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Author Promotes Rich-Poor Alliance to Fight Inequality

Author Chuck Collins calls the recent election the inequality election. (Chelsea Green Publishing)
Author Chuck Collins calls the recent election the inequality election. (Chelsea Green Publishing)
November 14, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Chuck Collins used to be among the nation’s richest 1 percent, but more recently he has dedicated his life to fighting wealth inequality in the United States.

In his new book "Born on Third Base," Collins tells his story of being born into a wealthy family and eventually giving away his inheritance.

He argues income inequality is bad for American society, and even the rich, because it undermines the nation’s economy and democracy, but he says there is common ground between the rich and poor who are fighting for solutions.

"It's understandable that people feel angry about how very wealthy people, a segment of wealthy people, have rigged the rules and created these inequalities, but there are actually a lot of potential allies there,” he states. “The 1 percent is not monolithic."

Collins says voters in cities and states across the country passed measures to help close the income gap, including minimum wage initiatives in four states.

He says there are other creative solutions such as a proposal in Portland to add a surcharge to companies with extreme gaps between CEO and median worker pay.

Collins says inequality was a driver in the presidential election. He points out both the early Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders and now President-elect Donald Trump represented populist resentments for the lack of a level playing field economically.

"In a way, I think this was the inequality election,” Collins states. “When you have an extremely unequal society, you have a polarized politics."

Collins will be speaking at First Unitarian Church in Portland at 7 p.m. Tuesday.


Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR