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

The Trump Tax Reform Helped the Billionaire Class — Not the Working Class

The Republican tax law boosted the fortunes of America’s wealthiest while increasing insecurity for U.S. manufacturing workers.

17 Ballot Initiatives to Reduce Inequality

On November 3, voters in many states and cities will weigh in on a variety of inequality-related proposals, from taxing the wealthy to increasing worker and tenant protections.

Farmers and Meatpackers Are Teaming Up

During the pandemic and recession, farmers are realizing they have more in common with immigrant meatpackers than agribusiness CEOs

Celebrating Somali Workers Standing Up to Amazon

The Minnesota-based Awood Center is receiving a prestigious human rights award for their support of immigrant warehouse workers fighting for their dignity and justice on the job.

Trump, the Job Killer

Debate moderators should ask Trump: If you’ve brought back manufacturing jobs, why have 1,800 U.S. factories closed under your watch?

Inequality and COVID-19 in 13 Charts

A new data visualization series illustrates how the pandemic and flawed policy responses have widened long-standing economic, racial, and gender divides.

When Police Repression is Not Enough: A U.S. Corporation is Suing Guatemala to Crush Local Mining Opposition

Global mining companies are turning to international arbitration to strong-arm governments into bending to their interests.

Trump Trade Wars Have Led to Lost US Jobs and Factories. We Need a Worker-Centered Recovery.

Trump is making false claims about his record in struggling states like Ohio and Michigan. The jobs haven’t come back. They’ve been offshored to China.

How U.S. Trade Policy Failed Workers — And How to Fix It

Now more than ever, we need a new trade policy to support an economic recovery from the pandemic and to start building an economy that works for everyone.

The NFL Can’t Avoid Politics Even If It Wants To

NFL owners and even some fans might want to simply watch their teams compete and forget about the world’s problems. Right now, that’s just not possible.

Professional Athletes and the Power of a Union

If a few sports walkouts can force change on the national level, imagine what an Amazon or Wal-Mart walkout could do.

All the Latest on Trump’s War on Our Public Postal Service

The House passed legislation to defend the Postal Service. If the Senate doesn’t do the same, Postmaster General DeJoy will continue dismantling it.

Mining Injustice Through International Arbitration

Across the Global South, international mining companies use disturbing tactics to forcibly open mining operations against the wills of local communities.

The Fox Is Still in the Henhouse at the Post Office

In the face of a historic public outcry, the postmaster general has promised to stop sabotaging essential services — temporarily.

Are USPS Cuts Motivated by Voter Suppression or Privatization — or Both?

The Postmaster General’s actions are advancing two of President Trump’s goals: undermining confidence in vote by mail and laying a foundation for postal privatization.

My Great-Grandfather Faced Danger as a Mail Carrier. He’d Be Shocked by Trump’s War on USPS.

Donald Trump’s mail slowdown upends a centuries-old work ethic and undercuts essential postal services during a pandemic, just when we need them most.

Workers Need the Right to Sue

Republicans want to give corporate CEOs a five-year “get out of jail free card” for jeopardizing the health and safety of their workers.

USPS Needs Financial Aid to Continue Providing Essential Services

Despite a boom in package deliveries, USPS is facing insolvency due to crisis-related drops in mail revenue and increased costs.

Now Is the Time for Free College

With youth unemployment and student debt skyrocketing, young people need free higher education.

More Republicans Should Support Crisis Aid for the Postal Service

A bipartisan Senate bill would ensure that frontlines postal workers can continue providing essential services.