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

La 4T y los Derechos de los Inversionistas Extranjeros

Para que México despierte de la pesadilla neoliberal y poder garantizar la soberanía nacional, es imperioso reformar sus TLC y TBI.

If the Minimum Wage Had Increased as Much as Wall Street Bonuses Since 1985, It Would Be Worth $44 Today

The 2020 bonus pool for 182,100 securities industry employees could pay for more than 1 million jobs at a $15 minimum wage for a year.

As Rich Nations Protect Corporate Patents, the Global Vaccine Divide is Widening

People in high-income countries represent 16 percent of the world’s population, but have received 56 percent of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Water Defenders Versus Big Gold

Water defenders in El Salvador are offering hopeful development priorities, policies, and trajectories for the future. They aren’t alone.

How the CEO-Worker Pay Gap Deepens Income and Wealth Inequality

While working families are suffering under the pandemic, corporate boards have bent the rules to protect massive CEO paychecks.

U.S. Trade Policy Has Failed Black and Latinx Workers

Mainstream narratives on trade suggest white workers from the Midwest suffer most from U.S. trade policies. Evidence shows that’s not true.

The Elections in El Salvador Could Make or Break Biden’s Central America Policy

President Nayib Bukele has been acting more and more like an authoritarian.

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 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.

Five Painful Charts on COVID and Black America

This Black History Month, hard data reveal how the pandemic has widened racial divides.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.