Daily Digest - August 27: High-Speed Internet? Not So Much

Aug 27, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Latest Pew Study Shows 70 Percent of U.S. Has Broadband. But Access Is Still Unequal (Wired)

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Latest Pew Study Shows 70 Percent of U.S. Has Broadband. But Access Is Still Unequal (Wired)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford thinks that the Pew study has too broad a definition of "high-speed," and demonstrates the persistence of the digital divide. It shouldn't be acceptable that race, class, and region have so much effect on access.

Health Care and Education are Messed Up for the Same Reason (WaPo)

Ezra Klein argues that health care and education don't work like other markets, because people will do anything to avoid saying "no." That's the cause of the skyrocketing costs, and the reason for government subsidies in these areas.

One Way to End the School-to-Prison Pipeline (TAP)

Bryce Stucki suggests that policies that create job opportunities for low-income youth could do a lot more than keep teenagers busy for a summer. Summer jobs could be one of the keys to reducing suspensions and expulsions, and disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline.

The Outsiders: How Can Millennials Change Washington If They Hate It? (The Atlantic)

Ron Fournier's research shows that Millennials want to change the world, but don't think that public service is the way to do it. He concludes that if they take control of government, they will destroy the current system in order to radically rebuild.

An Unfulfilled Dream From the March on Washington: Labor Rights for Domestic Work (The Nation)

Bryce Covert looks at the state of domestic workers' labor rights, which haven't changed much in the fifty years since the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Because they aren't covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, domestic workers have few protections.

Why Are 83.4 Percent of Fortune 500 Board Seats Held By Men? (Slate)

Matt Yglesias thinks that since the requirements for serving on corporate boards are few, the low number of women is evidence that companies aren't putting any effort into involving women. It's not as though qualifications are keeping women out.

Look Out: Here Comes the Debt Limit (MSNBC)

Chris Godburn reports that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has asked Congressional leadership to raise the debt ceiling before mid-October. That means it's time to listen to arguments about not raising the debt ceiling without budget cuts again.

New on Next New Deal

California's Community Colleges Teach Us How to Make Education More Affordable

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Western Regional Co-Coordinator Kevin Feliciano considers the changes that California has made to its colleges and universities, and suggests that the President could draw on what California has learned as his higher education proposals develop.

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Daily Digest - August 26: Unemployment Here or There?

Aug 26, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Helping the Unemployed Move Might Not Help Them Find a Job (WaPo)

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Helping the Unemployed Move Might Not Help Them Find a Job (WaPo)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal thinks that relocating the long-term unemployed to areas with lower unemployment will result in their being unemployed in a new place. It would be better to concentrate on improving the economy as a whole.

Cable Monopolies Hurt Consumers and the Nation (LA Times)

Michael Hiltzik speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford about how much the lack of competition is harming Americans' access to high speed Internet. She suggests that genuine oversight is needed, by treating Internet access as a utility rather than a luxury product.

Full Time, Part Time, Good Jobs, Bad (NYT)

Nancy Folbre suggests that part-time work needs to include jobs of the same quality as full-time work. Part-time jobs that pay the same hourly wage and offer pro-rated benefits could increase gender equity in our economy.

Who Are the Long-Term Unemployed? (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien examines data from the Urban Institute comparing the long-term unemployed, newly unemployed, and discouraged workers. The long-term unemployed are generally older, and are primarily out of work due to lay-offs.

This Week in Poverty: '90 Percent of Workers Aren’t Getting Bupkis' (The Nation)

Greg Kauffman looks at a report from the Economic Policy Institute, which finds that wage stagnation has the same causes from minimum wage workers all the way up. An economy that is geared toward corporate profits isn't going to lift people out of poverty.

Wal-Mart’s Newest Scheme to Ruin the Middle Class (Salon)

Stacy Mitchell says that Wal-Mart's new plan to increase their purchases of U.S.-made goods is a hollow marketing campaign. Most of that increase will be in their growing takeover of the grocery industry, and won't create new jobs.

New on Next New Deal

Can President Obama's New Metrics Curb College Costs?

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal thinks that the new rankings will be helpful if they can reduce the costs of private schools, expose administrative bloat, and bring accountability to for-profit schools. Otherwise, they could just be a waste.

