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News from EPI EPI Launches Inequality.is: New project from EPI explores the effects of income inequality and what can be done about it

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Today, the Economic Policy Institute is launching Inequality.is, a new website that explores income inequality and illustrates how it affects ordinary Americans. Inequality.is breaks down income inequality for users into five sections—explaining that inequality is real, personal and expensive, how it was created, and what steps we can take to fix it. The interactive site features animations, easy-to-digest charts and a video narrated by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

“Even before the Great Recession, working Americans faced stagnant wages and were not benefiting from economic growth—the result of widening income inequality,” said EPI President Lawrence Mishel. “What’s more, there’s growing evidence, including research by EPI, that income inequality is not the result of abstract, unstoppable economic trends. Instead, inequality was created by government policies supported by, and to the benefit of, those with the most power and wealth. The upshot of this is that people, together, can reverse these trends by mobilizing around policies that generate shared prosperity.”

Since the 1970s, the United States has become increasingly unequal in terms of income, wages, wealth and opportunity. This inequality has been made worse by low top marginal tax rates, lax financial regulation, weakened labor standards and policies that protect the wealthiest Americans over the middle class. Today, income inequality is worse than it was during the Gilded Age—1 percent of Americans are taking home nearly 20 percent of the country’s total income and own nearly 35 percent of the country’s wealth.

“Inequality is not an abstract issue. It affects the vast majority of Americans, who have seen wage growth slow to a crawl even as productivity has increased,” said EPI economist Elise Gould. “Inequality.is shows people that income inequality is personal and affects them in very real ways.”

Inequality.is puts inequality in real terms by showing users what they would be earning if wages had kept up with productivity. It outlines how policies have made inequality worse and helps users demand a fairer, more equitable economy that works for all Americans.