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

5 Charts on Tackling Bad Corporate Behavior Through Taxes

Proposals on the table to pay for the Build Back Better Act could rein in offshoring, excessive CEO pay, and wasteful stock buybacks.

Creating a Powerful, Broad-Based Moral Movement

Today’s voting rights and economic justice advocates must apply two key lessons from the courageous activists of a half-century ago.

Close the Carried Interest Loophole and End Private Equity Abuse

To help pay for vital public investments, Congress needs to end a tax loophole that has allowed greedy private equity execs to pay a lower tax rate than many middle-class Americans.

Taxpayers are Subsidizing Soaring CEO Pay at Pentagon Contractors

If Congress doesn’t crack down on military contractor pay, the White House should.

House Tax Proposal Falls Short of Making Billionaires Pay Their Fair Share

The Ways and Means Committee plan would make a down payment on much-needed public investments but doesn’t go far enough to address wealth inequality.

94 Organizations Urge Congress to Stand Up to Pressure from Corporate Lobbyists and Pass President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan

Letter denounces corporate lobbyists’ assault on vital programs and services supporting children and working families and combating climate change.

93 Organizations Urge Congress to Stand Up to Pressure from Corporate Lobbyists and Pass President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan

Letter denounces corporate lobbyists’ assault on vital programs and services supporting children and working families and combating climate change.

Four CEO Pay-Related Taxes in Play on Capitol Hill

Revenue options that would also curb runaway executive pay have strong appeal across the political spectrum.

The Labor Day Dreams of Black Workers

Leading Black labor organizers and policy advocates share their visions for advancing racial equity in the COVID recovery — and beyond.

Black Labor Leaders and Advocates Reflect on the Pandemic and What Comes Next

We asked nine leading Black labor organizers and policy advocates how to advance racial equity in the COVID recovery — and beyond. Here are their responses.

10 Charts on the State of U.S. Workers on the 2nd Pandemic Labor Day

While workers are continuing to struggle under COVID, corporate lobbyists are converging on Capitol Hill to block proposed pro-labor reforms.

Elly May Clampett Is the Target of Biden’s Tax Plan, Not Laura Ingalls

The capital-gains-tax proposal would actually protect family farmers like those on “Little House on the Prairie” and tax the windfall riches ‘earned” by ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’

Risks for Mexico in the Renegotiation of its FTA with the European Union

To end neoliberalism and defend energy resources, Andres Manuel López Obrador must step up and avoid the inclusion of supranational arbitration mechanisms in a renegotiated FTA with the European Union.

Despite Republican Boycott, Dems Launch New Inequality Committee

Over the next two years, they will study the problem of economic disparity and develop policy solutions.

Corporations Should Pay Their Fair Share for Human Needs

Corporations pay lower taxes than ever. A modest corporate tax hike would be transformative.

To Break the Corporate Tax Logjam, Tax Overinflated CEO Pay

An across-the-board rate hike and a CEO pay surtax would send a powerful message: All large profitable corporations must pay their fair share.

Jeff Bezos Should Have Thanked American Taxpayers for Paying for His Space Ride

From the very start, the giant retailer’s business strategy has relied on dodging taxes and pocketing public subsidies.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back in the Struggle Against Anti-Democratic Corporate Trade Rules

Pakistan is the latest country to reject the system that allows private investors to sue governments in international tribunals. But Ecuador is back-tracking and the lawsuits continue to proliferate.

Excessive Corporate Power Breeds Political Repression

In the face of extractive industries’ enormous economic clout, Central Americans are facing increasing displacement and threats to their democratic rights.

Sports Teams: The Everlasting Tax Shelter for Billionaires

A perverse loophole allows owners of profitable teams — and their heirs — to lower their tax bills by claiming huge paper losses.