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Daily Digest - August 23: Fed Chair Needs Consensus Building

Aug 23, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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The Changing of the Monetary Guard (Project Syndicate)

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The Changing of the Monetary Guard (Project Syndicate)

Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz lists a number of qualities that he thinks are important for the next Federal Reserve Chair. His pick is Janet Yellen, for her ability to form consensus and her strong attention on labor markets.

Fast Food Wage Protests Head South (CNN Money)

Emily Jane Fox speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren about the importance of fast food strikes moving into southern states. He says labor organizing is more difficult in that region, so the expansion is a significant turning point.

It Takes A Community (Campus Technology)

Mary Grush looks at the work Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford is doing to increase access to high-speed internet in the United States. Grush suggests that higher education institutions could take a greater part in this push.

Student Advocates Call For Deeper Reforms on Debt as Obama Outlines Education Plan (Free Speech Radio News)

Alice Ollstein talks to Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network National Field Strategist Joelle Gamble about potential reforms that go far further than the President's proposals. The audio file contains multiple segments; this one begins at 16:56.

Fired Walmart Workers Arrested at Rally Announcing Labor Day Deadline (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson reports on arrests at a protest calling for Walmart to raise wages and reinstate workers who were allegedly fired for union activism. One of the fired workers says that organizing has slowed at his former store, because employees fear retaliation.

Private Gain to a Few Trumps Public Good for the Many (Robert Reich)

Robert Reich argues that when public goods are partially privatized, all taxpayers contribute but only those with income have access. That means the wealthiest still have the schools, parks, and infrastructure they want, while those with lower incomes do without.

New on Next New Deal

New Orleans's Youth Unemployment Problem Demands a Government Solution

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government initiative Jeff Madrick and Research Assistant Nell Abernathy examine how government can create new opportunities for disconnected youth in New Orleans.

This Weekend

Million Hoodies Movement for Justice Virtual March on Washington

The Roosevelt Institute is proud to cosponsor tomorrow's Virtual March. Roosevelt Institute Engagement Editor Dante Barry, Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network National Field Strategist Joelle Gamble, and George Washington University chapter member Yasemin Ayarci will appear on the livestream from 1pm to 2pm EDT.

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Daily Digest - August 22: Doing Better Than Student Loans

Aug 21, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Four Ideas For How Obama Could Really Transform The Cost Of College (ThinkProgress)

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Four Ideas For How Obama Could Really Transform The Cost Of College (ThinkProgress)

Bryce Covert presents four truly transformative ideas, which would have far more effect than keeping student loan interest rates low. She pulls from Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konzcal for her fourth suggestion: make public colleges and universities free.

  • Roosevelt Take: In the piece referenced, Mike looked at how much the government spends on loans and related tax breaks, and suggested that the same funds could cover the cost of public higher education outright.

Elderly More Likely to Be Employed Than Teens (WSJ)

Ben Casselman reports that while ten years ago, a teenage boy was twice as likely to have a job as his 70 year old grandfather, today, the grandfather is more likely to be employed. The decline reflects the jobless recovery of the early 2000s and today's tough market.

How Low Can You Get: The Minimum Wage Scam (The Guardian)

Heidi Moore thinks that the problem isn't just a too-low minimum wage, but a too-low total compensation, including benefits. The nonexistent benefits of low-wage jobs are costing the American government big bucks, while corporate profits skyrocket.

For Retailers, Low Wages Aren’t Working Out (WaPo)

Harold Meyerson looks at the change in how the owners of big retailers consider labor since the 1920s. Back then, retail supported the minimum wage, five-day work weeks, and unions, and retail and labor thrived together.

Two Graphs Showing, Decisively, That Obamacare Is Not Creating a Permanent Part-Time America (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson examines the data, which proves that part-time work has actually decreased since the Affordable Care Act was passed. The big increase began, rather intuitively, with the Great Recession.

Warren Asks DOJ to Explain 'Timid' FHA Settlement (The Hill)

Peter Schroeder reports that Senator Warren finds the settlement between mortgage servicers and the Federal Housing Authority to be shockingly low. The settlement is less than one percent of the maximum liability, and the Senator wants the DOJ to explain their math.

This One Photo From 1998 Includes Everybody Involved in the Fed Chair Decision (WaPo)

Neil Irwin uses a photo of Bill Clinton talking about the economy to demonstrate just how little the Democratic economics team has changed over the years. The only people missing from the photo are Tim Geithner and a certain then-Illinois state senator.

