Activists are battling the power structures that value the Kavanaughs of the world much more than the people they hurt.
Eyes across America fixed on the Supreme Court nomination hearing of Brett Kavanaugh last week, an event that perfectly distilled our power dynamics at work. A man who sees this power as his birthright threw a tantrum at a job interview when confronted with the harm he has done.

How much harm could Kavanaugh continue to inflict with a lifetime appointment to the high court? Activists and sexual abuse survivors have been fighting for weeks, determined that we don’t want to have to learn the answer, propelled by women like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who've come forward in the most unforgiving of circumstances to speak truth.

More this week on how elitism allows men like Kavanaugh to ignore the rules. We also look at the activists battling the power structures that value the Kavanaughs of the world much more than the people they hurt.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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Activists Demand Accountability from Kavanaugh
Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination rated as controversial even before multiple women accused him of sexual abuse. Now activists across the United States are standing up in solidarity with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford — who testified in front of the Senate Judicial Committee last week about her alleged assault by Kavanaugh — and all survivors of sexual violence. In doing so, they’re also demanding accountability for the members of an elite class who have long lived by their own set of rules.
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For Our Privileged, Dissembling Comes Naturally
In his U.S. Senate testimony last week, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh gave new meaning to “judicial temperament.” Kavanaugh came out ranting at what he called a “grotesque and coordinated character assassination” and denied “categorically and unequivocally” that he had ever sexually assaulted anyone. But reporters soon began detailing all sorts of holes and outright prevarications in Kavanaugh’s screed. Why would Kavanaugh risk lying before a huge national audience? In an analysis for the Washington Post, Columbia University sociologist Shamus Khan notes that elite institutions of the sort that shaped Kavanaugh — Georgetown Prep and Yale — instill in their wards “a privilege that suggests the rules that govern American society are for the common man, not the exceptional one.” The privilege that substantial wealth bestows, adds Khan, “casts inherited advantages as ‘exceptional’ qualities.”
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Share the Wealth? Of Course. But When?
Redistribution via the tax code, progressives on both sides of the Atlantic are realizing, only takes us so far. We can no longer, they increasingly agree, simply work to fix already unequal societies. We need to start limiting inequality before it can dig in. The UK Labour Party has just unveiled a fascinating proposal that moves us exactly in that direction. co-editor Sam Pizzigati, author of the just-published The Case for a Maximum Wage, has more.
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This week on 

Bob Lord, America 2018: Even More Gilded Than America 1918. Wealth has become more concentrated than during John. D Rockefeller’s day.

Billy Corriher, The Disparate Devastation of Hurricane Florence. The Institute for Southern Studies lays bare the inequality behind the storm.

Elsewhere on the web 

Leo Gerard, The Rich Want To Take Away Your Right To Vote,  Their goal: to make America even more of a one-dollar, one-vote plutocracy.

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Caroline Tervo, and Theda Skocpol, How the Koch brothers built the most powerful rightwing group you've never heard of, Guardian. Billionaires are trying to permanently disable groups that advocate for working people.

Hunter Blair, Locking in further regressive tax cuts would just make the TCJA worse, Economic Policy Institute. The latest GOP tax plan would give America’s top 20 percent, households making over $168,600, 63 percent of the benefits.

Jennifer Beltrán, House Republican ‘2.0’ Tax Plan Skewed to Top, Loses Needed Revenue, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The new GOP tax bill also gives top 1 percent taxpayers nearly twice as much in benefits as average taxpayers in the bottom 60 percent.

Yasmin Anwar, Expanding CEO-to-worker pay gap bad for business, Berkeley News. New research shows that wide gaps between CEO and worker pay matter deeply to employees and consumers alike.

Yves Smith, Measuring Unfair Inequality, Naked Capitalism. Introducing a new study that rates the United States as the developed world’s number one in inequality that cannot possibly be justified.

Abena Oduro, Building a more equal Ghana, Oxfam. A five-point action plan to close the gap between the rich and the rest.

Irin Carmon, Christine Blasey Ford Is a Class Traitor, New York Magazine. Ford comes from the same elite world that gave us Brett Kavanaugh. That’s why Republicans so fear what she has to say.
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