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

California Debate Over CEO Pay Tax Foreshadows Federal Fight

Abigail Disney testified in support of a California state senate bill to tax large CEO-worker pay gaps before the committee voted to advance the proposal.

With Passage of NAFTA 2.0, Congress Boosts Fossil Fuel Polluters, Particularly in Mexico

The U.S. Senate has just approved a deal that perpetuates the excessive powers of corporate polluters to ride roughshod over Mexican communities threatened by oil, mining, and gas projects.

Threat of War Inflates Stock Holdings of Military Contractor CEOs

As long as the top executives of our privatized war economy can reap unlimited rewards, the profit motive for war in Iran, or anywhere, will persist.

‘When They Kill One, A Thousand More Are Born’

A Southern Mexico community remembers Mariano Abarca, who gave his life fighting mining companies, with a celebration of resistance.

Save the Minor Leagues

Driven by greed, Major League Baseball wants to kill 42 franchises in the towns that made baseball America’s pastime.

Postal Pay Cuts Provoked a General Strike in Finland. US Postal Workers Deserve the Same Solidarity.

The Prime Minister resigned over the nationwide protests, catapulting a 34-year-old woman into Finland’s top job.

Danny Glover Supports Landmark Reparations Fund in Chicago Suburb

The Hollywood actor spoke at an Evanston townhall in support of a new policy to use revenue from marijuana legalization to narrow racial economic gaps.

We Need a Progressive Alternative on Trade — and NAFTA 2.0 Isn’t It

Twenty years after Seattle, we are still working towards a progressive trade agenda that protects people and planet.

A Holiday Comeback for Toys ‘R’ Us?

Retail workers are organizing to make sure private equity firms can’t make money by putting people out of work.

How to Stop CEOs from Earning 1,000 Times More Than Their Workers

The Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act could incentivize less harmful corporate executive behavior while raising revenue that could be used to reduce inequality.

Making Sense of the Latest IRS Income Stats

To understand how wide our economic divide has become, a little imagination can help.

Sanders, Lee, and Tlaib Lead Effort to Tax Huge CEO-Worker Pay Gaps

The House-Senate companion bill addresses corporate America’s extreme disparities, giving firms an incentive to lift up the bottom and bring down the top of their pay scales.

It’s Not Just a ‘Coup’: Bolivia’s Democracy Is in Meltdown

The ‘Was it a coup?’ debate distracts from deeper issues plaguing the country — some of Morales’s making.

Student Athletes Are Workers — They Should Get Paid

California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, allowing NCAA athletes to profit off their name and likeness, marks the beginning of a new era in collegiate sports.

The NBA’s China Fiasco Shows What Businesses Value

Companies willingly censor or condemn free speech to retain market share in authoritarian countries. Just ask NBA General Manager Daryl Morey.

Abusive North American Companies Pay Off Latin American Police to Harass Critics

In countries like Peru, extractive industries contract police to suppress Indigenous protesters and detain international observers — including me.

Where Is ‘Line Worker Barbie’?

CEO-worker pay gaps are the clearest proof that corporations like Mattel and many others don’t respect their employees.

California Takes On the NCAA and Allows College Athletes to Get Paid

The NCAA brings in more than a billion dollars in revenue annually. Meanwhile, college athletes struggle to make ends meet. California wants to change that.

Paying the Boss 1,000 Times More Than a Worker Encourages Reckless Corporate Behavior

Sentiment is building to tax excessive CEO pay at public companies

We’ve Waited Too Long for Corporations to Fix the CEO-Worker Pay Gap on Their Own

A decade after bonus-chasing executives crashed the economy, we need tax incentives to push companies to narrow the CEO worker pay gap.