American Billionaires By the Numbers

A new website is using Forbes’ billionaires data to provide insights into growing wealth inequality, tracking the real-time net worth of U.S. billionaires by state and their growing political influence. U.S. billionaires have continued to amass exorbitant amounts of wealth even as millions of people are unemployed and struggling to make ends meet amid the pandemic.

American Billionaires by the Numbers
Americans for Tax Fairness, Institute for Policy Studies – Inequality Program

CEO to Worker Pay Ratio

How companies compensate their employees and executives matters. For the last decade, corporate profits have continually hit record levels, but aside from recent wage growth (that still has only modestly exceeded the rate of inflation, and may only be up temporarily due only to the tightened labor market), the benefits of economic growth have flowed mostly to executive suites. In other words, corporations haven’t invested in their rank-and-file workforces in a way that would create family-sustaining jobs and improve family economic security.

Executive Paywatch
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

Corporate Elite, Not Workers, Cash in on Tax Cuts

When the White House and GOP leaders passed the unpopular Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, they promised the 40 percent reduction in the corporate tax rate would benefit workers via higher wages and more corporate investment. Instead, the tax law has fueled stock buybacks and incentivized offshore tax havens.

Costly Corporate Tax Cuts Benefit Few Workers
Americans for Tax Fairness, March 13, 2019

RELATED: Americans for Tax Fairness, Corporate Taxes

The Myth of Individualism and Wealth-building

For far too long, some elected officials and the corporate-funded think tanks and special interests that back them have sought to define the vast economic divide as inevitable, as in the rich work hard for what they have and if you’re poor or low-income, you simply haven’t worked hard enough. This paper delves into and debunks these pernicious myths that have helped define too many of our public policies.

Disrupting Narratives That Justify Inequality and Poverty
Institute for Policy Studies, March 12, 2019

Public Policy’s Role in Uneven Economic Opportunity

The U.S. middle class grew significantly during the 20th century in part because the nation put in place public policies (think housing policy, federally backed mortgages, the GI bill, etc.) that helped families access economic opportunity and grow wealth. But the harsh truth is that, by design, these public policies benefited white communities most and often deliberately exclude communities of color.

The Role of Family Wealth in Reinforcing Generational Divides
Institute for Policy Studies, March 4, 2019

Undoing the Damage caused by TCJA (Testimony)

This testimony from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Chye-Ching Huang before the House Budget Committee highlights flaws in the so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and offers recommendations to undo the damage the law inflicted upon low- and moderate-income people, while rewarding corporations and the wealthy.

Fundamentally Flawed 2017 Tax Law Largely Leaves Low- and Moderate-Income Americans Behind
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Feb. 27, 2019

Corporations Are Extracting Wealth From the Economy

This paper argues that public firms are increasingly extractive and unproductive, that shareholders and managers are reducing investments in the things that grow the economy, and that workers, consumers, and the government are being scammed. All of this hurts shared prosperity.

Rejecting the Theory of the Firm
Roosevelt Institute, Feb. 26, 2019

State Tax Policy Can Address Income Inequality

The 2017 federal tax law bestowed most of its benefit on high-income households, and many tax policy analysts project that if nothing changes, the nation will see the effects of these policies in years to come via worsening economic inequality. This paper by the Institute for Policy Studies outlines how states can address poverty and inequality in spite of the federal tax law.

What States Can Do to Reduce Poverty and Inequality Through Tax Policy
Institute for Policy Studies, Feb. 22, 2019

Putting Shareholder Profits Over Workers Hurts Workers

For decades, corporations have focused on the whims of shareholders, which has resulted in a focus on boosting shareholder profits above other uses of corporate resources. This has coincided with workers having less power due to deliberate weakening of private-sector unions. This paper explores how this precarious combination has lined the pockets of the elite at the expense of working people.

Ending Shareholder Primacy in Corporate Governance
Roosevelt Institute Working Paper, Feb. 8, 2019