We must confront the big-time polluters heading up some of America’s most important federal agencies.
People around the globe marked Earth Day yesterday, with coordinators centering their efforts on ending plastic pollution. A sensible next step? That might be confronting the big-time polluters who now head up some of America’s most important federal agencies.

This week, we have more on a campaign doing just that by keeping the spotlight on one of the greediest — and most influential — environmentally destructive actors out there. We also look at new legislation aimed at protecting people’s health over Big Pharma wealth.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies Inequality.org team
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Will Greed Finally Bring Down Scott Pruitt?
Environmentalists weren’t able to block the confirmation of Scott Pruitt last year as EPA administrator, despite his horrendous record of climate change denial and plundering natural resources. But Pruitt’s growing corruption scandal has given them new hope. Inequality.org co-editor Sarah Anderson has more on the environmental activists ramping up the pressure to push this ideological right winger off his perch.
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$10 Million-Plus and Worth Every Single Penny
Ronald Havner, the chief executive at the California-based Public Storage, doesn’t much care for the CEO-median worker pay ratios that U.S. corporations have to start disclosing this year. Havner considers the new ratio rule “kind of a dig” at CEOs. Yes, he did make $10.5 million last year, 439 times more than his storage company’s median $23,921. But those median workers, Havner groused earlier this month to the Orange County Register, “don’t know how to allocate capital, and their educational level and skill set is vastly different.” Added the out-of-touch CEO: “Comparing what I do to the median employee is not even apples and oranges. It’s more like fruit compared to Star Wars.” On a grousing roll, Havner couldn’t resist getting one last dig in at his corporate serfs: “People have decisions to make as to whether they want to improve themselves and get higher paying jobs. Some people decide to do that and others don’t.”
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‘Lock ‘Em Up’: An Update for Our Opioid Age
Wealthy people in the United States, a new survey out of the Swiss banking giant UBS has found, worry a great deal about health. Their own. What could we do to encourage more of these wealthy to worry — and care — about everyone’s health? Senator Bernie Sanders has just introduced legislation that takes a crack at that question. Inequality.org co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more.
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This week on Inequality.org 

Porter McConnell, Tax Day Is a Real Holiday for Wall Street. The tax legislation passed last year gives the financial industry plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Josh Hoxie, Five Tax Myths Debunked. Myth No. 2: Corporations pay high taxes.

Elsewhere on the web 

Daniel Chomsky, Why Americans’ Hatred of Taxes Is Fake News, Institute for New Economic Thinking. Newspapers consistently underplay the wide public support for higher taxes on businesses and the wealthy.

The Fairness Four 2018, Equality Trust. In the UK, an innovative campaign is helping activists press local governments on concrete steps that could narrow our economic divides.

Josh Bivens and Hunter Blair, The Trump administration doubles down in the Wall Street Journal on why trickle-down really does work, Economic Policy Institute. Exposing the feebleness of the rationale for the Trump tax giveaway to the wealthy.

Natasha Marrian, Economic inequality the new apartheid, Business Day. In Johannesburg, Rev. Jesse Jackson delivers a practical message on how to slowly roll back the legacy of apartheid.

Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Elizabeth Warren Says U.S. and Wall Street Conspired Against Wealth Building by Blacks; Remarks Are Censored by Big Media, Wall Street on Parade. The recently passed Senate bill to roll back key provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation poses a serious threat to communities of color.
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Is Inequality in America Irreversible?
We are living in a time of extreme inequality, and few places have become more unequal than the United States, where the 20 richest now own more wealth than the bottom half of the population combined.

In his latest book, activist Chuck Collins succinctly diagnoses the causes and drivers of rampant inequality and demolishes the simplistic theories that link current inequalities primarily to technological change and globalization or differences in merit. Is Inequality in America Irreversible? proposes a wide range of public policies that could de-rig our economic system and shows how transformative local campaigns can become a national movement for lasting egalitarian change.

Inequality.org readers who pre-order before May 31 can get 50 percent off the cover price. Just use promo code COL18.