New on Next New Deal

New Rule: Your Financial Advisor Should Actually Work for You

I wrote on the proposed changes to ethical standards for the financial services industry, and why it's necessary for more advisors to be fiduciaries. Under current rules, most advisors only need to provide "suitable" investment products, and suitable doesn't been best.

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Daily Digest - August 21: How to Plan for the Future In Today's Economy

Aug 21, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Working Class Millennials Have Extra Challenges in Tough Economy (Daily Circuit)

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Working Class Millennials Have Extra Challenges in Tough Economy (Daily Circuit)

Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz talks about the precariousness of the American Dream in today's economy on Minnesota Public Radio. Many young people see the traditional markers of adulthood as unreachable with such an uncertain future.

The High Probability of Being Poor (TAP)

Matt Bruenig examines more detailed data that refutes some critiques of last month's AP report on economic insecurity. The aggregate life span poverty experience in this country is surprising, and in some demographics, poverty touches almost everyone.

Freelance Nation: When Good Jobs Turn to Bad (Salon)

Barbara Garson examines how jobs that used to provide a solid middle-class lifestyle have lost wages, benefits, and long-term security. Employers have turned many jobs into part-time or contract work, which takes away everything that made a job good.

Should White House Interns be Paid? (The Week)

Carmel Lobello speaks to organizers who are campaigning to get political interns in Washington wages. They see a disconnect between calling for a higher minimum wage and running the administration with unpaid workers.

North Carolina Could Be Next To Throw A Wrench Into Paid Sick Leave (Think Progress)

Bryce Covert reports on the preemption bills popping up across the country that prevent cities and counties from enacting local paid sick leave laws. ALEC, which pushes this bill, doesn't seem to care that paid sick leave saves employers the cost of lost productivity.

Women Shortchanged In Retirement Earnings (NPR)

Celeste Headlee and guests discuss how policy contributes to the gender gap in retirement funds. When women leave the workforce to have children, even temporarily, they reduce their personal contributions to retirement and have fewer work years to base Social Security on.

Why the White House is Uneasy with Picking Janet Yellen as Fed Chair (WaPo)

Neil Irwin sees Janet Yellen as an independent thinker who is methodically prepared in her work. That style and her emphasis on unemployment instead of financial bubbles may be what is keeping her off the top of the White House short list.

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Daily Digest - August 20: Everyone Loses These Policy Debates

Aug 20, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Breaking Out of a Cramped Economic Policy Debate (NYT)

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Breaking Out of a Cramped Economic Policy Debate (NYT)

Jared Bernstein questions the continued false choices presented by our partisan policy debates. These arguments can't be about who wins, because then our policy is focused on winners and losers instead of fairness, opportunity, and growth.

Stop Worrying about Food Stamp "Fraud" (TAP)

Matt Bruenig points out that when we give a family SNAP, we're giving them dollars to spend, not Monopoly money. The fraud in question involves swapping SNAP money for dollars, and he thinks we should accept that we were already giving them money.

Sequestration Cuts Head Start for 57,000 Children (MSNBC)

Suzy Khimm explains the extent of the cuts that Head Start has to make. They were advised not to "compromis[e] the quality of [their] services," but that's not easy when Head Start already ran on a bare-bones budget.

Fast-Food Workers Call for Nationwide Walkout Aug. 29 (WaPo)

Michael Fletcher reports on the planned next steps for fast food strikes around the country. Organizers expect the August 29th protests, which will continue to call for a living wage, to include at least 35 cities.

Why Jobs Go Unfilled Even in Times of High Unemployment (The Atlantic)

Amy Sullivan talks to René Bryce-Laporte of Skills for America's Future about the supposed skills gap, and community college partnerships that are trying to fill it. Of course, these programs have tuition that usually falls on the unemployed person, not the employers.

Obama to Meet with Regulators Over Stalled Dodd-Frank Reform Act (The Guardian)

Heidi Moore discusses the coming meeting of the financial stability oversight council, where they are expected to discuss Dodd-Frank. The big question is why so many rules are still unwritten after three years of work.

New on Next New Deal

Why Carried Interest Reform Should Be a No-Brainer

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network alumnae Lydia Austin thinks that it's time for the tax code to recognize that carried interest, the share of profits received by private equity fund managers, is income, and should be taxed accordingly.

Roosevelt Institute Event

How Chicago Attracts Millennials in a Tough Economy

Tonight, join Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz and local stakeholders for a discussion on how Chicago has made itself a "land of opportunity" for Millennials, and how we can make that opportunity accessible to all.

