Should there be billionaires? Chuck Collins, Oscar Mayer heir, says no

“The problem isn’t really individuals making money. The problem is having an entire system that grows the wealth of billionaires at the expense of everything else we care about — including our democracy,” writes Chuck Collins in an op-ed for CNN Business, “The US would be better off with fewer billionaires.”  Collins, who is the heir to the Oscar Mayer fortune, has long championed raising taxes on the rich and campaign finance reform, and writes extensively about inequality. Collins discusses Mike Bloomberg, the problem with philanthropy, and the many ways that billionaires undermine the middle class and democracy. (March 11, 2020 broadcast)

Chuck Collins, co-editor, Inequality.org at the Institute for Policy Studies, author, Born on Third Base

How enriching the 1% impoverishes communities of color

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies highlights how a racial wealth divide has grown between white households and households of color over the past three decades. Since the early 1980s, median wealth among black and Latino families has been stuck at less than $10,000. Meanwhile, white household median wealth grew from $105,300 to $140,500, adjusting for inflation. This is documented in Dreams Deferred: How Enriching The 1% Widens The Racial Wealth Divide. If this trajectory continues, by 2050 the median white family will have $174,000 of wealth, while Latino median wealth will be $8,600 and black median wealth will be $600–falling to zero wealth by 2082. We speak with the co-author of the report about how we got here, and how to address this disparity. (February 6, 2019 broadcast)

Josh Hoxie, director, Project on Opportunity and Taxation, Institute for Policy Studies