Defend democracy in the South.

Economy

INSTITUTE INDEX: Investors are pushing affordable housing out of reach

July 7, 2022 - A U.S. House subcommittee recently held a hearing on how institutional investors' fast-expanding ownership of single-family rental homes is making affordable housing less accessible for renters and first-time homebuyers. Black neighborhoods and Southern metros are among those with the greatest share of investor ownership of single-family rentals.

South Carolina tire workers expose corporate subsidy, human rights abuses

June 17, 2022 - Workers at state-subsidized Giti Tire, a Singapore-based company with operations in South Carolina, report exposure to toxic substances, forced overtime, and intimidation for pro-union views. Giti workers are in the midst of an organizing drive with the United Steelworkers, and a win could open the door to organizing in a state with the nation's largest tire manufacturing industry.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Ending subminimum wages for workers with disabilities

May 13, 2022 - A number of states, including several in the South, are bucking the federal policy that allows companies to pay workers with certain disabilities less than the basic minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The Biden administration recently took an initial step to address that pay disparity for tens of thousands of disabled workers nationwide, while a bill to end the practice is stalled in Congress.

TESTIMONY: Alabama's Warrior Met Coal and Wall Street greed

April 20, 2022 - This month marks one year since 1,100 members of the United Mine Workers of America went on strike at Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood, Alabama — a company that was formed from the bankruptcy of Walter Energy and that's now owned by hedge funds. A recent U.S. Senate hearing focusing on Wall Street greed featured testimony from striking Warrior Met miner Braxton Wright calling for passage of the Stop Wall Street Looting Act.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Will Congress fairly tax the ultra-rich?

April 8, 2022 - The U.S. is home to over 730 billionaires, with over 140 living in Southern states. The new budget proposal from President Biden calls on Congress to pass what's being called a "Billionaire Minimum Income Tax" that would levy annual gains in stocks and other assets held by the richest .01% — assets that are not taxed at all now unless they're sold.

INSTITUTE INDEX: A chance to revive the poverty-busting expanded child tax credit?

February 4, 2022 - The expanded child tax credit lifted millions of children out of poverty but expired because the closely divided U.S. Senate failed to renew it as part of the Build Back Better Act, which was opposed by Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia. As talks continue, Manchin has signaled he might be open to renewing the expanded credit with more limited eligibility and a work requirement, but anti-poverty advocates oppose those conditions.