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Daily Digest - August 19: Inequality Has No Solo Solutions

Aug 19, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Conservatives Don’t Get That Some Problems are Public, and It’s Hurting Them (WaPo)

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Conservatives Don’t Get That Some Problems are Public, and It’s Hurting Them (WaPo)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal sees a cognitive dissonance when conservatives try to argue that economic issues are all private problems to be fixed on the individual level. Inequality is a public problem, and public problems call for a guiding hand from government.

Who's Really Running the GOP? (Melissa Harris-Perry)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren compares current Republican strategies to the end of reconstruction. In states where the GOP controls the governor's mansion and the state house, there are disturbing similarities in voting restrictions.

Most of U.S. Is Wired, but Millions Aren’t Plugged In (NYT)

Edward Wyatt reports on the struggle to get the last 20 percent of Americans connected to the Internet. Some of the disconnected wish they weren't, but thanks to the near-monopoly control of broadband by cable companies, access is expensive.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford argues against big telecommunications' claims that Americans have the broadband access they need.

The AFL-CIO Is Exploring New Investments in Alt-Labor and Texas Organizing (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson examines the union federation's relationships with non-union organized labor. Funding is a challenge, because union members often prefer for money to stay within the unions, even if they aren't the best option to organize a particular space.

3 Questions for Larry Summers About the Fed (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien wonders how Summers would respond to questions about interest rates, target inflation, and bubbles. When most of our knowledge of the potential Fed Chair's views on monetary policy come from 1991, it would be nice if we could get some answers.

Bye-Bye Refi? (On the Economy)

Jared Bernstein looks at one side effect of higher interest rates that is already appearing: a reduction in mortgage refinancing applications. He's concerned by that drop because refis serve as stimulus when they reduce a household's monthly mortgage payment.

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Daily Digest - August 16: Even Federal Jobs Aren't Always Good Jobs

Aug 16, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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How President Obama Could Move Millions Into The Middle Class (Our Future)

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How President Obama Could Move Millions Into The Middle Class (Our Future)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch presents a simple solution for shifting over two million workers into living wage jobs. By executive order, the President could require that workers on federal contracts get better wages and paid sick days.

The Light And Dark of Social Entrepreneurship (CSRwire)

Francesca Rheannon interviews Roosevelt Institute Fellow Georgia Levenson Keohane about the challenges of using private money for social needs. Georgia is concerned with scale, and whether a social mission can stay in the forefront as an enterprise grows.

ALEC Convention Met With Protests in Chicago (The Nation)

Micah Uetricht reports on protests against the ALEC convention, organized by a coalition of labor, community, and environmental groups. They hope that the protesters will shine a brighter light on ALEC's far-right austerity agenda and influence on legislators.

New Conservative Plan: Repeal Obamacare or We'll Default on the National Debt (Slate)

Matt Yglesias looks at the various ways the GOP has created debt ceiling crises in recent years. He doesn't think there's much to worry about in the current threat, but won't dismiss the possibility of this debt ceiling crisis turning into something nasty.

Dems Defy Obama on Mortgage Protections (MoJo)

Erika Eichelberger critiques the thirteen Democrats who joined Republicans to cosponsor bills that would demolish new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mortgage rules, but cannot explain why they want to allow sub-prime mortgages to continue.

Houston Rockets Pre-K to Top of the Priority List (TAP)

Abby Rapoport examines a new plan in Houston to expand early childhood education. Proponents are pushing a ballot initiative to increase property taxes by one hundredth of one percent to fund daycare teacher training and they're finding broad support.

The Many, Many Jobs That Won't Earn You Enough to Live in Your City (The Atlantic Cities)

Emily Badger thinks that many of these jobs are necessary for a city's function, including bank tellers, fire fighters, janitors, and school bus drivers. If these workers can't afford rent in their cities, who is going to do these jobs?

Why Are Walmart Stores Underperforming? Blame Their Terrible Wages. (The Daily Beast)

Daniel Gross questions why Walmart's same-store sales fell this quarter. He suggests that Walmart pays such low wages that their employees can't afford to shop there as much, and recent protests against Walmart and other low-wage employers can't help.

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Daily Digest - August 15: Cable Monopolies Don't Deliver

Aug 15, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Time Warner Cable Blackout of CBS (Kathleen Dunn Show)

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Time Warner Cable Blackout of CBS (Kathleen Dunn Show)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford discusses the CBS blackout on Time Warner Cable. This is a prime example of her problem with the cable companies' monopoly control of their markets: in Dallas, New York, and other cities, there are no other options.

