Happy Juneteenth! Many of our staff got to celebrate over the weekend at the Poor People’s Campaign Moral Assembly in Washington, DC. Around 100,000 people converged on the capital to demand an end to systemic racism, poverty and inequality, the war economy, and ecological devastation.
Happy Juneteenth! Many of us helped celebrate our newest federal holiday this past weekend at the Poor People’s Campaign Moral Assembly in Washington, D.C. Around 100,000 people overall converged on the capital to demand an end to systemic racism, poverty and inequality, the war economy, and ecological devastation.

Rev. William Barber, the Poor People’s Campaign co-chair, invited our Institute for Policy Studies colleague Sarah Anderson and Economic Policy Institute president Heidi Shierholz on stage to thank our organizations for research support over the past several years.

“The worst thing you can do in a movement is be loud and wrong,” Barber told the assembly. “These people have committed resources so that when we ride, we ride deep. When we talk, we talk sure. When we speak, we speak clear. We promised them that if they keep researching and writing, we’d build you an army. And that army is here.”

We’re proud to be part of the inspiring Poor People’s Campaign movement — and see our research on our nation’s maldistribution wealth turn up on placards at events like Saturday’s assembly. Here’s IPS Next Leader Jasmine Corazon holding up one of them.

We have more below on Saturday’s rally and our latest billionaire wealth report, a close look at the ultra rich of Massachusetts, where a tax-the-rich measure will be on the ballot this November.

Chuck Collins and Rebekah Entralgo,
for the Institute for Policy Studies Inequality.org team
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A Pastor Marches for A Moral, Equitable Economy
Among the massive crowd at the Poor People’s Campaign’s June 18 march on Washington: Rev. Andrew Wilkes, a pastor and political scientist based in Brooklyn. Rev. Wilkes and his wife and co-pastor, Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes, spend every Sunday with their Double Love Experience congregation sharing ideas on how to create a more equitable economy.

Inequality is ravaging Wilkes’ community, he told Inequality.org in an interview, “not because it’s God’s will or because fate declared it, but because identifiable policy choices — fiscal and monetary policy — have created burdens on people that should be lifted.”

The Wilkes family marched in D.C. this weekend as part of a multi-racial, multi-issue coalition that witnessed hours of testimony from those most harmed by economic policies designed to benefit the rich.

“I’m taking the songs, policy demands, and inspiration back to New York,” Rev. Wilkes reflected, “to continue the patient, sacred work of organizing, building infrastructure, and collectively pushing for the public goods that all God’s people inherently deserve.”

Check out the testimonies from Saturday’s event by clicking below.
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Curtain Rods Can’t Kill. This Ikon’s Handguns Can.
In police locker rooms and hip-hop lounges alike, America’s most macho love to sing the praises of the Glock, the line of semi-automatics that now holds a 65 percent U.S. handgun market share. And Gaston Glock, the Austrian behind that line, so enjoys that adulation. Glock sees himself as a beguiling gallant and has no patience for anyone who might remind us that this 2021 Forbes-list billionaire spent his pedestrian early career making curtain rods. Indeed, the Daily Beast has quipped, “barely a month can go by” without a lawsuit involving former Glock employees and their chief’s many secrets. Glock won one long legal battle with his first-wife Helga when the judge in the case ruled that any illegal siphoning off of company funds by Glock “had been directed solely at ripping off the Glock companies,” not Helga as an individual. The 93-year-old Glock’s most aggrieved victims — the dead at Virginia Tech and so many other mass-shooting sites — will never, sadly, have Helga’s day in court.
The Climate Case for Taxing Wealth
As Inequality.org has long documented, American billionaires have been systematically making themselves ever richer. Not all their fortunes come directly from fossil fuels, but our economy remains indisputably fossil–fueled — and has been ever since the Industrial Revolution. Our resulting levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have been increasing as stunningly as the number of zeroes that enumerate Elon Musk’s net worth. 

“It’s only fair that these wealthy pay for the climate damage they’ve so benefited from,” explains Basav Sen, the Institute for Policy Studies climate policy director, and Bob Lord, an IPS associate fellow and senior advisor on tax policy for Patriotic Millionaires.

Powerfully connecting their areas of expertise, Sen and Lord are advocating for a more progressive income tax and the closure of wealth dynasty-protecting loopholes in a just-published Inequality.org analysis.
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The 'Secret' That Gets Today's CEOs Really Rich
We’re not growing retirement security in the United States today. We’re growing — with our current 401(k) approach to retirement savings — greater overall economic inequality. The already affluent have become more affluent, and everyone else has become more insecure. How should we begin to go about strengthening retirement security for all Americans? Progressive lawmakers have launched a new campaign to make expanding Social Security — by taxing the rich — our starting point. Inequality.org’s Sam Pizzigati has more.
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What's on Inequality.org 

Chuck Collins, Updates: Billionaire Wealth, U.S. Job Losses and Pandemic Profiteers. Billionaire wealth has soared by $1.7 trillion as the United States passes the one-million Covid-19 deaths milestone.

Elsewhere on the Web

Polly Cleveland, Debt Relief for Whom? Dollars & Sense. An important new book tells how the Federal Reserve — the U.S. central bank — fell into the disastrous role of permanently supporting the big banks and the deep pockets who run them.

Adam Barnes, Most people don’t want to be billionaires, The Hill. New global polling concludes that “transformative approaches relying on limiting wealth and growth to achieve sustainability may be more consistent with human ideals and aspirations than commonly believed.” 

Matthew Cunningham-Cook, Powell Lets Wall Street Pay Skyrocket While Targeting Workers’ Wages, Lever. The Fed chair says he wants to “get wages down,” but he has declined to reduce banker record-high bonuses.

Maria Aspan, Abigail Disney wants to fix a ‘troubling’ disconnect and tie CEO pay more closely to workers’ wages, Fortune. Top 500 firms, Disney argues, ought to tether their CEO pay to what they pay their lowest-wage employees.

Randi Marshall, Pay gap widens between CEOs and workers as companies still stress profits, Newsday. The pandemic has rightly forced a rethinking of how we live and work. Could it also shock the corporate system into changing how companies view their workers’ financial worth?

Matt Stoller, Apple’s Backup Plan to Stop Antitrust Legislation, BIG. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who pulled down $99 million last year, is actually worrying about what Congress might do.

Dominique Meda, The urgent need for a post-growth society, Social Europe. Ecological conversion demands a relentless struggle against inequality.

Alex Kotch, Buffalo Murderer’s Manifesto Cites White Nationalist Groups Bankrolled by DonorsTrust, Center for Media and Democracy. A prominent dark money fund favored by Charles Koch, the Betsy Devos family, and other GOP megadonors helped fuel the two white nationalist hate groups that helped inspire the Buffalo massacre.
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