Chuck Collins, The Government Shutdown Expands the Ranks of ‘Underwater Nation’. Unemployment rates may be low, but federal employees are lining up at food banks. They aren’t alone.
Sarah Anderson and Sam Pizzigati, Tax The Gap! The Nation. Why Portland’s new strategy for curbing executive pay frightens corporate America.
Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Chuck Collins, The Racial Wealth Gap Is Killing the Middle Class, Common Dreams. Ninety years out from Dr. King’s birth, the typical white family had 41 times more wealth than the typical Black family.
Sam Pizzigati, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Tax Plan Can Get The Rich To Actually Want To Make All Americans Richer. Here’s How, Newsweek. The stiff U.S. tax rates on the mid-20th-century wealthy could not be sustained. This time let’s get tax-the-rich right.
Eillie Anzilotti, The racial wealth gap is worse than it was 35 years ago, Fast Company. As white families continue to build wealth, black families are losing money.
David Campbell, The downside of doing good with a market mindset, The Conversation. Beware of billionaires with “good intentions.”
Joe Tompkins, You pay more in state, local taxes because the rich pay less, Meadville Tribune. We used to tax rich people to pay for things. Now we borrow from them and pay them interest for the service.
Basav Sen, Democratic Leaders Failed Their First Big Test on Climate. Policymakers blocked action on a Green New Deal, which would tackle climate change alongside economic inequality.
Fernando Duarte, It takes a CEO just days to earn your annual wage, BBC World Service. A global comparison.
Lawrence Wittner, Do We Really Need Billionaires? History News Network. No, but we have them anyway, as the heads of state of the world’s three most powerful nations no less.
Pam Martens, A Wall Street Felon and High Frequency Traders Announce Plan to Form Stock Exchange, Wall Street on Parade. Plutocrats are getting ready to release volume II of financialization’s greatest hits.
Dylan Grundman, Moving Toward More Equitable State Tax Systems, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The specific steps states can take to make the taxing they do more effective and equitable.
Top charts of 2018, Economic Policy Institute. Twelve charts that show how policy could reduce inequality instead of making it worse
How activists moved the dial on student loans. Student loan debt last year hit still another record high of nearly $1.5 trillion. The good news? High-profile progressive lawmakers are now proposing bold policies to address the skyrocketing costs of higher education. They’re offering up ideas ranging from free college to complete cancellation of student loan debt. The national conversation has come quite a long way in the decade since the 2008 recession, when activists first pushed the student-loan crisis front and center. Siona Peterous has more on the grassroots groups who’ve spent years organizing for sweeping changes to end the crushing burden of student loan debt.
Wealth tax could raise trillions — and save our democracy. Taxing wealth over $50 million would be an investment in protecting our country from the tyranny of a plutocracy. Read more…
Asante-Muhammad and Sabrina Terry explore in Salon some of the policy proposals aimed at addressing what has effectually become economic apartheid.
Meanwhile, Sam Pizzigati pitches moderate Democrats on pay-ratio legislation as a path to greater economic parity in Inside Sources. And he and Sarah Anderson argue that Portland’s version should be replicated across the country in the Nation.
Not only would those taxes curb inequality — they would also raise funds for vital projects. Miriam Pemberton explains why the lack of investment in major infrastructure projects, for example, is a bigger problem than we realize.
Finally, John Feffer shares why he’s optimistic about the next meeting between the U.S. and North Korea. In another piece, he explains why Britain should hold a second referendum on Brexit now that voters better understand the ramifications of relinquishing their EU membership.
The Inner Level: Inequality and Our Well-Being
British epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, two of the world’s most famous social scientists, are touring the United States to mark the U.S. publication of their new book, The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Well-Being. Wilkinson and Pickett, currently emeritus professor and professor of social epidemiology at the University of York, have been speaking widely in Britain about The Inner Level. Their first book together, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, made a major splash after its 2009 publication, getting translated into nearly two dozen languages and eventually selling over 150,000 copies. This new book figures to spark just as much interest and debate. Join us in Boston on Wednesday or in Washington, D.C. on Friday to engage with Wilkinson and Pickett on the deep well of data and analysis compellingly linking high rates of anxiety and depression to inequality.
Speaking to Power Festival Calls for Global Solidarity to End the Age of Greed: As the corporate elite gather at Davos, communities around the world come together to imagine a fairer future. JANUARY 21, 2019
Increasingly, communities are mobilizing as anger about shocking levels of inequality grows. From Delhi to Dandora, thousands will gather in slums and towns in more than 30 countries across the world – in contrast to the opulence of Davos–to put forward their solutions to extreme inequality.
Here in London, at The Equality Trust, we were delighted to hold the inaugural Speaking to Power Festival with The Playground Theatre, which has worked closely with survivors of the terrible Grenfell fire tragedy. We gathered in Kensington and Chelsea, London’s wealthiest and most unequal borough, bringing together children and workersf rom local schools, musical and theatrical groups, health workers, poets, activists and filmmakers to stand in solidarity with people around the world and to demand a fairer future for the UK.
Our festival is part of the global Fight Inequality Alliance Week of Action meant to coincide with, and counter, the meeting of the world’s rich and powerful at Davos by calling for an end to “the Age of Greed.” The Fight Inequality Alliance is a growing global movement comprised of trade unions, grassroots campaigners and leading international and national non-profit organizations.
Jenny Ricks, global convenor of the Fight Inequality Alliance, stresses the gendered dimension of inequality. “Women, especially women of color, are the hardest hit by rising economic inequality: they are the workers in the most precarious employment; they suffer the most from cuts in public services; much of their work, paid and unpaid, is not recognized and rewarded. Whilst men at Davos have lots of warm words about women’s empowerment, they are the same people who push for corporate tax exemptions which take away resources needed to advance equality.”
Our festival started with a ‘craftivism’ session for young people and children, to encourage them to think about their vision for a fairer future and their ideas for tackling inequalities. They helped create a solidarity quilt, to be featured alongside student activist art on gender and an installation on race from our first cohort of Young Equality Campaigners.
The Chickenshed Theatre ran a workshop for children and parents based on “Dreams of Freedom,” their collaborative project with Amnesty International, that used drama to help children express their hopes for the future. The workshop tied in with an inspiring performance later in the evening from Christopher Tajah, whose one-man show “Dream of a King” explores the life of Martin Luther King. Luke Espiritu, the Labour Leader at the Solidarity of Filipino Workers discussed how private finance in development strips the most vulnerable countries of tax revenue, aid grants and adequate and appropriate public services.
Perhaps most moving was the screening of My Grenfell Year, along with a discussion on the lack of justice achieved by survivors over a year later. The conversation brought real insight into the devastating effects of inequality on human lives, and the reluctance of the elites to tackle inequality, even after witnessing one of the starkest examples of its deadliness in our time.
We began 2019 determined to step up our fight against inequality. This year, the United Nations will review the sustainable development goal to reduce inequality within and between countries. Meanwhile, at the Equality Trust, we plan on continuing our work, including our Young Equality Campaigners program, our Close the Gap Mental Health Alliance, our dashboard on CEO pay ratios and gender pay gaps, all while we develop our UK network of local groups and shine a light on inequality here in the UK.
It’s clear that inequality is damaging our society and that people want action. While the average UK FTSE 100 CEO takes home 133 times the salary of the average worker, it’s clear that the system is broken. We in London are joining those in Manila, Jakarta, Delhi, Nairobi, Guadalajara, and other cities across the globe to mobilize for a fairer future.