D.C. Scholar to Speak on “Economic Inequality in America: A Threat to Democracy”

November 2nd, 2006 by Adam

The Saul O Sidore Lecture Series at Plymouth State University will present Chuck Collins, speaking on “Economic Inequality in America: A Threat to Democracy” Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

The free program will be held at the Silver Center for the Arts.

speakerCollins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington, D.C.) and directs the Institute’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is an expert on inequality in the U.S. and author of several books, including Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity. He has led a national effort to preserve the federal estate tax, the nation’s only tax on inherited wealth, and co-authored with Bill Gates Sr., Wealth and Our Commonwealth, a case for taxing inherited fortunes.

According to Collins, the inequality of wealth in the United States is now at its greatest point since the Gilded Age in 1900. A century ago the U.S. had a robust discussion about how much wealth inequality is healthy in a democratic, self-governing society. Today, the wealthiest one percent of the population owns and controls over a third of the nation’s wealth. Collins contends that the U.S. urgently needs to explore the dangers to our democratic institutions when wealth and power become overly concentrated in the hands of a few.

In 1995, Collins co-founded United for a Fair Economy (UFE)
www.faireconomy.org and Responsible Wealth, a project to bring together business leaders and investors to speak out publicly against economic policies and corporate practices that worsen economic inequality.

He helped coordinate the “Call to Preserve the Estate Tax,” signed by more than 5,000 prominent Americans including Bill Gates Sr. and George Soros, who is chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, and author of eight books including The Bubble of America Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power.

Collins is also senior fellow at Class Action www.classism.org, a national organization devoted to educating the public about class and classism.

He is the author of numerous books, reports, and articles on economic inequality, housing policy and social change funding. He is on the editorial board of Dollars and Sense magazine and the board of Sojourners magazine.

Collins’ commentaries have appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, Providence Journal and many other daily newspapers.

His articles have appeared in The American Prospect, The Nation, Christian Science Monitor and other periodicals, and he is a commentator on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace.”

All Sidore events begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public at the Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center on Main Street in Plymouth.

Advance reservations are recommended and may be made by calling
(603) 535-ARTS.

Each talk is followed by a reception with refreshments. For lecture series information, call (603) 535-2638.

The Saul O Sidore Lecture series was established at Plymouth State in1979 to bring a variety of speakers to the University each year to address the critical political, social and cultural issues and events of our time. Series information can be found online at www.plymouth.edu/sidore.

[ED. NOTE: the omission of the period after the middle initial in the Sidore name is not an error. PSU adheres to the wishes of the family in presenting the name in this format.]

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.