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

How U.S. Economic Policies Contribute to Asylum Seekers

Many of the families detained at the U.S.-Mexico border have lost their livelihoods as a result of U.S. economic policies.

After the Supreme Court Blow, Unions Should Look to a New Model

Surprising tactics unions could learn from a member organization like the NRA.

The Poor People’s Campaign Goes to Congress

Some politicians are finding ways to lift up the voices of Americans struggling with poverty and inequality without grabbing the limelight for themselves.

Big Pay Gaps Are Bad for Business

Would you do your best work for a CEO who pulls in 5,000 times your own salary?

Mexico’s Diaspora Electorate

From remittances to voting power, Mexico’s politicians recognize the importance of courting the support of Mexican’s living in the U.S.

Sick of Shady Banks? Get a Loan from the Post Office!

Payday lenders extort poor and rural Americans. One solution? Your friendly neighborhood post office.

Rep. Keith Ellison Takes a Hard Look at New CEO Pay Ratio Data

The Minnesota lawmaker has been a champion of efforts to defend the disclosure reform from Republican attack.

Five Charts that Show Why We Need to Tackle Gender Justice and Poverty Together

The Poor People’s Campaign’s first week of nonviolent moral direct actions will shine a spotlight on the problems of women in poverty.

Inside “The Souls of Poor Folk” Moral Audit with Co-Author

“The Poor People’s Campaign was a project first introduced by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, who was assassinated months after he announced it. It has been restarted by the Reverends William Barber and Liz Theoharis. The revived campaign kicks off actions in 41 states on May 14, the day after Mother’s Day. Recently, the […]

Report: CEO-Worker Pay Ratios in the Banking Industry

A decade after the crash, excessive pay is still a problem at the mega-banks and the 2nd-tier firms that stand to benefit from the current deregulation push.

Will Greed Be the EPA Leader’s Downfall?

Activists are hoping to use Scott Pruitt’s self-enrichment at taxpayer expense to get rid of a dangerous climate change denier.

Poor People’s Campaign Gears Up for Mother’s Day Launch

A major new report makes the case for a “fusion movement” against systemic racism, poverty and inequality, miltarism and the war economy, and ecological devastation.

No CEO Should Earn 1,000 Times More Than a Regular Employee

Employees of at least five U.S. corporations would have to work more than a millennium to catch up with their CEO.

Del Monte’s Pay Ratio is Largest to Date at 1,465:1

Corporate disclosures show astoundingly significant gaps between CEO and median-worker pay among Fortune 500 firms.

11 “Small” Banks That Would Benefit from Deregulation Bill Have Huge Pay Gaps of 146 to 1

Supporters of a Senate-approved deregulation bill claim it will provide relief for community banks. But, judging by the size of the beneficiaries’ CEO-worker pay ratios, they are hardly Mom & Pops.

How to Reduce Poverty and Inequality Through State Government Taxes

As the new federal tax law slashes IRS bills for corporations and the wealthy, the momentum is growing for progressive state-level taxes that could recoup some of these resources.

Poverty, Inequality, and the Poor People’s Campaign — 50 Years Later

How the diminishing value of minimum wage and declining unions are contributing to a poverty rate that hasn’t budged since 1967.

Investors and Employees Gain a New Tool to Fight Inequality

The new SEC disclosure regulation finally sees daylight, bringing changes for shareholders, employees, and even consumers, Sarah Anderson explains in this Bloomberg Q+A.

The Future of American Unions Hangs In the Balance

At a time when unions are increasingly under threat, a case before the Supreme Court promises to be the most consequential in a generation.