Individual Wealth Building

The Increasingly Unequal States of America

Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price

Analyzing income inequality by state, Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price document the sharp rise in economic inequality over the last 35 years. Sommeiller and Price find that between 1929 and 1979, a time of rising minimum wages, low levels of unemployment, and union contracts, the share of income held by the top 1 percent declined in all but one state. But since 1979, every state has endured widening inequality. The authors caution that this shift will likely persist, unless states begin to create policies that support a more balanced economy. 

Rey España

This month we interview Rey España, Director of Community Development at the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), one of the largest and most successful urban Native American centers in the nation. In the past decade at NAYA, España has helped launch a number of projects, including an individual development account program, an affordable housing portfolio, a private high school serving Portland’s Native American community, and two social enterprises. NAYA is now looking to develop a Community Development Financial Institution to provide loan assistance for NAYA’s microenterprises.