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

Happy Birthday, Dear Income Tax

Here are five lessons for progressives from our first century of income taxes.

No Game-Changer

Obama’s State of the Union address nudged the debate in the right direction, but not far enough.

In El Salvador, a Rose in the Concrete

Last March, two rival gangs met in a Salvadoran prison to forge an unlikely truce.

Giant Victory in Europe on Taxing Financial Speculation

European ministers didn’t even have to take a formal vote because it was obvious that there was sufficient support to move ahead.

Obama 2.0: Yes We Can Raise Taxes

These four progressive proposals have bipartisan potential.

4 Modest Wishes for New Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

If you’re confirmed, please at least be open to a respectful dialogue over bold progressive tax and financial reform ideas.

Fix the Debt Empties Its Trojan Horse

The corporate-driven campaign didn’t get everything it wanted with the fiscal deal, but it’s likely to continue to be a major force as budget talks continue.

The Dropped Ball

While the White House and much of the media spun the hurried late-night move as a victory for the middle class, it was a win paid for with new tax cuts worth hundreds of billions of dollars for America’s wealthiest families.

Our Great Fiscal Opportunity

This is a chance for the American public to engage in a critical debate over national priorities.

Latest “Fiscal Cliff” Proposals Would Deepen Inequality

The early reaction by many progressive organizations is that it would be better to go over the cliff than accept the emerging bargain the President has offered.

European Parliament Supports Robin Hood Tax in Landslide Vote

Yeas outnumbered nays by a margin of 6-to-1. The next step will be a vote in the European Council, which is likely to happen in early 2013.

AlterNet: Five Job-Destroying CEOs Trying to “Fix” the Debt

In poll after poll, the American people say they are far more concerned about the jobs crisis than the “debt crisis.” A powerful coalition of CEOs says they have an answer for both problems.

Canada Should Tell Mining Firm to Stop Bullying El Salvador

Re-posted with permission from Embassy Magazine: Vancouver-based mining company Pacific Rim is butting heads with the government of El Salvador.

We’re Not Broke

This commonsense guide to avoiding the fiscal swindle would nearly eliminate the budget deficit while making the United States more equitable, green, and secure.

A Pension Deficit Disorder

Beware of wealthy CEOs who are lecturing the rest of us about tightening our belts.

A Pension Deficit Disorder: The Massive CEO Retirement Funds and Underfunded Worker Pensions at Firms Pushing Social Security Cuts

This report analyzes the retirement policies of the U.S. corporations leading the “Fix the Debt” campaign, which is calling for reduced spending on senior citizens’ benefits as part of a deal on the national debt.

An Appeal to Canada to Stand with El Salvador, the First Nation to Halt Gold Mining

Representatives from IPS and other environmental and public policy organizations hold meeting at Canadian Embassy to say, “Tell Pacific Rim to stop bullying El Salvador.”

The Trojan Horse in the Debt Debate

Dozens of CEOs are running a misleading campaign that would just make matters worse.

The CEO Campaign to ‘Fix’ the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks

This business-driven initiative is using the so-called fiscal cliff as a cover for tax-code changes that would damage our economy.

Inequality-Fighting Lawmakers Win Big

Members of Congress whose votes favor the 99 percent fared well on Election Day.