A project of the
Institute for Policy Studies

New Research & Commentary

Race, Wealth, and the Election

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The Trump phenomenon looks less surprising if we consider our history of racial inequality and white supremacy. Racial and economic insecurity in the United States have always made for a volatile combination.

Paying for Low Wage Pollution

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Economic justice activists in Illinois and elsewhere are championing laws that shift the costs of toxic poverty wages from communities to corporations. CEOs must start paying a price for low wages.

A Business Case for a Wealth Tax


Giving preferential tax treatment to a privileged class of citizens violates our most basic values. An annual levy on wealth over $250,000 could begin returning us to core principles.

Do We Really Need a Billionaire Class?


With worker-owned co-ops and other forms of democratic enterprise, historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz is helping us see, we can create wealth without creating a super wealthy.

Who Owns Almost All America’s Land?

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A new report is exposing a massive disparity between white and black land ownership in the United States. Our five largest landowners, all white, own more rural land than all of black America combined.

Inequality in America’s Political Class

Source: Agustino Fontevecchia, “Forbes’ 2016 Presidential Candidate Wealth List.”

The gap in personal net worth between the 2016 presidential candidates and average Americans could hardly be more stark. All the top-tier candidates save two have fortunes of at least $3 million.

Clipping America’s Hedge Funds

The growing Hedge Clippers campaign is pioneering new strategies to prevent hedge  funds from cashing in on corporate wage squeezes and benefit cuts.

Activists are taking on the billionaire financiers driving inequality and corrupting our politics. Hedge funds have been pressing the enterprises they dominate to slash wages and offshore middle-class jobs.

What Do Our Wealthiest Deserve?

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Our world’s billionaires don’t merit either their many billions, the Boston-based Oxfam economist Didier Jacobs suggests, or the right to claim we’re all somehow living in a ‘meritocracy.’

Black Media Ownership Matters


The discussion over expanding diversity in Hollywood needs to be expanded. We need to address the concentration of media ownership at the expense of small minority-owned media.

The Lesson We Can Learn from Flint

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Governments help ameliorate inequality by providing essential services to all citizens, rich or poor. The water crisis in Flint demonstrates the necessary and beneficial role of a strong public sector.

Blogging our Grand Divide

Inequality and the SEC Primary States

The Southern states up for Super Tuesday presidential primary grabs all share a common characteristic: crushing inequality.

Grounding Golden Parachutes

New Senate bill would ban use of taxpayer bailout money from corporate executives golden parachutes.

Unequal ZIP Codes

The gap between richest and poorest communities grows, a reality plain to see in America’s heartland.

Looking Beyond The Election

Three visionary thinkers offer their ideas for a more just and equitable future looking beyond the election cycle to the long term.

Why the Right Should Fear Inequality

Conservatives who worry about government ‘red tape’ smothering ‘freedom’ need to take a closer look at our great economic divides.

‘Game Changers’ Just Out in The Nation

This week’s edition of America’s top progressive weekly features a cover story that spotlights how we can ‘unrig the rules and reverse runaway inequality.’

Who Deserves Blame for Retiree Crisis?

Donald Trump is blaming foreign workers — and ignoring the CEOs who’ve gutted worker pensions while they pump up their own golden nest eggs.

Speaker Fees: Hillary v. Nobel Laureates

Hillary Clinton is under fire for accepting massive Wall Street speaking fees. Wait till you see how much less Nobel Laureates make.

Zuckerberg on Track for Trillionaire?

The Facebook founder saw his wealth ranking jump while others sink. At his age he appears to be the most likely candidate for the world’s first trillionaire.

Our top reads

Twin Peaks Planet

Between our world’s twin peaks — the ever-richer global elite and the rising Chinese middle class — lies what we might call the valley of despond: the stagnating incomes of the advanced-country working classes. (source)

The Rise and Rise of the Top 0.1 Percent

New research unveiled in 2014 has solved the puzzle in our statistics on economic inequality. (source)

World’s 400 Richest Add $92 Billion in 2014

The globe’s 400 wealthiest billionaires are ending the year worth a combined $4.1 trillion, an average $10.3 billion each. (source)