Inequality – the issue of our time
It never ceases to intrigue me that so much of the Center’s work whether explicitly or just by virtue of dealing with those who are hit by the collision of politics and money is ultimately about inequality. Thomas Piketty identified that even in the ICIJ work on tax havens: “Financial opacity is one of the key drivers of rising global inequality.”
Interesting then to see one of the Center’s most important long-term backers and a major philanthropy leader, The Ford Foundation, announce a shift to focus almost solely on issues of inequality, announced by its new president Darren Walker.
Whether it is the recent Warren Buffett mobile homes rip-off story, the Susan Ferris piece on the incarceration of children or the Allan Holmes saga on over-priced and uncompetitive broadband denying access to the poor, so much of our coverage is about this issue. You’ll also recall it was central to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
Perhaps our most comprehensive coverage in this area also touches on the environment and what I see as an almost 1930s climate for workers’ rights. Jim Morris’ team package called Unequal Risk has run over the past three weeks and still has more to go. With 18 months of work behind it and based on 30-years of health and safety records it is a dismal account of the failure of government agencies to protect U.S workers, often hobbled by the lobbying of politicians by big business.