"To get back to the kind of shared prosperity and upward mobility we once considered normal will require another era of fundamental reform, of both our economy and our democracy.”

Community Conversation

Wealth inequality

Are you all staying cool out there?! Unfortunately, as global temps are rising, so is wealth inequality. Coincidence?! Probably not. 

One could argue that of all the “-isms” (and of course, patriarchy) there are two factors that drive them: money and power. The more money one has, the more influence they can extend into politicians’ pockets to keep them safe from taxes, corporate penalties, and other tools for creating wealth equality. Right now, we have a growing elite whose power rivals that of politicians, but instead of being voted into power by the people, they are being put into power through extractive means that are also causing harm to people and our planet (think–prison industry, arms and weapons, fossil fuel etc.) Unfortunately, we all know it’s not as if doing good in the world always translates into big returns. 

So, learning about wealth inequality and how it came to be is critical to begin facing it as a nation. I appreciated the metaphor that the difference between wealth inequality and income inequality is that wealth is like the water already in the bathtub and income is the water coming out of the faucet into the tub. Inherited wealth is a buffer that gets passed down over generations and continues to GROW as it just sits there in investment funds. 

Clearly the system needs to change. It starts with you and me getting out there, doing our research on which politicians are working to help balance and which are further aggravating the situation…and VOTE!




Video (12m)

How Wealth Inequality Spiraled Out of Control

Robert Reich

This video from Robert Reich is a vividly illustrated and engaging journey through the massive wealth inequality in America and how it came to be.

Robert espouses Step #2 in the Ally Ring Process–you can’t solve a problem unless you know how it came to be. And why is wealth inequality such an issue for America? Because wealth=power. Unelected wealthy “dynastic” families will only grow their massive political power over time. 


How to Fix Economic Inequality?

Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE)

This is for all of our data nerds out there. These people at PIIE know how to put together digestible research. This article clearly lays out what is happening with income and wealth equality (there’s a difference) and the policies that will help to make the distribution of wealth more equal. I was really struck by the number of strategies and possibilities there are for change; all we need are politicians willing to implement them. So make sure that you get out and vote for the ones who are committed to supporting these policies.


Racial Wealth Gap May be a Key to Other Inequities


Of course, the wealth disparities don’t affect us all equally. BIPOC people are way more likely, because of the compounding effects of slavery and racism, to face challenges building wealth.

For example, “The typical white American family has roughly 10 times as much wealth as the typical African American family and the typical Latino family. In other words, while the median white household has about $100,000-$200,000 net worth, [Black and Latino households] have $10,000-$20,000 net worth.” This article is a must-read to understand how these wealth disparities arose and how we can tackle them, together.