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

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.

11 Charts on Taxing the Wealthy and Corporations

Here’s everything you need to know about the urgency of fair tax reforms to pay for vital public investments and reverse extreme inequality.

How Uncle Sam Can Encourage Corporations to Be More Patriotic

By using the power of the public purse, we can encourage federal contractors to be upstanding corporate citizens.

Vancouver Mining Corp Shrugs Off Violence Against Guatemala’s Indigenous People

Pan American Silver paves the way for ecologically and socially destructive mines, and lets communities deal with the fallout.

Excessive Corporate Power is a Root Cause of Migration

Under U.S. trade agreements, corporations are suing developing country governments for sums that far outstrip the value of humanitarian aid.

Now’s the Time to Unrig the Tax Code

Leaked IRS data proves the rumors are true: Many billionaires pay no income taxes. Will that spur reform?

Tying Equity Strings on the Semiconductor Subsidies

CEOs of the top 19 U.S. chip-making corporations make $14 million on average. Should taxpayers have to subsidize those fat paychecks?

In Guatemala, Harris Should Address U.S. Policies That Put Corporations Over People

As the Vice President seeks to remedy root causes of migration, she should vow to dismantle neoliberal rules that have been devastating for rural and Indigenous peoples.

How CEOs Pumped Up Their Pandemic Paychecks

While low-wage employees lost hours, jobs, and lives, their CEOs got raises. It’s time to tax huge CEO-worker pay gaps.

Poor People’s Campaign and House Progressives Call for a ‘Third Reconstruction’

A new Congressional resolution lays out a comprehensive vision for eradicating poverty and tackling racial and economic inequality.

While Professing BLM Support, Wall Street Banks Reject Racial Equity Audits

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is urging shareholders to vote against a proposed review of the impact of bank policies and practices on racial inequality.

Corporations Should Not Have the Power to Undermine the Global Battle Against COVID-19

Even if governments agree to suspend patent protections for vaccines, corporations can fight back with expensive lawsuits.

How Corporations Pumped Up CEO Pay While Their Low-Wage Workers Suffered in the Pandemic

More than half of the country’s 100 largest low-wage employers rigged pay rules in 2020 to give CEOs 29 percent average raises while their frontline employees made 2 percent less.

Executive Excess 2021

Low-Wage Workers Lost Hours, Jobs, and Lives. Their Employers Bent the Rules — To Pump up CEO Paychecks.

House Dems Push Postal Banking Pilots as an Alternative to Predatory Firms

Thirty-three members have asked for federal budget funding to test out expanded postal financial services in 10 rural and urban communities.