Why Is Inequality So Much Higher in the U.S. Than in France? (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien looks at how U.S. policies that differ from so much of the rest of the world's have contributed to escalating levels of inequality. Changes in tax policy, particularly on CEO pay, have contributed to pay structures disconnected from the larger economy.

Fast Food Strikes to Massively Expand: “They’re thinking much bigger” (Salon)

Josh Eidelson speaks to organizers at the SEIU about their support of the fast food strikes around the country. Plans are in place for these strikes to rapidly expand in the coming weeks, and the SEIU sees this organizing as a new hope for labor.

The IMF's Missed Opportunity (Project Syndicate)

Martin S. Edwards explains why the IMF should consider the political constraints on a country before making recommendations. Its recent review of the U.S. economy did not consider the dynamics that are likely to lead to another debt ceiling showdown this fall.

Senate Pressure on Fed Pick Irks White House (WSJ)

Carol Lee, Peter Nicholas, and Colleen McCain Nelson report that White House officials are working behind the scenes to get Senate Democrats to stop touting their preferred candidate, Janet Yellen, publicly. Apparently, the President doesn't want any pressure.

Four Things To Consider In Creating (Or Keeping) Housing Finance Entities (Forbes)

Richard Green notes some of the important facts that ought to be considered in discussing housing policy. As he sees it, an explicit government guarantee on mortgages will reduce unexpected costs, inequality, and foreclosures.

New on Next New Deal

Denialism and Bad Faith in Policy Arguments

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konzcal looks at a pair of problems that make policy discussions so difficult today. The problem isn't only the repetition of prior beliefs, but an extensive denial of the existing debate, and eventually, a restating of existing unsupportable conclusions.

O Canada and Its Housing Market

David Min compares the housing markets in the U.S. and Canada, and particularly their differing models for mortgages. He argues that the American 30-year fixed-rate-mortgage is systemically safer than Canada's rollover model.

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Daily Digest - August 14: Disrupting Cable Not So Simple

Aug 14, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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The Future Of Television (Diane Rehm Show)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford discusses the limits of how web-based models like Netfix can disrupt traditional cable television. Without high-speed internet access, none of these models work, and the cable companies control most broadband.

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The Future Of Television (Diane Rehm Show)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford discusses the limits of how web-based models like Netfix can disrupt traditional cable television. Without high-speed internet access, none of these models work, and the cable companies control most broadband.

Bash Brothers: How Globalization and Technology Teamed Up to Crush Middle-Class Workers (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson explains a new study that found that the monolith "globalizationandtechnology" is actually two forces working in tandem. Globalization increases unemployment overall, while technology increases inequality by replacing middle-class jobs.

U.S. Budget Cuts Hitting Long-Term Unemployed Hard (Reuters)

Paige Gance reports on the struggles facing the long-term unemployed as their benefits are cut due to sequestration. A study shows that callbacks for job interviews dramatically decrease after long stretches of unemployment, which doesn't help her interview subjects.

Parents Losing Jobs a Hidden Cost to Head Start Cuts (Bloomberg)

William Selway reminds us that Head Start exists to provide preschool to low-income kids, so now that sequestration is cutting spots, the parents have no where else to turn. Without the means to pay for childcare, they can't go to work.

Paying It Forward on Student Debt (TAP)

Monica Potts reports that following Oregon's new pay-it-forward plan for college tuition, a number of other states are proposing similar plans. The plans are becoming more sophisticated, and begin to address the critiques of Oregon's model.

Don’t Take My Pension!: The Looming Public Worker Nightmare (Salon)

Adam J. Levitin suggests that public pensions ought to be insured, just like private guaranteed-benefit pension plans. That would solve the problems facing municipalities like Detroit as they face difficult decisions regarding retirees during bankruptcy.

Best-Paid Women in S&P 500 Settle for Less Remuneration (Bloomberg)

Carol Hymowitz and Cécile Daurat look at the compensation of top female executives, and find that even on that level, women are being paid less than men. Their 82 cents to men's dollar can't be explained by levels of experience or skill.

The Justice Department is Blocking the US Airways-American Merger. Here’s Why. (WaPo)

Brad Plumer says that the Department of Justice lawsuit claim that the merger would reduce competition in several key markets is probably true. The merged airline would have absolutely no nonstop competition on seven routes.

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