Last week I attended an excellent event co-hosted by My Fair London and The Equality Trust. Our special guest speakers were Chuck Collins and Sarah Anderson from Inequality.org (backed by the Institute for Policy Studies) who gave a great insight into US inequality and the state of the current debate in the Trump era. Despite the populist tone of the Trump campaign, policies put forward by the administration are predicted to worsen inequality quite substantially, not least through its highly regressive tax and spending plans.
The silver lining to all this is an upsurge in activism and campaigning across the country, a lot of which seems focused on tackling economic and social inequality. Great campaigns such as Our Revolution and Indivisible are leading the way in the public arena but there is also activism in the state and local legislatures, led by cities such as Portland, San Francisco and New York often focusing on issues such as pay ratios and hypothecated tax levies designed to tax the richest people to pay for local social goods such as free kindergarten places. There is even some opposition amongst the ranks of the rich, as shown by the Patriotic Millionaires group, who (rightly) worry about the stability - and, frankly, viability - of such a divided society.
Where the debate - and the politics - goes in the next few years seems to be up for grabs. The mid-term elections in late 2018 will be very interesting. For now, the watch-words of those campaigning for greater equality in the US appear to be (at the very minimum) "Stay Woke". As ever, I left the event feeling that any society simply has the inequality and poverty it is prepared to accept and I was encouraged to learn of the growing number of people in the US who now appear to be saying "enough is enough".
And if you too want to say "enough is enough" in the UK, please join or form a local equality group where you live. Just contact me for further details on how to do this at firstname.lastname@example.org - or come along to our upcoming Activists & Local Groups' Day on Saturday 1st July where we still have a few places left.
Bill Kerry, Supporters & Local Groups Manager