Plenty of state fights against inequality are keeping us hopeful.
Once upon a time, in the middle of the 20th century, working people in the United States earned the highest wages in the world. Top corporate execs back then did well, too, but not much better than top execs elsewhere.

Today Americans are living a much different reality. Our top execs are now pulling down pay packages that tower over the compensation of their peers in every other nation. And American workers? They no longer rank as the world’s highest-paid. They don't even rank, new research shows, in the global top ten. We have all the new numbers in this week’s issue.

Also this week: a look at a tireless activist and her struggle to put people over profit in the rebuilding effort after Hurricane Sandy, a glimpse at the astounding sum deep pockets are now willing to shell out for a page of Karl Marx’s scribbles, and a good bit more!

A quick final note: The Takeaway, a hit podcast from WNYC, has just done an episode with me entitled Wealth In America: What Is It? And Who's Got It? I hope you’ll give it a listen. Thanks for tuning in!

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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Organizing After Disasters, Natural and Plutocratic
Amanda Devecka-Rinear was living in Washington, D.C. when Superstorm Sandy hit her New Jersey hometown in 2012. She rushed home to check up on her father and found her community devastated. Devecka-Rinear knew right then she couldn't walk away. Devecka-Rinear and fellow activists from the New Jersey Organizing Project would go on to challenge relief efforts that were helping big banks and insurance giants at the expense of people who had lost their homes. They demanded that government officials start working for all New Jersey residents, not just the rich and powerful. We have more on Devecka-Rinear's story.
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Why Make News When You Can Fabricate It?
Illinois billionaire Richard Uihlein likes to see himself styled as someone who would give people a chance no one else would. Must be only a coincidence that the people he gives chances all seem to share his ultra-conservative right-wing political stances. The 72-year-old Uihlein poured $22 million into 2016 political campaigns and, the Washington Post reports, is bankrolling right-wingers at a higher level this year. His wife Liz says she and hubbie Dick “love reading newspapers.” But Dick appears to love faking newspapers even more. The Chicago Tribune has revealed that one political outfit he subsidizes, Think Freely Media, helps mail to targeted voters bogus local papers filled with slanted articles about candidates. Uihlein, for his own part, routinely refuses all legitimate media requests for comments on his “anti-union, free-market” political agenda.
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To Grasp the Horror of U.S. CEO Pay, Look Global!
CEO pay at major American corporations last year last year increased by 6.4 percent, worker pay by only 2.6 percent. But to really understand how staggering America’s CEO-worker pay imbalance has become, we need to widen our field of comparative vision, from domestic stats to global. And what do we find when we take that step? Simply this: CEOs in the United States make significantly more than their counterparts in our peer nations, and American workers make significantly less. co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more data from a series of new and recent reports.
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Sam Pizzigati, How to Get Rid of the Super-Rich, The Nation. An excerpt from his forthcoming new book, The Case for a Maximum Wage.

Neil Irwin, Is Capital or Labor Winning at Your Favorite Company? Introducing the Marx Ratio, New York Times. A new yardstick for excessive CEO pay. Economist Dean Baker has a skeptical reaction.

Sarah Anderson, Big Pay Gaps Are Bad for Business, OtherWords. Would you do your best work for a CEO who pulls in 5,000 times your own pay?

Paul Ausick, Why Are CEOs Paid 361 Times More Than Their Average Employees? 24/7 Wall Street. New research suggests some answers.

Steve Christensen, How wealth disparity threatens American Dream, Sun Advocate. When will the rich understand tha people must have money to purchase the products their companies produce?

Mike Konczal, There Is Power in a Union, The Nation. A new study overturns economic orthodoxy and shows that unions reduce inequality

Brentin Mock, Half of Wisconsin's Black Neighborhoods Are Jails, City Lab. A disturbing look at the impact of segregation and mass incarceration in the United States today

Alana Semuels, The 'Black Hole' That Sucks Up Silicon Valley's Money, The Atlantic. An inside look at the rise of donor-advised funds.

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