Global Economy

The Global Economy Program provides research, communications, and networking support to dynamic economic justice movements in the United States and around the world. Our goal is to speed the transition to an equitable and sustainable economy while reversing today’s extreme levels of economic and racial inequality and excessive corporate and Wall Street power. The program focuses its work on six inter-related areas:

Inequality and CEO Pay

The program collaborates with a broader IPS team to produce Inequality.org and a related weekly newsletter that highlights the latest data and the sharpest strategies to reverse extreme inequality in the United States and around the world. The program is also a leading resource on one key driver of inequality — runaway CEO pay. For more than two decades, our annual report series “Executive Excess” has drawn extensive media coverage to the issue of CEO pay and practical solutions. A newer report series, “A Tale of Two Retirements,” is the first to track the staggering gap in retirement benefits between wealthy CEOs and ordinary Americans.

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Trade, Investment, and Mining

The program works with grassroots activists around the world to advance alternative international trade and investment policies that elevate environmental, human, and labor rights above narrow corporate interests. In recent years program staff have played a lead role in supporting a successful campaign in El Salvador to defend against global mining corporations’ attempts to steamroll local resistance to harmful extractives projects.

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Black Workers Initiative

The Black Worker Initiative aims to help expand opportunities for black worker organizing and thereby greatly contribute to the revitalization of the U.S. labor movement as a whole. This program is deeply committed to helping achieve both the historic and contemporary aims of the labor and civil rights movements.

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Wall Street and Global Finance

IPS staff play lead roles in coalitions working to restore the financial sector to its proper purpose of serving the real economy. We track the reckless Wall Street bonus culture, for example through our annual “Off the Deep End” report on the size of the financial industry bonus pool versus the cost of paying restaurant servers and domestic workers a living wage. We also advance innovative reforms such as a small tax on Wall Street speculation to curb short-term trading and generate massive revenue for urgent public needs, such as fixing our crumbling national infrastructure.

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Low-Wage Workers

IPS staff play lead roles in coalitions working to restore the financial sector to its proper purpose of serving the real economy. We track the reckless Wall Street bonus culture, for example through our annual “Off the Deep End” report on the size of the financial industry bonus pool versus the cost of paying restaurant servers and domestic workers a living wage. We also advance innovative reforms such as a small tax on Wall Street speculation to curb short-term trading and generate massive revenue for urgent public needs, such as fixing our crumbling national infrastructure.

Featured Report

Recent Posts Related to Low-Wage Workers

Inequality.org

Inequality.org and a related weekly newsletter are key resources for the public at large, journalists, teachers, students, academics, activists, and others seeking information and analysis on wealth and income inequality. Here, we collect the latest developments on inequality and keep readers abreast of relevant information concerning the widening wealth gap. We highlight stories from activists on the front lines of the fight against extreme inequality and share information that can be used for ongoing campaigns.

Latest Work

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The Poor People's Campaign Goes to Congress

Some politicians are finding ways to lift up the voices of Americans struggling with poverty and inequality without grabbing the limelight for themselves.
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Big Pay Gaps Are Bad for Business

Would you do your best work for a CEO who pulls in 5,000 times your own salary?
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Mexico's Diaspora Electorate

From remittances to voting power, Mexico's politicians recognize the importance of courting the support of Mexican's living in the U.S.
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Sick of Shady Banks? Get a Loan from the Post Office!

Payday lenders extort poor and rural Americans. One solution? Your friendly neighborhood post office.
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Rep. Keith Ellison Takes a Hard Look at New CEO Pay Ratio Data

The Minnesota lawmaker has been a champion of efforts to defend the disclosure reform from Republican attack.
poor-peoples-campaign

Five Charts that Show Why We Need to Tackle Gender Justice and Poverty Together

The Poor People's Campaign's first week of nonviolent moral direct actions will shine a spotlight on the problems of women in poverty.

Inside "The Souls of Poor Folk" Moral Audit with Co-Author

scott-pruitt-epa

Will Greed Be the EPA Leader's Downfall?

Activists are hoping to use Scott Pruitt's self-enrichment at taxpayer expense to get rid of a dangerous climate change denier.
poor-peoples-campaign

Poor People's Campaign Gears Up for Mother's Day Launch

A major new report makes the case for a "fusion movement" against systemic racism, poverty and inequality, miltarism and the war economy, and ecological devastation.

