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Economic Justice

Poverty Is A Policy Choice

From 1970 to 2018, the share of aggregate income going to middle-class households fell from 62% to 43%. Over the same period, the share held by upper-income households increased from 29% to 48%. The share flowing to lower-income households inched down from 10% in 1970 to 9% in 2018.

The Pew Research Center, Trends in income and wealth inequality, 1.9.20

The rich do get richer, and the poor get poorer. The statistics that bear this out are stark. Worse, economic inequality disproportionately impacts low-income neighborhoods, women, and communities of color. 

Poverty’s effect on economic stability is indisputable, a fact laid bare during the Coronavirus pandemic with fundamentals like food, housing, technology and childcare inaccessible to so many, and deep, longstanding health care inequities resulting in shockingly disproportionate numbers of lives lost.

Further, poverty impacts economic opportunity and mobility. The Great Gatsby Curve beautifully illustrates this travesty, documenting the “connection between concentration of wealth in one generation and the ability of those in the next generation to move up the economic ladder compared to their parents.”

This can be fixed. Once we see our vast economic inequality and its generational burden, the structural flaws and policy choices that brought us here are revealed. 

Our fluency in economic justice provides our clients with a distinctive vantage point. From minimum wage campaigns, to fair working conditions, to state and federal tax policy to student debt, we design solutions that leverage where efforts will make the most difference. As a result, their role becomes ever more incisive and instrumental as they help to build a more equitable future for all. 

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