This week, activists, analysts, and legislators will be gathering in D.C. to explore the conscious choices we can make to narrow our extreme wealth gap.
The Poor People’s Campaign came to Washington last week and made the case to lawmakers and presidential candidates alike that our wealth gap in the United States reflects conscious policy decisions.

Now, this week, activists, analysts, and legislators will be gathering in D.C. to explore the conscious choices we can make to narrow that extreme wealth gap — by taxing our top 0.1 percent, the deep pockets who wield such disproportionate power over all our political and economic systems.

Our landmark Taxing the (Very) Rich conference — a joint Institute for Policy Studies-Economic Policy Institute effort — takes place tomorrow, June 25, and we’ll be livestreaming the entire proceedings on Please join us! We’ll be starting at 9 a.m., with Paul Krugman, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen all delivering keynotes and a host of other stellar speakers and panels.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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The Health Care Fight in Western Pennsylvania
Savannah Kinsey and her friend Nycki both grew up poor in Johnstown, a depressed Pennsylvania steel town. Nycki turned to opioids and never received the treatment she needed. She overdosed at age 26, leaving a four-year-old daughter. Savannah’s family has also struggled to get adequate health care. Meanwhile, the CEO of the company that owns the local Johnstown hospital took home $13 million in 2017, despite a poor rating from Savannah is fighting back, going door to door talking throughout her community about the need for universal health care. Last week she brought her story and her demands to Washington. As part of a week of activities organized by the Poor People’s Campaign, Savannah testified before the House Budget Committee. More this week on
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This Deep Pocket Lets His Millions Do His Talking
Ask hedge fund mogul Bernard Selz why he’s bankrolling the anti-vaccine movement and you won’t get much of an answer. The Washington Post tried, calling Selz at his Manhattan home. The answer offered up by the woman who answered and refused to identify herself: “There’s nothing to say.” Actually, the 79-year-old Selz ought to have a lot to say about why he’s invested over $3 million over the last few years into groups claiming that federal health officials are covering up the dangers from the measles vaccine. Before 1963, the year current measles vaccinations began, 400 to 500 Americans a year died from the disease.
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Taxes, Grand Fortune, and Gloria Vanderbilt
Hundreds of advocates for a more equitable economy will be descending on Washington this week for Tuesday’s all-day conference on “Taxing the (Very) Rich.” The political momentum this conference represents has America’s flacks for grand fortune a bit worried. They thought they had us convinced that upping taxes on the rich would wreck the economy and penalize “success.” But serenades to the “successful” are clearly not winning over a deeply skeptical American public. So the flacks are arguing that taxing the super rich will always be a fool’s errand — because the rich and their lawyers and accountants will always be a step ahead of Uncle Sam. And that brings us to Gloria Vanderbilt, the most public face of grand American fortune since the 1930s. She passed away last week at age 95. Her life’s impact on future prospects for taxing the rich? co-editor Sam Pizzigati has the story.
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This week on 

Sarah Anderson, 10 Ways a Moral Budget Would Save the United States Money. Our country would be much stronger if we stopped handing out tax cuts for the rich and welfare for big corporations and instead prioritized the needs of the poor and the planet.

Jessicah Pierre, Celebrating Juneteenth with Bold New Ideas. Closing our racial wealth divide requires bold thinking, but so did ending slavery.

Brian Wakamo, Support the Women’s World Cup Team. The U.S. women’s soccer team outperforms its male counterpart but earns less — like women in every other field.

Elsewhere on the Web

Dylan Grundman, Taxing the Rich Works, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. A survey of 2019’s best state-level proposals for taxing the wealthy.

David Leonhardt, Yes, Taxing the Rich Is Possible, New York Times. History shows the government can succeed when it tries to collect more taxes from its richest.

Martin Sandbu, Can today’s ultra-rich make peace with a wealth tax? Financial Times. How annual taxes on grand private fortune can help make economies more efficient and productive.

Michelle Singletary, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans made me feel good about myself, Washington Post. Inflating our egos via luxury products only exacerbates the vicious cycle of consumption and consumer debt.

Sanjukta Paul, A Radical Legal Ideology Nurtured Our Era of Economic Inequality, Aeon. An introduction to the deeply dangerous “law and economics” movement.

Isaiah Poole, These statistics show why the status quo is failing most Americans, Open Democracy. Life in a deeply unequal USA.

Alan Pyke, How to raise $9 trillion for working-class people without really trying, ThinkProgress. The Poor People’s Campaign Moral Budget offers both a plan for the future and a roadmap of how we have come to be in such bad shape.

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Finding the Cure for Excessive Wealth Disorder
Livestream the day-long conference from the Institute for Policy Studies,, and the Economic Policy Institute on Taxing the (Very) Rich. Watch keynote speaker Paul Krugman, along with other policy experts, activists, and elected officials who will be making the case for taxing the very rich — and debating how best to accomplish that taxation! 

Any serious policy agenda geared towards combating inequality and raising living standards for the vast majority, the conference will help show, must look to ultra-high earners in the top 0.1 percent, the elites who wield disproportionate economic and political power. 

Save the link below to watch the live conference on June 25.