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

Help Wanted: Slow and Expensive Accountant

Fortune 500 company is seeking a highly unproductive senior accountant to help inflate the cost of complying with a new federal law requiring that all publicly held corporations disclose the ratio between their CEO and median worker pay.

A Call for the Building of an Alternative Legal Framework to the International Investment Treaties: favoring the Public Interest while doing away with Transnational Corporate Impunity

An analysis of the international investment agreements’ regime, a series of proposed principles for the construction of alternative frameworks for international investment and a call for the discussion and construction of a basic common agenda.

My Experience as a College Graduate in the Restaurant Industry

An IPS intern offers her unique perspective on low wage work, tipped minimum wage, and the insurmountable burden of student loan debt

Restaurant Industry Pay: Taxpayers’ Double Burden

New report shows that while restaurant executives are fighting living wages for their workers, they’re also benefiting from tax subsidies for their own pay.

Wall Street Bonuses and the Minimum Wage

The New York financial industry’s bonus pool exceeded the annual earnings of the more than 1 million Americans who work full-time at the federal minimum wage.

Celebrities, European Leaders Push for Final Deal on Wall Street Tax

A new viral video with Andrew Lincoln of “The Walking Dead” is one more setback for financial industry lobbyists fighting a financial transaction tax.

Four Things Obama Should Say During his State of the Union Address

IPS experts weigh in on inequality, taxes, global trade deals, and global talks with Syria and Iran.

Fast Food Corporations “Exploiting Workers and Taxpayers”

Sarah Anderson, author of new report “Fast-food CEOs Rake in Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay,” reveals how taxpayers are funding both the bottom and top of the fast food industry on Democracy Now!

Fast Food CEOs Rake in Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay

A new report reveals that fast food companies are pocketing massive taxpayer subsidies for CEO pay while working to keep low-level workers’ wages so low that many must rely on public assistance.

Six of the Top Ten U.S. Billionaires Are Kochs and Waltons

The profits of corporate giants that crash our economy and corrupt our politics deserve your outrage. But the efforts to curb them need your creative energy.

Platinum-Plated Pensions

In the current budget debate, the loudest calls for Social Security cuts are coming from two lobby groups led by CEOs who will never have to worry about their own retirement security.

Billionaires: Decline of the West, Rise of the Rest

Gone are the days when the U.S. accounted for over 40 percent of the world’s billionaires, with Western Europe and Japan making up most of the rest.

Forging Ahead at 50

Not every think tank could weather FBI infiltration, scapegoating by right-wing extremists, and even a car-bomb assassination.

Fibs and Falsehoods: Darden Corporation Claims ‘No One Makes $2.13 An Hour’

A recent IPS op-ed on tipped wages has provoked an unfounded attack by the world’s largest full service restaurant chain.

Why Your Waiter Hasn’t Gotten a Raise in 22 Years

The federal sub-minimum wage for tipped workers helps large restaurant corporations and their CEOs pad their bottom lines while trapping millions of American workers in economic insecurity.

Declaration of the G20 Counter-Summit

Five years after the financial meltdown, the G20 continues promoting failed neoliberal policies that are condemning the world to a vicious cycle of crisis and environmental collapse.

$9.54 a Second: Why CEOs Fight on Wages

Surely the businesses that measure their executive pay in dollars per second can afford raises to bring their lowest wage workers above the poverty level.

The CEO ‘Performance Pay’ Charade

For too long, taxpayers have borne the burden of this scam.

How Highly Paid CEOs Rip Off Their Companies and the Public Via Fraud and Walk Away With Their Pockets Bulging

Just one example of a corporate culture that rewards executives for behavior that hurts workers, taxpayers, and shareholders.

Why Supersized CEO Pay Is the Worst – in Three Charts

Unpacking the data highlights all the problems with excessive executive paychecks.