Issue #270

Let’s stop subsidizing economic inequality

Washington Post columnist Katrina vanden Heuvel

vanden Heuvel

Sarah Anderson, director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, recently asked in a speech at the New Populism Conference in Washington, “Why should our tax dollars subsidize economic inequality?” Why must you and I foot the bill, via our taxes, for the callousness of Wal-Mart or Domino’s? The chasm between C-suite pay and minimum wage may be wider than ever before—in 2013, according to the AFL-CIO, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies made 774 times as much minimum wage workers—but, as Anderson points out, many people have grown tired of waiting for a solution to emerge from the maw of Washington and are instead taking the initiative themselves. “Just like on the minimum wage,” Anderson told the conference, “people aren’t waiting for Washington to lead on CEO pay. We’re seeing an unprecedented explosion of bold creative action outside Washington.” In Sacramento, Providence and other capitals (in Seattle), state-level activism and legislation are taking care of business that the House and Senate have chosen to ignore. Katrina vanden Heuvel, Washington Post, 5-28-14.