Reduce Extreme Economic Inequality

Mission: The Grand Challenge of Extreme Economic Inequality

Extreme economic inequality has taken hold in the United States. Fostered in part by misguided policies and intentional choices, it can be reversed through purposeful action. However, social policies created for the industrial age face relentless political opposition and are not meeting the social welfare challenges of the information age. A new social contract is required. This paper elaborates key components of that contract, identifying social innovations to increase income at the bottom of society and reduce wealth disparities. Through such innovations, the United States can reverse extreme economic inequality. Because of social work’s history in addressing injustice and reforming policy, the profession is uniquely positioned to take on this challenge and has critical roles to play in addressing it. Key words: Child care, Earned Income Tax Credit, education, home equity, human capital, income, inequality, retirement, tax credit, unemployment insurance, wealth.

Social Work Grand Challenges

Led by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, the Grand Challenges for Social Work is a groundbreaking initiative to champion social progress powered by science. It is a call to action for all of us to work together to tackle our nation's toughest social problems:

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