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The Roosevelt Institute joins in mourning the passing of Nelson Mandela yesterday. Mandela received the 2002 Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal to honor his incredible legacy of civil rights work. You can read the citation written in his honor and his acceptance speech here.
Minimum Wage, Major Fight (Jansing & Co.)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren argues that raising the minimum wage won't cause the sky to collapse, despite messaging from McDonald's and the rest of the fast-food industry. Higher wages would instead reinforce and grow the middle class.
Raising Interest Rates Now Would Be a Tragic Error (U.S. News & World Report)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick writes that our economy is still too fragile for the Fed to start raising interest rates. That would cause a cascade of other problems, including harming our already slack labor market.
Long-Term Unemployment is Still at its Highest Levels Since World War II (WaPo)
Brad Plumer points out that in the past, emergency unemployment benefits didn't end until the long-term unemployment rate was under half the current rate of 2.6 percent. But House Republicans don't seem to care that cutting benefits won't magically give people work.
Massachusetts Voters Will Weigh In On Guaranteeing Paid Sick Days (ThinkProgress)
Bryce Covert reports that activists turned in nearly four times as many signatures as needed to get paid sick leave on the ballot for 2014 in Massachusetts. They also delivered a petition for raising the minimum wage, but the state's legislature might beat them to it.
While Obama Talks Poverty, Stabenow Agrees to $8 Billion More in SNAP Cuts (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann reports that while the President was giving his speech on economic inequality, the Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee was agreeing to a deal on SNAP cuts. Never before has a Democratic-controlled Senate even proposed cuts to SNAP.
New on Next New Deal
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch examines President Obama's speech on economic inequality. He says the president is presenting inequality as a roadblock to the American Dream, and progressives should run with this story to inspire action.