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

Don’t Let Corporations Off the Tax Hook

Taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize corporate tax dodgers or bloated CEO salaries.

Politicians Talk Tough About Obscene Executive Pay, But Where Are the Fixes?

Obama and McCain are both taking whacks at overpaid CEOs, but their solutions fall short.

We All Pay for Wall Street

A recent Government Accountability Office study found that two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005. These same companies reported trillions of dollars in earnings.

The Future of Mexico’s Oil: Social Action to Stop the Energy Grab

Mexico is in the middle of one the most intense processes of public debate in its modern history.

Border Crossings: Links Between Immigration, Debt and Trade

Debt cancellation, combined with new approaches to trade, investment, and aid, could help many developing countries reduce migration pressures.

How You Can Help Build a More Just and Sustainable World Economy

Workers, consumers, and investors have the power to make a greener, more just planet.

Ending Plutocracy: A 12-Step Program

Our forebears struggled to survive in a world dominated by the superrich. Now it’s our turn.

We Need a New NAFTA

The political debate over the trade deal is long overdue.

Three Amigos Summit

The NAFTA-expanding Security and Prosperity Partnership is too cozy with big business.

Despite Failures, CEOs Cash In

The problem of excessive pay is not being fixed, even for the top executives of companies in distress.

Busting Paranoid Right-Wing Fantasies of Dissolving the Mexico-U.S.-Canada Borders

Expanding NAFTA is wrong, but not because of a mythical North American Union.

Trade Issues Are Not Just About NAFTA and the Rust Belt

We need to shift from a “Wal-Mart economy” to one built on dignified jobs and healthy communities.

Will Dems Follow Through on Promises to Fix NAFTA?

Washington is long overdue for making sure U.S. trade policies put workers and the environment above corporate interests.

Wal-Mart’s New Greenwashing Report

The big-box company’s new glossy environmental report can’t hide that its fundamental problem is its business model.

One Down: Obscenely Decadent War Profiteer Hauled Off in Handcuffs

It looks like the party may be over for one corporate crook

Trickle-Up Economics: New Report Reveals Staggering Global Wealth Concentration

A new business study on global household wealth documents how the world’s wealth is continuing to concentrate in the pockets of the awesomely affluent.

Are Corporate Titans Really Worth the Billions They Suck In?

Is the labor of corporate CEOs really hundreds of times more valuable than the labor of other leaders?

Wal-Marts Sustainability Initiative: A Civil Society Critique

Critiques of Wal-Mart’s approach to sustainability, responding to a bold initiative to turn the world’s largest company green.

Are CEOs worth that much more?

The huge pay gap only makes sense if CEOs add hundreds of times more value than other leaders in society.

Strategic Corporate Initiative

Toward a global citizens’ movement to bring corporations back under control