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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Shrink Wall Street to Guarantee Good Jobs

A new bill would fund a federal jobs guarantee by taxing the high-volume Wall Street trades favored by pandemic profiteers.

Fair Tax Solutions for Cities Facing COVID-19 Budget Crises

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has strained municipal budgets. How can cities close the gap fairly?

Welcome to Hectobillionaire Land

The concentration of America’s wealth has gone into overdrive.

Postal Workers Deliver a Message to Capitol Hill: Save the USPS

Two million Americans petitioned Capitol Hill to show their support for the survival of our public Postal Service.

Virtual Poor People’s Campaign Rally Draws Crowd of More Than a Million

Through personal testimonies of systemic racism, poverty and inequality, ecological devastation, and militarism, the event brought the campaign’s bold fusion agenda to new audiences.

Black Immigrant Domestic Workers Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

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

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.

Instead of Bailing Out For-Profit Colleges, Congress Should Cancel Student Debt

Lifting student debt burdens would particularly benefit people of color, while giving the economy a major boost.

Defending Land and Water from Mining Profiteers in the Time of Covid-19

Global South communities affected by mining face multiple pandemics — health, economic, violence, militarization, and corporate capture.

Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling with COVID-19

Wealthy corporations may use trade courts to keep public health measures from cutting into their profits.

Georgians Can’t Let the Postal Service Fail

Georgians of all stripes will suffer if the USPS goes bankrupt, but African Americans, rural folks, and veterans will bear the brunt of it.

A For-Profit Postal Service Would Slam Small Businesses

Trump’s push to privatize USPS would devastate the ordinary Americans who rely on the Postal Service.

If Small Businesses Aren’t Essential, Neither Is Collecting Rent

Without rent and mortgage relief, millions of families and smaller landlords could lose their homes and businesses.

Maine Can’t Afford to Have the Postal Service Fail

Only USPS has the capacity to provide the affordable delivery needed by our state, with its large share of senior and rural residents.

Postal Bankruptcy Would Hit Rural America Hardest

The 15 most rural states would face heavy blows to jobs, revenue, mail and package deliveries, and voting rights.

Postal Carriers Are Essential Workers. They Need a Stimulus, Too.

The president is trying to use the coronavirus crisis to kill the public postal service. We can’t let him.

Jayapal Proposes Layoff Prevention Plan as the Fed Expands Corporate Aid With No Employment Strings

We could avoid a return to Great Depression-era unemployment rates if we follow European models and tie business assistance to preserving jobs.

Trump: Postal Workers Don’t Deserve a Financial Lifeline

The president is dismissing dire warnings of an imminent USPS collapse, falsely claiming that postal financial woes are self-inflicted.

A Thank You to Martin Khor, Champion of Global Equity

Malaysian economist Martin Khor was one of the world’s leading advocates of policies to reduce economic disparities within and between nations.

Athletes Are Supporting Stadium Workers. Why Aren’t More Owners?

The owners of sports teams make billions off low-wage stadium workers. With games suspended, those workers deserve help.