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

Student Debt Cancellation is a Racial Justice Issue

Presidential executive action to cancel up to $50,000 in student debts would increase Black wealth by 40 percent.

Rev. Barber: ‘Our Deadline is Victory’

The Poor People’s Campaign and progressive members of Congress vow to continue the fight for the Build Back Better Act.

Democratic Progress in Honduras, Setbacks in El Salvador

The last decade saw democratization in El Salvador and brutal repression in Honduras. Suddenly, those trends appear to have reversed.

The Year in Inequality in 10 Charts

Our economic and racial divides grew even wider in 2021, but there are signs of hope for a more equitable future.

In the Latest Round of Budgetary Chess, Progressive Caucus Leader Jayapal Played a Shrewd Gambit

The Seattle Democrat has been willing to take the heat to secure a down payment on an agenda for economic equity and sustainability.

We Can’t Trust the World Bank to Stand Up to Powerful Fossil Fuel Companies

While the divestment movement is working to hold fossil fuel companies accountable, the World Bank is protecting and financing them.

A New Trade Vision for a Green New Deal

The world must agree to trade rules that encourage a fair and democratic transition away from fossil fuels and toward a Global Green New Deal.

Latin America Should Withdraw From the World Bank’s Harsh Trade Court

A secretive World Bank tribunal lets multinational corporations sue governments over basic regulations. Mexico should lead a Latin American exodus.

Missing from the Climate Talks: Corporate Powers to Sue Governments Over Extractives Policies

Allowing oil, mining, and gas companies to continue to file expensive lawsuits over environmental regulations could undermine whatever agreements might be reached in the COP26 in Glasgow.

Democrats’ Budget Deal Will Collect Billions from the Wealthy to Invest in Human Needs

The compromise is an important first step towards a fair tax system and a more equitable economy.

Let’s Make the Most of This ‘Tax Billionaires’ Moment

The movement to tax extreme wealth to pay for human needs suddenly has a rare political opening.

5 Charts on Taxing Wealth to Pay for the Build Back Better Agenda

Proposals in play to pay for the ambitious public investment plan could help reverse skyrocketing wealth inequality.

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.