The Economic Policy Institute ( EPI ) recently launched Inequality.is , a new website designed to help people understand and take action to fight the problem with growing inequality in the United States and to learn about the devastating effects this problem has on working families. The site, which is beautifully animated, contains a wealth of easy-to-understand information that helps people get a handle on the issue and explain it to their friends, family and co-workers.
“Even before the Great Recession, working Americans faced stagnant wages and were not benefiting from economic growth—the result of widening income inequality,” says 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.”
The site has five sections that make the problem easy to digest. The first section shows that income inequality is real. The next shows that the problem affects individuals personally, allowing them to customize the effects of the problem based on gender, race and other factors. The third section shows the costs income inequality exacts on the United States. Next is a history of how the current level of inequality was created, including a video featuring former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich (see above). Finally, and most importantly, the site gives detailed information on how citizens can help fix the problem.
“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,” says EPI economist Elise Gould. “ Inequality.is shows people that income inequality is personal and affects them in very real ways.”