Event to Debate Implementing 'Maximum Wage'

Claiming Our Future is delighted to welcome America’s “chief proponent” for the notion of a “maximum wage” (New York Times), Sam Pizzigati to debate with us how we can make the ultimate antidote to inequality more than a fantasy:

A politically plausible ‘maximum wage’?

Tuesday, September 16, 6-8pm, The Ark, Eustace Street, Temple Bar

Sam Pizzigati is currently editor of Too Much, the global weekly on excess and inequality published by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Mary P Murphy (Claiming our Future and Lecturer in Irish Politics and Society, Department of Sociology, NUIM) will be making links to the Irish context of the proposal of a Maximum Income. 

Please register here

Sam Pizzgatis new book: ‘The Rich don’t always win” will be for sale on the evening.


The idea of a “maximum wage” — a cap on the annual income any one person can claim — has been around ever since the time of Plato. In today’s staggeringly unequal world, that idea is making a comeback, in everywhere from Egypt to New Zealand.

But could a “maximum wage” ever actually become politically viable? A variety of North American activists think so. In Canada and the United States, their emerging strategy revolves around leveraging the power of the public purse — our tax dollars — against the global corporations now manufacturing inequality at an incredibly furious pace. These activists are mounting a frontal assault on corporate compensation systems that have individual power suits routinely making more in a morning than most of us can make in an entire year.

How far has their new movement come? How far could this movement take us? What can we learn for us here in Ireland?

Join Sam Pizzigati of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies, America’s boldest progressive think tank, for an up-close look at a promising new direction in egalitarian public policy.

Claiming our Future thinks it is time for the same discussions around a maximum income in Ireland and is delighted to host Sam Pizzigati as a guest speaker. In July we had the Swiss 1:12 campaign for Fair Pay to speak to us in Dublin as part of a series of events exploring the issue.

About Sam Pizzigati

Labor journalist Sam Pizzigati currently edits Too Much, the global weekly on excess and inequality published by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. (toomuchonline.org). The New York Times has called him America’s “chief proponent” for the notion of a “maximum wage.”

Pizzigati has explored that notion in a series of books and articles that have appeared on both sides of the Atlantic. His most recent book, The Rich Don’t Always Win: The forgotten triumph over plutocracy that created the American middle class, 1900-1970, traces the influence of income-cap advocacy over the first half of the 20th century.

In an earlier book, the 2004 Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming the Inequality that Limits Our Lives, Pizzigati helps explain why we need a ceiling on annual income — and offers both a glimpse at what “maximum wage” life might be like and a strategic gameplan for moving ahead in an income-capping direction.

Register to attend here.