We have more this week on the struggles to put real relief back on the political table. And we also take a look at the inequality backstory to this fall’s football wars. Read on! No shoulder pads required.
“A rising tide,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow crowed last Wednesday, “does lift all boats!”

All boats at least that matter to the White House, the cozy yachts of the top 1 percenters who so enjoy hanging out at the President’s country clubs. The tide is rolling in nicely for these deep pockets. For the first time in history, our new Institute for Policy Studies research shows, the top twelve U.S. billionaires have combined wealth in excess of $1 trillion.

Our rising tide seems to be drowning most of everybody else. Jobless Americans have lost their $600 unemployment supplement. Protections against eviction expired on July 31, and Congress has abandoned efforts to reach a deal with the White House on economic relief. The President seems more engaged in whether college football kicks off this September.

We have more this week on the struggles to put real relief back on the political table. And we also take a look at the inequality backstory to this fall’s football wars. Read on! No shoulder pads required.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies Inequality.org team
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GOP Megadonor Tries to Wreck USPS From Within
President Trump acquired a key ally in his war against the public Postal Service with the appointment of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a GOP megadonor who owns at least $30 million in stock of a USPS contractor. DeJoy swiftly imposed a hiring freeze and service cuts that are causing mail slowdowns across the country, undercutting postal worker efforts to keep people safe during the pandemic and the economy moving. The worker-led US Mail Not for Sale campaign is now organizing to demand the repeal of these disastrous cuts and calling for the financial aid needed to ensure the Postal Service can continue providing essential services, including delivery of mail-in ballots. In a USA Today op-ed, Inequality.org co-editor Sarah Anderson has more on the fight over our postal future.
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Won’t Be Many Tears Over This Mogul’s Passing
What kind of dad goes out in public and calls his accomplished daughter unqualified to fill his shoes? Billionaire Sumner Redstone did just that a dozen years ago. The attack surprised no one. Before his death last week at age 97, Redstone had bullied and belittled just about everyone who came into his orbit. His New York Times obit listed as among his targets “his only son, his nephew, his wife, his romantic partners, his business rivals, and the actor Tom Cruise.” Redstone ruled his media empire as “an old-school, expletive-spraying mogul from a time when bosses asserted their power by screaming in the workplace.” In other words, the boss from hell. Redstone, who inherited his initial business from his dad, died ranked #179 on the Forbes list of America’s 400 richest. His daughter now says she “will miss him always.” She may be the only one.
Make Corporate Landlords Pay for Housing Crisis
Congress and President Trump have failed to help the millions of tenants and homeowners now struggling to pay their rent and mortgages. One bold solution would be to require wealthy corporate landlords to pay for the cancellation of rent, mortgages, and utilities of Americans who’ve lost jobs and income due to the pandemic. Real estate moguls have amassed huge fortunes off the backs of taxpayers and low-income families for decades, and now they’re maneuvering to profiteer off the pandemic. Sofia Lopez of the Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE) and Sara Myklebust of Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor explain why it’s time for these corporate landlords to pay the bills.
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A Moment of Reckoning for Greed on the Gridiron
In 2017, the University of Michigan became the nation’s first university with three assistant football coaches making at least $1 million each. America’s two top college head football coaches, meanwhile, are averaging $9 million a year. Now these coaches and their colleagues are fuming at the prospect of losing the entire 2020 college football season to the coronavirus. How did we end up with this mix of privilege and entitlement? Our contemporary mega-billion-dollar college football status quo rests, most fundamentally, on the maldistribution of America’s income and wealth. That maldistribution even has a face. Inequality.org co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more.
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This week on Inequality.org 

Chuck Collins and Omar Ocampo, Twelve U.S. Billionaires Have a Combined $1 Trillion. A disturbing milestone in the concentration of U.S. wealth.

Lee Price and Bob Lord, The Basic Case for a Wealth Tax. America’s 12 wealthiest now control $1 trillion of wealth. The best way to address this extreme wealth concentration: a tax on accumulated grand fortune.

Sidney Miralao, Military Recruiters are Exploiting High School Students’ Financial Insecurities. Promises of scholarships are very compelling to 17-year-olds, especially those without a lot of other options

Elsewhere on the Web

Libby Watson, The Real Pandemic Gap Is Between the Comfortable and the Afflicted, New Republic. Beneath society’s plutocratic layer, America stands not as united in the face of crisis as we like to pretend.

Robert Reich, Trump has no problem letting billionaires profit off the pandemic, Guardian. The White House is distributing billions in subsidies and loans to select corporations, enabling execs to load up on stock options, then rake in big profits after stock prices surge.

Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Pull Back the Curtain on Efforts to Kill the U.S. Postal Service and Out Pops Koch Money, Wall Street on Parade. The drive to crash the Postal Service has plutocratic roots that predate Donald Trump.

Ann Neumann, Seniors and staff caught in the middle of nursing homes' quest for profit, Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Nursing home workers average $19,000 a year. Private equity speculators who've been buying up and flipping nursing homes have made unconscionably more.

John McLaren, Racial disparity in COVID-19 deaths: Seeking economic roots in census data, VoxEU. Those who commute in crowded public transports to essential jobs that can’t be performed at home appear to face the heaviest coronavirus risk.

Marshall Auerback, The Pandemic Has Revealed America’s Zip Code Map of Inequality, Economy for All. American health care can literally impoverish its citizens even as it undermines their physical well-being. That pattern will only break if Americans keep pressing against racism and get serious about inequality.

Bernie Sanders, The pandemic is helping the rich get even richer. It's time to tax their obscene wealth, Guardian. Some 467 U.S. billionaires have seen their fortunes soar by $731 billion since the Federal Reserve started taking emergency actions to prop up the stock market in March.

Daniel Mandell, Fight for economic equality is as old as America itself, Conversation. A historian explores how egalitarian ideas have animated Americans.

Richard Wolff, Why our government mostly helps people who need it the least — even during a crisis, Salon. The government mostly does what its constituents with money and power want it to do.

Jessica Yun, Covid-19 has worsened inequality. So why are shares higher than ever? Yahoo Finance. Share prices in the long run reflect the profits of real companies, and those profits depend on how little they can get away with paying their workers.

Kate Springer, Passports for purchase: How the elite get through a pandemic, CNN. Amplifying inequality: Welcome to the elite world of investment migration, where passport applications reflect wealth and a willingness to move it around the planet.
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We’re Hiring an Inequality.org Managing Editor!
The Inequality team at the Institute for Policy Studies works with partners to reverse the maldistribution of income and wealth that is undermining our democracy, fraying our social fabric, and destroying our planet. We’re looking for a new managing editor for the Inequality.org website and weekly newsletter, ensuring that the content stays fresh and meets high-quality standards for a broad, general audience. This full-time, full-benefit position will operate out of our office in Washington, D.C., pandemic permitting.