The evidence of growing inequality in the United States and around the world is both clear and troubling. As power, resources, and opportunity are increasingly concentrated in the hands of the very few, this era of “haves” and “have nots” is associated with a broad range of negative outcomes for far too many.
Inequality in access to affordable food and housing makes hunger and homelessness a stunning backdrop in a world of plenty. Inequality in access to healthcare and education cuts short promising lives and blocks the path to gainful employment. Worries and adversities once faced predominantly by the poor are now also the daily experience of an increasingly fragile middle-class, pinched hard by rapid increases in the costs of food, housing, health care, and energy.
On the other hand, many oil companies and other multinational corporations continue to enjoy hefty profits. And many CEO's, whether their companies thrive or stumble, continue to negotiate annual salaries, bonuses, and perks that far, far exceed what most of their employees will earn over a lifetime. For example, a recent review found that the median compensation package for CEO's at 50 of the largest S&P 500 companies exceeded $15 million. Yet business-friendly “free trade” agreements often fail to provide even basic protections to workers and the environment.
Although the sources and solutions for growing inequality are complex and open to debate, the physical and psychological consequences are real and clear-cut. Psychologists for Social Responsibility and its members are involved in efforts to address these timely challenges through education, policy analysis, and advocacy.
PsySR Statement: A Commitment to Address Poverty and Inequality
PsySR has issued a statement, developed by members of the Poverty and Inequality Project, on the urgent need to address poverty and inequality. Read the Statement »
Links and Resources to Learn More and Take Action
Action Against Hunger
The mission of Action Against Hunger is to save lives by eliminating hunger through the prevention, detection, and treatment of malnutrition, especially during and after emergency situations of conflict, war and natural disaster.
AFL-CIO Corporate Watch
A project of the AFL-CIO union movement, which represents 10.5 million members, including 2 million members in Working America, its new community affiliate. The union represents teachers and truck drivers, musicians and miners, firefighters and farm workers, bakers and bottlers, engineers and editors, pilots and public employees, doctors and nurses, painters and laborers--and more.
America's Second Harvest
America's Second Harvest--The Nation's Food Bank Network--is the nation's largest charitable hunger-relief organization, a network of more than 200 member food banks and food-rescue organizations serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Center for Economic and Policy Research
CEPR promotes democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face.
Center for Global Development
CGD is an independent, not-for-profit think tank that works to reduce global poverty and inequality by encouraging policy change in the U.S. and other rich countries through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization that serves as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.
Corporate Accountability International
Corporate Accountability International has been waging winning campaigns to challenge corporate abuse and to shift corporate bottom-line thinking to the real bottom line--human and environmental sustainability.
Economic Policy Institute
EPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy and inform people and empower them to seek solutions that will ensure broadly shared prosperity and opportunity.
ETC Group is dedicated to the conservation and sustainable advancement of cultural and ecological diversity and human rights. To this end, ETC Group supports socially responsible developments of technologies useful to the poor and marginalized and it addresses international governance issues and corporate power.
The Hunger Project
The Hunger Project is a global, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger, particularly through the empowerment of women.
The Hunger Site
The Hunger Site was founded to focus the power of the Internet on a specific humanitarian need: the eradication of world hunger.
Inequality.org believes that too much inequality undermines democracy, community, culture and economic health. Their website was created to serve as a dependable portal of information on this topic.
Institute for Policy Studies
The Institute for Policy Studies turns ideas into action for peace, justice and the environment by strengthening social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars and elected officials.
The mission of Justice Matters is to bring about racially just schools by developing and promoting education policy rooted in community vision.
The Opportunity Agenda, through an integrated strategy of communications, research, and advocacy, works with social justice organizations and leaders to connect with core American values and expand the constituency for opportunity in the United States.
Psychologists, counselors, and other concerned citizens around the world act together to expose and address unequal power relations that affect individual and community well-being.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation seeks to improve the health and health care of all Americans. Its efforts focus on improving both the health of everyone in America and their health care—how it's delivered, how it's paid for, and how well it does for patients and their families.
UC Atlas of Inequality
The mission of the UC Atlas of Inequality is to provide online teaching resources and tools to enable student exploration of global change. The Atlas integrates data, maps, and graphs to create an interactive website for accessing and analyzing information addressing global change and inequality.
United for a Fair Economy
United for a Fair Economy is a national, independent, nonpartisan, non-profit organization that raises awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart.
UN Division for the Advancement of Women
Grounded in the vision of equality of the United Nations Charter, the Division for the Advancement of Women advocates the improvement of the status of women of the world, and the achievement of their equality with men--as equal actors, partners, and beneficiaries of sustainable development, human rights, peace and security.
To promote sound social policy and public debate on national priorities, the Urban Institute gathers and analyzes data, conducts policy research, evaluates programs and services, and educates Americans on critical issues and trends.