Institute for Policy Studies

A New Poor People's Campaign Is Rising - And It Puts Climate Front and Center

In a number of 1967 speeches, Martin Luther King famously explained how the "three evils" of racism, poverty, and war were intertwined. That same year, King and other visionary leaders started a Poor People’s Campaign to expose the moral crisis of poverty in the richest country in the world and to confront those three evils.

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The Racial Wealth Divide Holds Back Black Earners at All Levels

It's no secret that there's a vast divide between the economic fortunes of black and white Americans. A new paper by the Equality of Opportunity Project attempts to shine a new light on just how hard that gap is to close. The study looked at the diverging fortunes of black and white men, and boys in particular. It found that even black men with affluent upbringings often fared worse than white men who grew up poorer.

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Should Teachers Have to Panhandle to Prep for a New School Year?

Back to school! These three simple words used to leave America’s public school teachers giddy with anticipation. Now they leave them opening up their wallets and worrying.

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Trump's Cabinet Is Coming After What's Left of the Middle Class

In a typical corporate board of directors meeting, what do CEOs see when they look out across their richly lacquered boardroom tables? Lots of other CEOs.

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Fighting for an Alternative to Big Banks

We’ve heard a lot about Wall Street reform in this presidential primary season. Most of the attention has been on the need to break up the “too big to fail” banks, curbing short-term speculation, and reining in executive bonuses.

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Enough Already: It's Time to Get Cops out of Schools

I’m still shaking from watching the recently released video of a white, uniformed police officer violently body-slamming a 12-year-old Latina girl face-first into a brick walkway. You can hear a “crack” when her face slams into the brick.

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How the Assault at Spring Valley High Brutally Demonstrates the ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’

Officer Ben Fields had not a moment’s hesitation in putting a black girl in a chokehold to yank her from her desk chair, slam her to ground and throw her across her classroom. The video of this assault has gone viral and has rightly prompted outrage from white people.

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How the U.S. Criminal Justice System Operates as a Debt-Based System of Racial Control

Green Cottenham was loitering at a train station in Columbiana, Alabama. Along with several other young men, he was arrested and convicted of vagrancy in less than 24 hours. Cottenham was sentenced to three months of hard labor. To add insult to injury, he was charged a $38 fine. Unable to satisfy the fine, he was sentenced to an additional three months of hard labor.

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These Companies Paid Their CEOs More Than They Pay in Taxes

Of the 30 largest U.S. corporations, seven paid their CEO more last year than they paid Uncle Sam.

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Illegal, Immoral, and Dangerous: Why Congress Should Say No to Bombing Syria

If I was really optimistic, I’d say that President Obama is hoping that Congress will follow the example of the British parliament – and vote against his proposed military strike on Syria. It would let him off the hook – he could avoid an illegal, dangerous, immoral military assault and say it’s Congress’ fault.

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We Need to Avoid Just Scaring Ourselves and Then Doing Nothing After a Disaster Like Super Storm Sandy

There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline high of a good storm. It’s like a good horror film: And this “Frankenstorm,” coming right on Halloween, is giving us the best of the worst of storms. As the waters rise, the weathercasters feed our high, red circles and arrows signaling danger. We are glued to the set, knowing exactly what comes next: They wade into thigh-deep water; they stand at the ocean’s edge, buffeted by high winds; they shout into the microphone; they take risks we secretly wish we could take. It is as if the whole thing is choreographed, like some archetypal play being enacted before our eyes for the one-thousandth time.

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Kerry-Boxer Climate Bill Still Stinks Despite Cologne

It's been called the "high water" mark by some environmentalists and, sarcastically, a "flood water" bill by others. So which is it? Yes, the bill released by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) may be as ambitious as we can hope for given the fossil fuel industry's stranglehold on Congress. But the bottom line is that it won't make a significant impact on our increasingly unstable climate. And that's a tragedy.

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Towards an Economic System That Works for People and the Planet

On November 15, the leaders of 20 nations and the major multilateral financial institutions will gather behind closed doors in Washington to discuss the future of the global economy. Led by outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush, this group includes many of the people, governments, and institutions whose policies are responsible for the current financial meltdown. As such, we believe they are the wrong group to be charged with reworking global economic rules and institutions. The world needs a process that is much more inclusive of other nations and the peoples of those nations.

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The Alternative State of the Union

As part of the Institute for Policy Studies' ongoing series "Defining the Issues," we are pleased to present a special three-part program from the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Providing a more reality-based assessment of the state of our nation, these senators and representatives gathered today for these three discussions:

Part One: Press Conference
Download MP3

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