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Mapping Our Unequal States  

The “suspension bridge” of top income shares (based on the work of Thomas Piketty and colleagues) is by now a familiar icon of American inequality. In this rendering, top-end inequality (measured as the share of national income going to the …

The Segregation Index  

Percentage of black residents in Ferguson, Missouri: 67 Of black police officers: 5.7 Percentage of traffic stops targeting black residents in Ferguson: 86 Of arrests: 93 Distance in miles from Ferguson to St. Louis suburb of Ladue: 10 Rank of …

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Segregation’s Long Shadow  

What is remarkable in Ferguson is not just the way segregation has been sustained, but the way it maps so cleanly onto patterns of economic disadvantage.

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What This Month’s Jobs Report Doesn’t Tell Us  

This month’s jobs report was widely celebrated for showing that—after adding 217,000 jobs in May 2014—the United States had finally returned to the December 2007 (pre-recession) level of employment. This is a useful comparative benchmark, underscoring the unusual depth and …

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The Wage Crunch in Perspective  

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century merits ongoing praise for the renewed attention it has drawn to the challenge of American inequality. The decade of collaborative and comparative work on the trajectory of top incomes that it represents, as …

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Fatter Cats: Executive Pay and American Inequality  

Between 1965 and 2000, CEO compensation grew by about 2500 percent, while worker compensation inched up only about 30 percent. This is a market malfunction, a democratic disaster, and a key driver of inequality, as the political currents that eroded the bargaining power of ordinary Americans have also buoyed the incentive and the opportunity of the richest 1 percent to pad their incomes.

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Wolves of Wall Street: Financialization and American Inequality  

It’s no secret by now that the recent spike in American inequality, and the gains rapidly accruing to the wealthy, are driven in large part by “financialization.” Over the last generation, financial services have expanded not with economic growth, but with stagnation and crisis—and their spectacular rise has accounted for about half of the decline in labor’s share of national income. How did things get this bad?

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