A recent report from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) led us to examine more closely how income inequality dampens growth for rich in poor alike. Conservatives, as well as progressives, are beginning to better understand some of the underlying causes, and what can be done. Safety net programs such as social security and food stamps are not the culprit. Actually at fault are things like tax cuts for the highest earners, the tendency of rich people to accumulate wealth for the sake of accumulation without putting some back into the economy, and growing gaps in educational opportunity which inhibit social mobility.
Capital and Main collaborated with The Huffington Post to spotlight some powerful people who already understand the problem and are available now to be tapped as resources, sponsors, and donors in the struggle for social and economic justice. We have paraphrased it slightly (with credit) and added some hyperlinks to help you on your way to greater advocacy on this important issue.
Here it is. Go get ’em!
- Ben & Jerry’s ice cream co-founder Ben Cohen founded TrueMajority to stem the financial bailout of banks, and Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities to help transfer taxpayer money from military programs to education and health care.
- Multinational investment manager Morris Pearl is a member of Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength which favors the end of tax cuts for the wealthy.
- Library software entrepreneur Stephen M. Silberstein endorses corporate tax rates that tie CEO pay to average worker income, and executive-produced Robert Reich’s documentary Inequality for All.
- Early Amazon.com investor Nick Hanauer has gone on record saying that the middle class consumer is the driver of job creation, advocating for higher median incomes instead of tax cuts for people with high incomes.
- Republican Ron Unz seeks to raise the minimum wage because it is a conservative issue: If low-wage workers have more money, taxpayers will have to pay less for social programs.
- Former CEO of AT&T Broadband Leo Hindery, Jr., supports the right of all Americans to join a union.
- Board member of major corporations Erskine Bowles favors repealing tax breaks for companies moving jobs overseas, expanding “wage insurance” programs to give support to workers forced to work lower paying jobs, and creating nonprofit community development corporations.
- Retired civil rights attorney and major Democratic Party donor Guy T. Saperstein is a leading advocate for public option health care, and cautions against a possible President Hillary Clinton because of her close ties to Wall Street.
- Shout! Factory CEO and philanthropist Richard Foos helps numerous community support organizations such as Chrysalis, which helps to train and employ the long-term unemployed.
- Investment banker turned Columbia University Professor Eric J. Schoenberg joined the debate about economic inequality by revealing his own tax records in an article for the Huffington Post, pointing out that while the average American family with an income of $55,000 a year pays an effective 5.5 percent tax, Schoenberg pays only one percent.