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

Why CEO Pay Belongs at the Center of the Coronavirus Bailout Debate

The fact that so many Americans are facing dire circumstances now is a direct result of the exploitation economy and we should take this opportunity to change it.

In 2008 We Bailed Out Companies, But Not People. Are We About To Do It Again?

Why debate the coronavirus bill currently before Congress? When Congress rushed through a massive stimulus plan in 2008, it ended up bailing out big businesses but not regular people.

100 House Democrats Call for Cap on CEO-Worker Pay Gaps at Bailed-Out Firms

Meanwhile, Republicans have proposed pathetically weak executive pay restrictions for companies relying on taxpayer support.

How to Make the Airline Bailout Work for Workers, Not Just CEOs

The government should provide direct wage subsidies to airline workers while restricting CEO pay to no more than 50 times median wages.

Supreme Court Could Soon Make Government Regulation, and the Next Election, Moot

Without the power to regulate health, safety, and finance, we’ll be living in a much sicker, more dangerous and more economically unstable world.

Does the Coronavirus Crisis Have to End with a Wealthier Wealthy?

This time around, let’s use the power of the public purse to reduce inequality.

Following the Footsteps of a Mining Monster

New mapping tool reveals conflicts and harmful impacts of eight Pan American Silver mine sites across Latin America.

To Reduce Inequality in the Election Process, All States Should Allow Voting At Home

Letting people fill out ballots at their kitchen table and pop them in the mail reduces economic barriers to participation for low-income Americans.

El Salvador’s President Sent Troops to Occupy the Legislature. Here’s What’s Going On.

Nayib Bukele is popular with the people, but not with lawmakers.

In Blow to Privatizers, House Passes Postal Financial Relief

The bipartisan bill would ease financial challenges critics use to justify postal worker wage cuts and selling parts of USPS to for-profit corporations.

Progressive Experts Rebut Trump’s False Claims About Shared Prosperity

In his State of the Union address, the president made a poor attempt to conceal the continued rise in economic inequality under his administration.

Iowa’s ‘First in the Nation’ Contest Is Also One of the Most Inequitable

Voting must be accessible for all citizens, regardless of their income, language spoken, skin color, or whether they served time in prison.

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.