week that will keep the lights on for the U.S. government for the next six months. A small provision in the bill, tucked 2,000 pages into the legislation, offers meaningful protection for tipped workers. Despite months of scheming from the Labor Department, the bill ensures workers can keep ownership of the tips they earn. co-editor Negin Owliaei has more on the many people — from organizers to members of Congress — behind this win for workers.
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A Billionaire Royal Who Steels Himself to Splurge
The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fancies himself an austerity-minded, anti-corruption reformer. Other more independent observers fancy him a hypocrite. The 32-year-old crown prince, the heir to a royal family fortune valued at over $100 billion, owns a $300 million French chateau that Fortune ranks as the “world’s most expensive home.” His other baubles include a $500 million yacht and a $450 million Leonardo da Vinci. Reporters pressed the crown prince on his extravagant lifestyle last week just before his first visit to the Trump White House. The prince gave his extravagance a defiant defense: “As far as my private expenses are concerned, I’m a rich person and not a poor person. I’m not Gandhi or Mandela.”
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Getting Granular on America’s Income Distribution
The Congressional Budget Office has just released the latest iteration of its U.S. household income distribution series, and this new research rates as the nonpartisan agency’s most comprehensive yet. The freshly crunched numbers explore the income distribution story in 2014, the most recent year with complete statistics available, and then trace that story back 35 years to 1979, the year before Ronald Reagan won the White House. What do the CBO’s statistical sleuths end up finding? Plenty of growing inequality. co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more.
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This week on 

Monica White, A Dispatch from the UK University Staff Strikes. After years of watching budget surpluses get spent on vanity projects, lecturers rebelled against proposed pension cuts.

Elsewhere on the web 

Emily Badger, Claire Cain Miller, Adam Pearce, and Kevin Quealy, Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys, The New York Times. Black boys raised in America, even if they live in some of the most well-to-do neighborhoods, still earn less in adulthood than white boys with similar backgrounds, according to a sweeping new study that traced millions of life histories.

Naomi Klein, The Battle for Paradise, The Intercept. Puerto Ricans and ultra-rich “Puertopians” are locked in a pitched struggle over how to remake the island.

Dean Baker, Are the Trump Tax Cuts Working and Does Anyone Care? Truthout. The investment boom the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy are supposedly spurring exists only in the realm of political propaganda.

Lenore Palladino, Who Is Watching Wall Street? Boston Review. A perceptive history of stock buybacks that takes us into the Trump era.

Ben Joravsky, Let’s make Pritzker and Rauner pay more — a lot more — in state income taxes, Chicago Reader. The two billionaires slugging it out in the Illinois gubernatorial race may be in for a surprise.

Nicholas Johnson, Hidden New Tax Breaks for Wealthy Households, Corporations Risk State Revenues, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The massive changes that the GOP December tax cut has generated have created a climate that has states rushing along huge new tax breaks for America's richest households.
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