If you grew up agitated that women earned 59 cents on the dollar for the same work as men, give our piece on "Nomadland" a read, watch the film, then read the book the film is based on.
We’ve just gone through a year of tremendous loss for working-class Americans — and tremendous gain for ultra-rich ones. So the Academy Award for best motion picture that went last night to Nomadland should come as no surprise. At its core, after all,  Nomadland tells the story of inequality in our time.

As the film’s main character, Fern, points out to a property agent in one key scene: “It’s strange that you encourage people to invest their whole life savings, go into debt, just to buy a house they can’t afford.”

We published an Inequality.org piece earlier this year about Nomadland and the human impact of economic upheaval and the gender pay gap. If you grew up agitated that women earn 59 cents on the dollar for the same work as men, you might want to give the piece a look, watch the film, then read the book the film riffs off.

Changing our current economic order will take all of us opening our hearts and minds to the invisible stories of people struggling amid that economic order’s injustices. Nomadland helps that opening along.

Chuck Collins and Rebekah Entralgo,
for the Institute for Policy Studies Inequality.org team
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Equal Pay for Migrant Women Farmworkers
The national campaign in support of essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic has largely ignored one of our most invisible and underappreciated labor forces: migrant women farmworkers. These women play a vital role in keeping food on American families’ tables, but systemic inequalities within the agriculture industry place them at an ongoing disadvantage. Justice for Migrant Women, led by executive director Monica Ramirez, is working to change that.
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Pay Workers Peanuts, Pay CEO Excess No Mind
Ever wonder why corporate chief financial officers make the big bucks? Consider John Hartung, the long-time CFO at Chipotle. On a quarterly earnings call last week, one journalist quizzed Hartung about the threat of “wage inflation.” Chipotle workers currently average $12 an hour, well under the $15 necessary for a living wage. So what would happen if Chipotle had to raise wages across the board, say by 10 percent? No prob at all, Hartung responded. His restaurant chain would merely raise menu prices to offset the hike, and, he added, “we think we’re in a much, much better position to do that than other companies out there.” Of course, Chipotle does have other options for funding higher wages. Like cutting executive pay. Chipotle’s CEO pocketed $38 million in the 2020 pandemic year, almost 3,000 times the typical Chipotle worker take-home. Hartung himself took home $19 million in 2020. But he earned every dollar — by keeping Chipotle executive pay way off reporter radar screens.  
$10 Trillion Could Meet Magnitude of the Moment
President Biden will unveil the second of two major spending and tax packages this Wednesday. Following his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, Biden’s new $1.8 trillion American Families Plan will likely include expanded child care, pre-K, and paid family leave, as well as tuition-free community college. He’s proposing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, including a capital gains rate hike for millionaires, to fund the plans. How are leading progressives responding? Many are hailing Biden’s proposals as positive while urging bigger and bolder action. The Institute for Policy Studies, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Progressive Change Action Fund have drafted a statement describing the White House plans as “necessary but insufficient in scale and scope.” Endorsed by more than 80 groups, the statement points out that Biden made bolder commitments on the campaign trail and that many experts believe at least $10 trillion is needed to combat inequality and poverty, reduce racial and gender disparities, and modernize infrastructure.
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The Billionaires Who Just Couldn’t Kick Straight
A week ago Sunday, a dozen of global soccer’s richest and most powerful clubs, egged on by American billionaires and bankrolled by a Wall Street banking giant, announced a plan for a new “Super League” they claimed would “save” their sport. On Tuesday, their cabal collapsed. Enormous public pressure collapsed it. Star players denounced the billionaire plot. Sportswriters and pols railed against it. Fans took to the streets, even blocking teams, in one case, from beginning a match. What prompted this fierce backlash? A deep revulsion at the essential endgame behind the “Super League” notion: the imposition of the American pro sports model over what remains of global soccer’s egalitarian traditions. Inequality.org co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more.
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This week on Inequality.org 

IPS Inequalty Channel, What is the Wealth Defense Industry?. Chuck Collins explains the Wealth Defense Industry and how it helps rich families at the expense of all the other families in the world.

Manuel Pérez-Rocha, Mexico Should Follow Other Countries and Refuse Excessive Powers for Foreign Investors. Pakistan is the latest to start withdrawing from international treaties that give corporations the power to sue governments over environmental and public interest regulations.

Bob Hertz, Let’s End the Era of Tax Timidity. Instead of taxing the rich to fund vital social spending, we’ve spent decades turning the young and the poor into debtors.

Chuck Collins and Dan Petegorsky, Responding to Concerns about the Emergency Charity Stimulus Proposal. Make no mistake: this pandemic is the "rainy day" DAFs and foundations have been saving for.

Elsewhere on the Web

Jane Chung, The devastating cost of the Big Tech billionaires’ immense wealth, Fast Company. Tech barons who commit to giving away their wealth invariably give to undemocratic, private institutions, a pattern that lets billionaires — not democracies — set global priorities.

Christa Case Bryant, Why Democrats are getting bolder on tax hikes, Christian Science Monitor. Polls show that a majority of Americans support raising taxes on corporations and wealthy people – and have for years.

Jisha Joseph, CEO took a 90% pay cut to raise staff's minimum salary to $70K and the company is now thriving, Upworthy. Fox News called Dan Price a socialist whose employees would be walking on bread lines. Since then his company's revenue has tripled.

Isaac Arnsdorf and Derek Willis, How Josh Hawley and Marjorie Taylor Greene Juiced Their Fundraising Numbers, Pro Publica. U.S. pols who want to “prove” they have wide public support are using shady and aggressive fundraising vendors who take as much as 80 percent of every dollar raised.

Michael Hiltzik, Biden wants to hike the capital gains tax. The wealthy will fight him to the death, Los Angeles Times. We should have no illusions about the fight Biden will be in for if he proposes raising the capital gains tax.

Luke Savage, ‘Generous’ Billionaires Are Part of the Problem, Jacobin. Elite philanthropy, far from being merely an inadequate solution to social problems, works to entrench and perpetuate them — offering elites a useful vehicle for the purchase of virtue and the soft power that comes with it.

Chuck Marr, Samantha Jacoby, Sam Washington, and George Fenton, Asking Wealthiest Households to Pay Fairer Amount in Tax Would Help Fund a More Equitable Recovery, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Our historic opportunity for an America that helps all households reach their full potential.

Zachary Carter, The Woman Who Shattered the Myth of the Free Market, New York Times. Joan Robinson upended the misogynistic network of economists who justified how real-life markets concentrate power and wealth.
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