While the pandemic crushed the dreams of millions, shuttering businesses and schools and leaving millions jobless, the wealthy reaped a bonanza and watched their net worth more than double. They became richer while the poor got poorer.
Already at historic heights before the pandemic, wealth inequality by many measures now is worse than during the Gilded Age and divides the country into the haves and the have-nots. And that endangers us all by cutting social mobility, increasing crime and empowering authoritarians.
In the second program of the year, Common Ground will examine the consequences of this cleavage, the values that drive economic policy and the connections between our political and economic crises.
Anand Giridharadas is the author of Winners Take All, the New York Times bestselling book about how the world’s wealthiest publicly fight for social causes but privately resist change to the systems that unfairly benefit them. A former foreign correspondent for the New York Times and a regular political analyst for MSNBC, Giridharadas also has written about billionaires and building movements to overcome fascism.
Ebony Reed is the Chief Strategy Officer of the Marshall Project, the Pulitzer-winning nonprofit media organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system. Reed previously served as Chief of New Audiences and Community at The Wall Street Journal, where she also wrote newsletters on race and gender. In collaboration with Louise Story, Reed is co-authoring The Black Dollar, a book about the history of race and money in the United States.
A waitress until she was 30, Suze Orman is an author and one of the country’s leading personal financial advisors. She has been on Forbes’ and Time’s Most Influential lists, and her CNBC program, The Suze Orman Show, ran for nearly two decades, making her the face of financial planning. She has written 10 New York Times bestselling finance books and was a contributing editor to
O, The Oprah Magazine for 16 years.
Louise Story is a journalist, media strategist, and a professor at Yale University. For over ten years she served as an investigative reporter for The New York Times, where she worked on groundbreaking projects that resulted in multiple billion-dollar financial settlements, governmental reforms, and legal convictions. Since leaving The Wall Street Journal, where she was a senior editor until 2021, she has been collaborating with journalist Ebony Reed to co-author The Black Dollar, a book about the history of race and money in the United States. She is also an accomplished voice regarding the future of news business and international corruption.