Chuck Collins

Chuck Collins—April 17, 2019

Chuck Collins offers solutions for wealth inequality

We are living in a time of extreme inequality, and few places are more unequal than the United States. America’s 20 richest people now own more wealth than the bottom half of the rest of the population combined. Scholar and activist Chuck Collins argues that these inequalities have their roots in forty years of the powerful and wealthy rigging the entire system in their favor. He proposes a wide range of public policies to roll back decades of accelerating inequality, analyzes the barriers to progress, and shows how transformative local campaigns can be made into a national movement for change. 

Collins will give a talk titled “Reversing Wealth Inequality: The Case for Restoring Progressive Taxation and Bringing Wealth Home” on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in 156 Straub Hall on the UO campus as the OHC’s 2018–19 Tzedek Lecturer in the Humanities and part of this year’s theme The Common Good.

In describing his talk, Collins writes, “We are living in a time of extraordinary inequality, unprecedented since the Gilded Age a century ago. Yet our national conversation about how to address this challenge is equally polarized. Is there a path to reversing inequality without undermining economic health and prosperity? What is the role of taxation in reducing concentrated wealth and expanding opportunity? How do we build an economy that works for everyone?”

Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he co-edits Inequality.org. He is an expert on U.S. inequality and the racial wealth divide, and cofounder of Wealth for the Common Good that has merged with the Patriotic Millionaires, two efforts to organize members of the 1 percent to advocate for fair tax policy. 

Collins is the author of Is Inequality in America Irreversible? (Polity Press, 2018). His book focuses on solutions to reversing wealth inequality which is severely undermining the American democracy and way of life. To tackle how to solve these deep-rooted issues, Collins “clusters policy solutions into three sometimes overlapping categories: raising the floor, leveling the playing field, and reducing concentrations of wealth and power” (Collins, 2018). He also writes, “For ecological reasons…we cannot simply repeat the same playbook from the past.”

Collins is the author of other books, including Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home,  and Committing to the Common Good (Chelsea Green, 2016); and 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2012). 

Collins’s lecture is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a book sale and signing provided by J. Michaels Books. For information, or disability accommodations (which must be made by April 10th), please call (541) 346-3934 or contact ohc@uoregon.edu. 

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