The Pay Gaps Between Executives and Median-Salary Workers is Outrageous

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No CEO Should Earn 1,000 Times More Than a Regular Employee

Employees of at least five U.S. corporations would have to work more than a millennium to catch up with their CEO.
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Del Monte's Pay Ratio is Largest to Date at 1,465:1

Corporate disclosures show astoundingly significant gaps between CEO and median-worker pay among Fortune 500 firms.
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11 "Small" Banks That Would Benefit from Deregulation Bill Have Huge Pay Gaps of 146 to 1

Supporters of a Senate-approved deregulation bill claim it will provide relief for community banks. But, judging by the size of the beneficiaries' CEO-worker pay ratios, they are hardly Mom & Pops.
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How to Reduce Poverty and Inequality Through State Government Taxes

As the new federal tax law slashes IRS bills for corporations and the wealthy, the momentum is growing for progressive state-level taxes that could recoup some of these resources.
Ted Bell / Flickr

Poverty, Inequality, and the Poor People’s Campaign — 50 Years Later

How the diminishing value of minimum wage and declining unions are contributing to a poverty rate that hasn’t budged since 1967.
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Investors and Employees Gain a New Tool to Fight Inequality

The new SEC disclosure regulation finally sees daylight, bringing changes for shareholders, employees, and even consumers, Sarah Anderson explains in this Bloomberg Q+A.
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The Future of American Unions Hangs In the Balance

At a time when unions are increasingly under threat, a case before the Supreme Court promises to be the most consequential in a generation.
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5 Reasons Mexican Workers Would Cheer the Demise of NAFTA

And how those reasons could help Mexico reduce its economic and political subordination to the United States.
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As Monuments to White Supremacists Fall, a New Statue Celebrating Chilean Human Rights Hero Arises

Remarks at the unveiling of the Orlando Letelier statue
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A New Landmark in CEO-Worker Pay Ratio Disclosure

Honeywell has just revealed a 333:1 gap between the compensation of the 143,000-employee firm's top executive and most typical workers.

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Reports

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Report: CEO-Worker Pay Ratios in the Banking Industry

A decade after the crash, excessive pay is still a problem at the mega-banks and the 2nd-tier firms that stand to benefit from the current deregulation push.

Report: Corporate Tax Cuts Boost CEO Pay, Not Jobs

This 24th annual report rebuts the GOP claim that slashing the corporate tax rate will lead to more and better jobs.

Report: The CEO Pay Tax Break in the Republican Health Care Proposal

The cost of removing Obamacare limits on the tax deductibility of executive compensation, based on pay data at the top 5 insurers.

Report: The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low Wage Workers

The 2016 bonus pool held enough dollars to lift the pay of all of the country's more than 3 million servers up to $15 an hour.

Report: A Tale of Two Retirements

As working families face rising retirement insecurity, CEOs enjoy platinum pensions.

Help Spread the Word: #CanURetire

Help us spread the word about our latest report, "A Tale of Two Retirements: As Working Families Face Rising Retirement Insecurity, CEOs Enjoy Platinum Pensions."

Executive Excess 2016: The Wall Street CEO Bonus Loophole

This 23rd annual report reveals how taxpayers are subsidizing financial crisis windfalls.

Utilities Pay Up

How ending tax dodging by America's electric utilities can help fund a job-creating, clean energy transition.

Mining, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Conflict: OceanaGold and the El Dorado Foundation in El Salvador

This study finds that OceanaGold’s attempt to rebrand its proposed gold mine in El Salvador through the use of a company-sponsored foundation at the local level is deceitful, disrespectful and dangerous

Off the Deep End: The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low-Wage Workers

The financial industry’s 2015 bonuses were double the combined earnings of all Americans who work full-time at the federal minimum wage.

CEO Stock(ing) Stuffers

Loophole allowed 10 companies to shave $180 million off their taxes for CEO pay last year.

A Tale of Two Retirements

One hundred CEOs have as much in retirement assets as 41 percent of American families.

Executive Excess 2015: Money to Burn

This 22nd annual report reveals how CEO pay is accelerating climate change.

Peoples Sovereignty vs. Impunity Inc.: Counterpower and Struggles for Justice

A new book from the Transnational Institute (TNI) includes the article "The Pacific Rim - Oceana Gold Case against El Salvador; impunity and violations of human rights, democracy and human rights", written by IPS Associate Fellow Manuel Perez-Rocha

TTIP - Why the World Should Beware

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – practically in secret – between the European Union and the United States of America.
Construction workers on scaffolding

Burning Our Bridges

President Obama and some members of Congress think the easiest way to fund infrastructure is by granting corporations a large tax cut on their untaxed offshore profits.
Businessman with a briefcase full of money

Off the Deep End: The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low-Wage Workers

The financial industry’s 2014 bonuses were double the combined earnings of all Americans who work full-time at the federal minimum wage.
Uncle Sam is broke

Fleecing Uncle Sam

A growing number of corporations spend more on executive compensation than federal income taxes.
Handing over cash

Darden’s Golden Goodbyes

While the chain restaurant giant’s servers face economic uncertainty, three top executives are sailing away with $68 million in compensation

Executive Excess 2014: The Obamacare Prescription for Bloated CEO Pay

This 21st annual report reveals hefty taxpayer savings from a little-known Affordable Care Act executive compensation reform.

Experts

John Cavanagh

John Cavanagh

Executive Director

In the News

Wall Street Bonuses Highest Since 2006

U.S. News & World Report | March 26, 2018

CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratios Revealed

Napa Valley Register | February 23, 2018