Here at, we'll keep working for a fair economy and do our best to help you do the same.
Over the past half-century, the economics departments of America’s colleges and universities have been overflowing with apologists for the corporate greed grabs that have left the United States so catastrophically unequal. This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of an event that helps explain this cheerleading for corporate excess.

Back in 1970, the prestigious New York Times Magazine published an essay by the equally prestigious University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman under an enormously provocative — for the time — headline: “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.” No single piece of prose has done more, over the years since, to enshrine share prices as the only economic marker that matters.

In our own times, Friedman’s worldview has begun unraveling. Even top business execs are now at least paying lip service to the notion that we need an economy that works for all stakeholders — workers, consumers, communities — and not just shareholders. Here at, we’re working for that economy and doing our best to help you do the same!

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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Poor People and Their Allies Build Voter Power
The 100 largest individual donors in this 2020 election season have already spent more than half a billion dollars to influence the voting. The best counter to that big money power — until we get campaign finance reform — will always be people power, and tonight, September 14, at 7 p.m. Eastern, the Poor People’s Campaign will be empowering thousands of people. Poor and low-income Americans, joined by celebrity allies Erika Alexander, D.L. Hughley, and Jane Fonda will be sharing tools on voter engagement, registration, and protection. Joe Biden will also appear to address the Poor People’s Campaign policy agenda. Just a small uptick in the number of poor and low-income voters, the Campaign’s latest report shows, could change the nation’s political calculus. Donald Trump did not respond to an invitation to tonight’s event.
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A Vengeful Real-Estate Billionaire: Sound Familiar?
The role model for Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin? That could well be a certain Donald Trump. Doronin, like Trump, owes his fortune to real estate and enjoys glitter and glamour. And he can also hold a grudge like nobody’s business. The 57-year-old Russian developer is now taking time off from projects in New York and Miami to sue his former girlfriend, the supermodel Naomi Campbell. The pair broke up a five-year relationship way back in 2013, but Doronin is now claiming that Campbell owes him money he lent her and is hanging onto personal property of his worth $3 million. The 50-year-old Campbell, described last month as “easily the most famous black person in Britain,” doesn’t seem to need Doronin’s money. Her modeling career has earned her over $60 million. Doronin’s current flame? The 26-year-old Russian model Kristina Romanova.
Don’t Give Corporate Criminals Taxpayer Money
The crack corporate researchers at Good Jobs First have just released data on corporate criminals that have received Covid aid. So far, business miscreants have pocketed $57 billion in Covid grants and $91 billion in loans. Over the past decade, these companies have paid more than $13 billion in penalties for their misdeeds, with large corporations accounting for 90 percent of the penalty dollars. Hospitals and other healthcare providers that have received CARES Act funding account for $9 billion of the penalties, mostly from Medicare and Medicaid billing fraud. Excluding large corporations with histories of misconduct from future aid programs would protect taxpayer money and deter criminality.
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Why Don’t People Ever Seem to Call You a Genius?
If you have a lot of money, one potent strain within American political folklore avows, you must have a lot of smarts. Or, as the classic putdown puts it, “if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” By this folkloric yardstick, America’s really rich — the wealthy, for instance, who fill the just-released latest annual Forbes magazine list of the nation’s 400 richest — must be really smart indeed. None of the billionaire celebrities at the top of the new Forbes 400 can sing or dance or throw touchdown passes. We go agog, instead, at their genius. These happen to be extraordinarily smart people. Or so the cheerleaders for grand fortune assure us. But the annual Forbes wealth scorecards actually have a far more nuanced story to tell. co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more.
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This week on 

Chuck Collins, Town Hall Events to Spotlight Need to Stop the Warehousing of Charitable Dollars. Upcoming events can show us how we can unlock billions for essential pandemic relief.

Joseph Miller, In Coronavirus, Wall Street Senses an Opportunity to Privatize Our Schools. School districts facing budget crises remain vulnerable to financial vultures seeking to profit off public institutions.

Phil Mattera, Corporations That Have Paid More Than $13 Billion in Penalties for Misdeeds Have Received Covid Bailouts. Excluding companies with a history of criminal misconduct from future aid programs would protect taxpayer funds and serve as a deterrent against future corporate criminality

Elsewhere on the Web

Uwe Gneiting, Nicholas Lusiani, and Irit Tamir, Power, Profits, and the Pandemic, Oxfam International. By putting corporate profits before people, top execs have worsened the Covid-19 crisis.

James Galbraith, Rebuilding the Economy Will Require Joe Biden to Think Very Differently Than 2009, The Intercept. A successful economy after Covid-19 requires a redistribution of America’s financial wealth.

Lynn Parramore, America’s Dire Inequality Demands a New Conceptual Framework. This Economist Has One, Institute for New Economic Thinking. How wage repression is driving the growing gap between the rich and everyone else.

Ben Phillips, History gives us reason for hope that inequality can be beaten, Open Democracy. We egalitarians will lose if we cede all the great stories to the other side. So we need to get comfortable at creating conversations that make people cry and laugh and not just think.

Paul Vallely, How philanthropy benefits the super-rich, Guardian. In the United States today, barely a fifth of the money donated by big givers goes to the poor.

Lloyd Alter, Reminder: The Rich Have Always Fled Cities in Epidemics, Treehugger. Heading for the hills may be as old as the hills.

Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley, Tax the Ultrarich? Cuomo Resists, Even With a $14 Billion Budget Gap, New York Times. State lawmakers are pressing Governor Andrew Cuomo to approve a tax on the wealthy, fearing that budget cuts will hurt those most in need.
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