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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Recent Posts Related to Trade, Investment, and Mining

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

amazon warehouse workers

Danny Glover: Why I’m in Alabama with Amazon Workers

The Hollywood actor is mobilizing support for warehouse workers who are making their mark on the long history of southern organizing.
Black Families Have a Major Stake in the Future of the United States Postal Service

Black Families Have a Major Stake in the Future of the Postal Service

USPS is a vital source of decent jobs for Black workers. It could also narrow the racial wealth divide by expanding financial services.
covid-19 vaccine rate lower for black americans - racial wealth gap - inequality

Five Painful Charts on COVID and Black America

This Black History Month, hard data reveal how the pandemic has widened racial divides.
arizona state university - labor union push

The Pandemic is Sparking a Wave of Union Drives on College Campuses

In Arizona, two universities are spearheading an effort to unionize the entire state's higher education workforce.

Expose the Insurrection Financiers

The January 6 assault on our democracy should lead to greater accountability for political leaders — and their wealthy financial backers.
Land defenders march in the municipality of Mataquescuintla, celebrating years of resistance (Photo- Xinka Parliament)

Guatemala's Land Defenders Are Still Their Own Best Defense

Rising corruption in Guatemala threatens landmark legal victories by Indigenous activists defending their land from mining.
workers at a poultry processing plant

Poultry Industry Bosses are No Longer Calling All the Shots in Washington

In the new political landscape, poultry workers have already managed to scuttle a Trump administration reform that would've made their jobs even more dangerous.
safeway - workers - covid-19 - paid-leave

Grocery Workers Call on Employers to Put Public Health Above CEO Profits

Congress let mandatory paid leave requirements expire at the end of 2020, sparking calls for universal leave benefits to protect workers and their customers from the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Relief Deal is a Welcome Stopgap. Congressional Progressives Aim for Much More in 2021.

The Progressive Caucus has unveiled a legislative agenda designed to meet the scale of the pandemic catastrophe and reduce our vulnerability to future crises.
tax - corporations - Business People Shaking Hands

Why Can’t CEOs Pay For Their Own 3-Martini Lunch?

Buried in the COVID relief deal is a provision that will require taxpayers to subsidize lavish business meals for corporate executives.
investor state dispute settlement

Biden’s Top Trade Official Should Work to Protect Governments From the Rising Number of Corporate Lawsuits

In 2020, foreign investors filed at least 51 known lawsuits demanding huge sums from governments struggling to fight a historic pandemic.
Area surrounding one of the many mines around Andacollo, Chile — Dennis Crabtree — Flickr

Canadian Corporate Greed on Display in Mexico Mining Dispute

While gold prices soar, the Los Filos gold mine in Mexico sits idle. Equinox Gold, the company that owns the mine, has only itself to blame.
calculating student loans and student loan debt

The Federal Government Owns 92% of Student Debt. Will Biden Wipe It Out?

Lifting these financial burdens would help individual debt holders meet daily needs, reduce the racial wealth gap, and give a boost to the national economy.
worker with fork pallet truck stacker in warehouse loading panels

The Trump Tax Reform Helped the Billionaire Class — Not the Working Class

The Republican tax law boosted the fortunes of America's wealthiest while increasing insecurity for U.S. manufacturing workers.
Seattle, WA - March 10, 2020- Washington State's Mail in Ballots for Presidential Primary Elections Being Dropped off at Designated Collection Box

17 Ballot Initiatives to Reduce Inequality

On November 3, voters in many states and cities will weigh in on a variety of inequality-related proposals, from taxing the wealthy to increasing worker and tenant protections.
Wisconsin family farmer Hans Breitenmoser

Farmers and Meatpackers Are Teaming Up

During the pandemic and recession, farmers are realizing they have more in common with immigrant meatpackers than agribusiness CEOs
amazon-workers-MN-credit-Fibonacci-Blue-flickr-dec-2018

Celebrating Somali Workers Standing Up to Amazon

The Minnesota-based Awood Center is receiving a prestigious human rights award for their support of immigrant warehouse workers fighting for their dignity and justice on the job.
trump at a plant in ohio

Trump, the Job Killer

Debate moderators should ask Trump: If you’ve brought back manufacturing jobs, why have 1,800 U.S. factories closed under your watch?
covid-19-coronavirus-inequality

Inequality and COVID-19 in 13 Charts

A new data visualization series illustrates how the pandemic and flawed policy responses have widened long-standing economic, racial, and gender divides.
gautemala-la-puya-protest

When Police Repression is Not Enough: A U.S. Corporation is Suing Guatemala to Crush Local Mining Opposition

Global mining companies are turning to international arbitration to strong-arm governments into bending to their interests.

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Reports

social graphic - How US Trade Policy Failed Workers And How to Fix It

How U.S. Trade Policy Failed Workers — And How to Fix It

Now more than ever, we need a new trade policy to support an economic recovery from the pandemic and to start building an economy that works for everyone.

Mining Injustice Through International Arbitration

Across the Global South, international mining companies use disturbing tactics to forcibly open mining operations against the wills of local communities.

Black Immigrant Domestic Workers in the Time of COVID-19

Black immigrant domestic workers are at the epicenter of three converging storms—the pandemic, the resulting economic depression, and structural racism.

Report: Executive Excess 2019

Beyond NAFTA 2.0

Report: Extraction Casino

Report: OceanaGold in the Philippines

Ten Violations that Should Prompt Its Removal

Executive Excess 2018

How Taxpayers Subsidize Giant Corporate Pay Gaps
jp-morgan-chase-banking-ceo-pay

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.