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Data from states and municipalities across the country suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting people of color in the United States. This report analyzes emerging data on deaths, unemployment, failing businesses, and wealth inequality to assess the links between racial and ethnic economic inequities, structural racism, and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on people of color.
This report explores the existing landscape of employee ownership opportunities for impact investors and highlights emerging models and strategies for inclusive investment in Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and worker cooperatives. The benefits of employee ownership as a strategy for achieving broad-based prosperity are well documented, but the growing field of impact investing has yet to fully recognize the key opportunity employee ownership presents for tackling economic inequality. The report concludes with the idea that employee ownership could be integrated into a portfolio approach that would satisfy needs for return, risk, and impact, while also transitioning ownership of business from few hands to many.
As construction activity in the southern United States continues to flourish, concern over workers’ health and safety grows. Economic hardships, few or no opportunities for career advancement, unstable work, injuries, and even death on the job are commonplace for construction workers in the South. This report examines the working conditions of 1,435 construction workers in six major cities in the southern U.S, in order to document the most critical issues facing construction workers in major construction markets and provide information to guide possible solutions.
While Connecticut’s working families are struggling with low wages, threats of eviction, food instability, lack of affordable health care, and high levels of unemployment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut’s wealthiest residents have amassed unprecedented wealth. In response to the state’s high rates of income inequality and extreme wealth gaps, Connecticut must adopt an equitable state budget that repairs the regressive tax structure by requiring billionaires to pay their fair share, invest in key programs and services to aid struggling communities, and take major steps towards eliminating racial and economic disparities.
In 2009, with the economic crisis still ravaging the nation, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley put in place a bold new economic indicator, the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), to begin to assess more precisely what has gone right — and wrong — in his state’s economy. The GPI provides a much more holistic view of how the Maryland state economy is faring for all Maryland residents than the standard state economic measure, the Gross State Product. The Genuine Progress Indicator now in place in Maryland has income inequality as one of its 26 prime indicators. This study zeroes in on inequality, in the context of the GPI, to answer the question: How has inequality affected the overall economic, social, and environmental fabric of Maryland, and what can be done about it? This study compares the current Maryland income inequality situation with the income picture back in 1968, the year that saw the narrowest overall income inequality divide in modern U.S. history. The authors then pose the question: How different would our current GPI indicators be — what quality of life would Marylanders enjoy today — had we kept the level of Maryland inequality at 1968 levels? The paper ends with recommendations on how to close the inequality divide in Maryland.
The United States needs to address growing inequality and raise more revenue to fund critical public investment. One way to accomplish both goals is to enact legislation that raises taxes for high-income or high-wealth households. This infographic includes figures that demonstrate the following four points: the U.S needs to address inequality, the U.S needs more revenue, the U.S tax system is not solving these problems now, and the public supports using progressive taxes to solve these problems.
Flat or graduated personal income taxes drive income inequality and racial wealth gaps. This brief compares Illinois’s flat income tax structure to the proposed Fair Tax amendment through a retrospective analysis. It shows that Illinois’s historic flat income tax in lieu of a graduated rate tax (used by most states) results in a tax subsidy for the wealthiest Illinoisans that compounds income inequality and racial wealth gaps.
President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan, includes a significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The proposal provides a $125 billion boost in funding for the program, which would double the size of the existing federal credit for households with children. This infographic explains the benefits of this expansion and their potential impact on different racial and income groups.
No two state tax systems are the same. This report provides detailed analyses of the features of every state tax code and assesses their fairness by measuring effective state and local tax rates paid by all income groups. The report concludes the following findings: the majority of state tax systems are inequitable, tax structures in 45 states exacerbate income inequality, heavy reliance on sales and excise taxes characterize the most regressive state tax systems, progressive graduated income taxes characterize the lead regressive state tax systems, and more.
A federal wealth tax on the richest 0.1 percent of Americans is a viable approach for Congress to raise revenue and address rising inequality. This report outlines reasons why the United States needs a federal wealth tax to achieve these goals, as opposed to federal tax policies that continue to almost exclusively tax income. Additionally, this report also identifies and refutes the two most common arguments against a federal wealth tax: claims that wealth is too difficult to measure precisely, and claims that a federal wealth tax would be unconstitutional.