We're covering ideas that could address the crisis of wealth distribution that Howard Schultz can’t seem to grasp.
Ask Starbucks CEO-turned-White House hopeful Howard Schultz how to solve economic inequality and he’ll give you a vague, nonsensical answer. We only need to balance the federal budget, assures Schultz, and elect someone who can bring Democrats and Republicans together. In a recent MSNBC interview, his hosts balked, wondering how the “leadership” Schultz promises could ever address our maldistribution of global wealth.

Fortunately, we here at Inequality.org are covering ideas that could address the crisis of wealth distribution that Howard Schultz can’t seem to grasp. We have more on those proposals in this week’s issue.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies Inequality.org team
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Is Your Bank Loaded? A Report Has the Answer
The federal Centers for Disease Control released a figure last December that capped what felt like a particularly violent year: In 2017, the CDC reported, gun violence claimed the lives of nearly 40,000 people in the United States, the most gun deaths since at least 1968. What can we do to end the gun violence that’s always seemed such an intractable problem? Some activists are suggesting that we get serious once and for all about targeting the companies that profit off gun violence. Negin Owliaei has more on the coalition pushing banks to weaken their ties to the gun industry and lobby — and the lawmakers closest to them.
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The Reproduction of Privilege, Ivy League Division
New York law firms don’t get much more prestigious than Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, home base to two former U.S. Supreme Court justices. Firm co-chair Gordon Caplan, the graduate of an elite Ivy League university, fit in well — and made out well, too. Profits per equity partner hit about $3 million last year, on top of the firm’s more than ample salaries. That generous take-home made it ridiculously easy for Caplan to afford paying $75,000 to get his daughter’s college-entrance exam score inflated. His moral compass made the payoff easy, too. Law enforcement wiretaps, part of a recently revealed nationwide investigation into how the wealthy game college admissions, found Caplan declaring: “I’m not worried about the moral issue here.” Caplan told a federal court last week he’ll plead guilty on fraud charges. He now faces a possible 20-year prison term.
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The Overdue Tax-the-Rich Ideas Just Keep Coming
High-profile pols old and new have of late been one-upping each other with sober proposals for trimming America’s super rich down to a much more manageable democratic size. The latest player to add to this welcome — and growing — critical mass of legislative proposals: U.S. Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon. He’s just announced his intention to push a bold new tax on capital gains. Inequality.org co-editor Sam Pizzigati, author of The Case for a Maximum Wage, has more on this latest addition to the tax-the-rich toolkit.
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This week on Inequality.org 

Brian Wakamo, Scapegoating Unions for the Postal Service’s Phony Crisis. At a recent Senate hearing, some officials tried to divert attention from the real cause of post office financial woes.

Chuck Collins, A Cure for Excessive Wealth Disorder. A simple test to determine when politicians are carrying water for the richest 0.1 percent.

Elsewhere on the web 

Roland Paulsen, Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Self-Serving Optimists Like Hans Rosling and Steven Pinker, In These Times. Billionaires love the trendy “New Optimists” because their analyses obscure inequality.

Brentin Mock, No One Agrees on How to Close the Racial Wealth Gap, CityLab. Continuing income inequality, new research suggests, has become the prime driver of the U.S. racial wealth gap.

Ginny Searle, How Much Longer Will Baseball Stadiums Be For Baseball Fans? Deadspin. Imagine how great a day at the ballpark could be if we didn't have billionaire team owners squeezing fans at every opportunity.

Simone Foxman, U.S. Billionaires Are Living Longer, Making Heirs Wait, Bloomberg. Concentrated wealth and extended lifespans have created a gold-plated family planning industry for the super rich.

Katie Davis, How Disparities in Wealth Affect Gen Z's Experiences With Technology, Pacific Standard. A study finds students at an elite private school complaining that all the devices they get from their schools are making their backpacks too heavy.

Shannon Chaffers, The problem with college admissions: a system that perpetuates economic inequality, Daily Princetonian. Princeton’s Class of 2022 has almost twice as many legacy as black students.

Rajan Menon, American Meritocracy Is a Myth, Nation. Recent scandals are revealing how intensely the rich continue to perpetuate inequality.
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