“People here are up in arms,” Ronsha Dickerson, co-chair of Camden We Choose, tells Inequality.org, “that they can’t work here in their city at places that should be able to hire them.”

Over recent years, Americans across the political spectrum have grown increasingly frustrated with the ever-growing wealth of our nation’s billionaire class. Our billionaires have seen their combined wealth rise over $1.7 trillion during the pandemic, a gain over 58 percent.

This frustration Americans are feeling comes through loud and clear in our latest exclusive poll with Ipsos. Concerns about how philanthropy is operating these days — about everything from the “warehousing” of charity dollars to tax subsidies for wealthy donors — transcend our partisan divide. A whopping 81 percent of Americans disapprove of how taxpayers are subsidizing the wealthy’s slow-moving charitable vehicles.

The good news? We have ideas aplenty for addressing what ails our philanthropic universe. More on those ideas below.

Chuck Collins and Rebekah Entralgo,
for the Institute for Policy Studies Inequality.org team
Facebook Twitter Download
New Jersey Residents Take On Corporate Subsidies
“People here are up in arms,” Ronsha Dickerson, co-chair of Camden We Choose, tells Inequality.org, “that they can’t work here in their city at places that should be able to hire them.”

Dickerson has helped gather signatures for a petition to the Camden City Council demanding that businesses benefiting from New Jersey state subsidies reveal how many local residents they employ.

New Jersey has doled out over $1.5 billion in state subsidies to large businesses based in Camden with the hopes of “revitalizing” the area, but local residents have not seen many benefits. The city consistently ranks as the poorest in the state, with a median annual income of $27,105 and a 36 percent poverty rate.

If the Camden City Council deems the coalition’s petition valid later this month, notes Inequality.org managing editor Rebekah Entralgo, the proposal could go on the ballot this November.
Read More
Facebook Twitter Download
For Uber's Top Exec, the Gift that Keeps on Giving
All those headlines last week about Uber exploiting drivers and corrupting politicians worldwide? Ancient history, insists Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of the rideshare colossus since 2017. Khosrowshahi’s flacks have been busily explaining that last week’s exposés — from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — cover the four years before he took over at Uber. Insists the Uber corporate line: “We have not and will not make excuses for past behavior.” But Khosrowshahi has certainly benefited from the global market dominance that misbehavior established. His own pay has averaged nearly $25 million over the last three years. For Uber drivers, a different story. In London, for instance, driver Abdurzak Hadi made good money in Uber’s early days as the company aggressively subsidized driver pay to gain market share. Then, market-share mission accomplished, those subsidies cratered, and today Hadi is clearing the equivalent of $9.40 an hour, well below the UK minimum wage.
Everyone Agrees: It’s Time to Move the Money
Bill Gates this week announced a plan to ramp up giving at his eponymous charitable foundation, boosting its annual grantmaking by several billion dollars a year. His move could hardly be more perceptive. Americans, new polling shows, clearly want the charitable sector to pick up its pace.

A new Ipsos survey, commissioned by our Institute for Policy Studies Charity Reform Initiative, has revealed that the vast majority of Americans support accelerating the annual spending of private foundations and donor-advised funds, the giving vehicles our wealthiest most favor.

Affluent donors have parked over $1.2 trillion in these two vehicles, a move that gives them a tax break upfront while urgent charitable causes go without the dollars they need. In the new Ipsos/Charity Reform Initiative poll, a stunning 81 percent of American taxpayers object to subsidizing such “charitable” behavior.

Lawmakers can currently pick from a wide array of options for charitable-sector reform. They should start listening to the bipartisan public consensus our new polling details.
Read More
Facebook Twitter Download
Life Choices Amid Our ‘Excessive Wealth Disorder’
If Dustin Hoffman should ever do a remake of The Graduate, the classic 1967 film that launched his famed cinematic career, what might be the 2020s update for that film’s most iconic exchange? One thing for sure: No overbearing know-it-all here in the 2020s would ever be pitching “plastics” as a sure-fire path to grand fortune. What red-hot field of business endeavor would a know-it-all now be hawking? A new report has a suggestion: wealth management. And what’s making the business of helping people of means grow their assets such a great career option? A simple financial fact: A colossal chunk of the world’s wealth now sits in the pockets of affluents who have no clue what to do with all their good fortune. Inequality.org’s Sam Pizzigati has more.
Read More
What's on Inequality.org 

Chuck Collins and Helen Flannery, Giving USA 2022: Charity Sector Stable but Increasingly Top-Heavy. This year’s story from the gold-standard annual report on U.S. charitable giving glosses over two important pieces of long-term context: the giving capacity of typical Americans and where much of the charitable giving has actually gone.

Elsewhere on the Web

Branko Milanovic, Hopelessness?, Global Inequality. The rule of the rich has become so entrenched that no hope seems on the horizon. Much responsibility for this state of affairs lies with the intellectual elites who have defined, promoted, and defended the ideology of inequality.

Jacob Bernstein, Wake Up, Billionaires: The Occupiers Are Coming for the Hamptons, New York Times. Along for an early morning “billionaire wake-up call” with protesters on a byway of America’s most lavish summer getaway.

Heather Landi, Healthcare billionaires in 2022: From HCA's founder to a Doximity entrepreneur, Fierce Healthcare. Some 217 healthcare executives now sit in the “three-comma club.”

William Davies, Destination Unknown, London Review of Books. An insightful analysis of three of this year’s most sobering new analyses of our deeply unequal world and how to change it.

Samantha Jacoby, International Tax Reform Proposals Would Limit Overseas Profit Shifting, End ‘Race to the Bottom’, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Policymakers have an opportunity this year to enact critically important tax reforms that would better prevent multinational corporations from shifting their profits offshore to avoid paying taxes.

Gerald Scorse, Our regressive tax code gets worse, New York Daily News. Almost 90 percent of tax breaks for retirement savings go to the highest-income 20 percent of U.S. households, a group that would save anyway.

George Monbiot, Feeling the urge to take back control from power-mad governments? Here’s an idea, Guardian. Concentrated power rests on concentrated wealth.

Richard Wolff, On Prime Day, declare independence from Amazon, New York Daily News. The huge wealth of Jeff Bezos stands in too large a contrast with the economic conditions imposed on his employees.
Facebook Twitter Download

Our goal for 2022: that 1% of our Inequality.org subscribers become monthly sustainers and help grow our newsletter and research efforts. Be the 1%, for as little as $3 a month!
Sustain Inequality.org