Institute for Policy Studies

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Program on Inequality and the Common Good
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At the Institute for Policy Studies

Dear Friend,

Last Wednesday morning, we released our new study, Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us.

It’s been a blockbuster and it is still rolling out. We’ve had major stories in The Guardian, The New York Times, Marketwatch, Daily Mail, Mother Jones, The Nation, The American Prospect and many more.

NBC Nightly News.pngNBC Nightly news made a cool music video about it here and more highlights below.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders cited facts from our study on the Senate Floor, in an interview published in the Washington Post, and at a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire.

A couple of our key findings:

> America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit comfortably in one Gulfstream G650 luxury jet — now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, more than 150 million people.

> The 100 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the entire African American population in the United States, over 40 million people.

Your support is what makes this work possible. Please contribute now so we can keep pushing this report out and not be thinking about end-of-year-fundraising. Donate here.

With gratitude,
Chuck Collins
Director, Program on Inequality & Common Good

Report Highlights

  • The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 36 million of typical American families, those with median wealth of $81,000. That’s as many households in the United States that own cats. 

  • The Forbes 400 own over $2.3 trillion in assets, more than the Gross Domestic Product of India, a country with a population of over one billion people.
  • A one percent wealth tax exclusively on the Forbes 400 would raise over $23 billion annually. For context, that’s more than the government spends on both Head Start, which provides early childhood education to over 800,000 low-income children, and the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program that provides nutrition assistance to over half of all infants born in the United States, combined. 

Some of our Latest Media Coverage

  • Report co-author, Josh Hoxie, writes about our new report and Mark Zuckerberg in The New York Times, “Philanthropy Not a Substitute for Taxation.” Read here.
  • Chuck Collins talks about our report and a tax on millionaires on NPR station WBUR with host, Meghan Chackrabarti. Listen here.
  • Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Cay Johnston writes about our new report for Al Jazeera. Read here.

You can read the full report here.

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