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2020 and the Great Divide

A 12-Month Series Examining Inequality and Its Impact on One of the Most Consequential Elections in American History

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Why is Robert Reich so stressed out?

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Capital & Main’s special series, The United States of Inequality, will feature articles, interviews, videos and infographics weekly till the 2020 elections. Sign up to be the first to get the content as it is being published.

10 Shocking Facts About Inequality in America

1.

  1. An estimated 43.5 percent of the total U.S. population — 140 million people– are either poor or low-income. 

2.

One in four African-American families have a net worth of zero or less.

3.

The median white family has 41 times more wealth than the median black family and 22

times more wealth than the median Latino family.

4.

CEO compensation has grown 940 percent since 1978, while typical worker compensation has risen only 12 percent during that time.

5.

More than 30 percent of black children and over 26 percent of Hispanic kids live in poverty.

6.

The top 0.1 percent’s earnings grew 15 times faster than the bottom 90 percent’s earnings between 1979 and 2017.

7.

Three men own as much as the bottom half of Americans.

8.

The richest five percent of Americans own 66 percent of the nation’s wealth.

9.

The richest one percent own more than half of stocks.

10.

U.S. men have three times more than women in retirement savings.

About the Series

Today – exactly one year before the 2020 presidential election – Capital & Main is launching a 12-month series on economic inequality in America. “United States of Inequality: 2020 and the Great Divide” will examine how tens of millions of Americans increasingly struggle to make ends meet, and how this reality will affect one of the most consequential elections in America’s history. 

Conceived by Capital & Main and produced in partnership with the Guardian USFast Company and The American Prospect“United States of Inequality” will feature at least one story or multimedia feature every week for 52 weeks through the November 2020 election. 

Here’s what former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who narrated this video on the series, has said about the project: “It’s so important for fact-based news outlets to shine a light on the defining issue of our time. ‘United States of Inequality’ is a timely reporting project.” 

The series content will fall into the following five thematic areas:

  • The State of Inequality in America: Reporting, analysis, infographics and videos about economic inequality in the U.S. leading up to the 2020 election.
 
  • The Primary and Economic Inequality: Analysis of the voting records of leading presidential candidates on issues related to economic inequality, including wages, labor law, taxes and corporate power.


  • Economic Inequality in Battleground States: On-the-ground reporting on how economic inequality is experienced by different ages, income groups and ethnicities, with an emphasis on key voting blocs in primary and general election battleground states.


  • Economic Inequality in Trump’s America: Analysis and reporting on how the Trump administration’s policies are exacerbating economic inequality.

  • What the Presidential Candidates Are Not Talking About: Coverage of economic policy proposals that have not been raised by presidential candidates but arguably should be part of the national conversation.


We hope you will follow “United States of Inequality” in the weeks and months to come as the nation grapples with an issue that will shape the 2020 election in profound ways — and that ranks as the other inconvenient truth of our era.

About Capital & Main

Capital & Main is an award-winning nonprofit publication that reports from California on the most pressing economic, environmental and social issues of our time.  Winner of the 2016 Online Journalist of the Year prize from the Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Best in the West award, Capital & Main has had stories co-published in more than 30 media outlets, from The Atlantic, Time, Reuters, The Guardian and Fast Company to The American Prospect, Grist, Slate and the Daily Beast. Working with top writers, editors and visual artists, we cover income inequality, climate change, the green economy, housing, health care, public education, immigration, race, and criminal justice. Capital & Main is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.