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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The History of Higher Ed Shows Education is a Right, Not an "Investment"

Jul 29, 2013Mario Goetz

Tuition wasn't always so high, student loans didn't always have those interest rates, and the public higher education system could still return to its roots in social mobility and inclusion.

Tuition wasn't always so high, student loans didn't always have those interest rates, and the public higher education system could still return to its roots in social mobility and inclusion.

For many Millennials, the present higher education system exudes an overwhelming sense of permanence. In our short lives, college tuition has always been high, education funding has always been decreasing, and college has always meant a risky “investment in our futures.” We know that these yearly tuition hikes are wrong, and that the current tuition rates already saddle us with debt we probably won’t pay off until we retire, if we retire. For many of us, the consequences are much more immediate, as many low-income students cannot afford higher education anymore. Yet we continue to shell out the money, or take out the loans. Confronted with the institutional power of the higher education system, we feel powerless.

Depressing, right? But history shows us that all is not lost by exposing the mechanisms that brought about the status quo. In their Fall 2012 article in Dissent, Aaron Bady and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal reveal what higher education used to mean and how it was systematically destroyed. Bady and Konczal transport us to 1950s-'60s California, where bipartisan support for a University of California system built the state into a land of prosperity and innovation, a burgeoning middle class sent its children to college for free, and progressive Republicans happily funded education to support inclusion and social mobility for California’s next generation. In 1960, the Donahoe Act, or the Master Plan for Higher Education, represented California’s commitment to educate anyone who wanted to be educated. Despite the concurrent trends of racism, sexism, and American imperialism that pervaded that era, California’s higher education system was a golden example of what America could achieve.

So what happened? Where did it go? In 1966, Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California and began dismantling the promising work of the past 20 years. Previously, admission had been free, except for a few relatively small fees, but the Reagan government lifted regulations on how much schools could charge in fees, allowing costs to skyrocket. Also, incentives were created for colleges to accept out-of-state students, who would pay higher fees. Both of these strategies shifted the financial responsibility for higher education onto students rather than the state. The process of culturally redefining higher education as not a right, or a public good, but an investment, subject to the whims of the marketplace and corporate capitalism, had begun.

Reagan’s policies continued to affect Californian higher education after he left office. Bady and Konczal point out two of the most important elements of his legacy: Proposition 13, which cut property taxes and capped their growth rate, limiting state property tax revenue; and the prison-building boom. These policies not only decreased the amount of money the state could use to fund higher education, but also diverted a greater portion away to build prisons. Since then, state investment in higher education has decreased dramatically. Such cuts in spending came as demand for higher education continued to rise, driving up costs even further and restricting access.

This conservative rethinking of higher education did not stay in California. The destruction of public education in California was the first domino in the Reagan revolution, reflected in Reagan’s policies as president and in the policies of governors in other states. Bady and Konczal appropriately call California policies “the beginning of the end of public higher education in the United States as we’d known it.”

These policies were the first cells of a virus that grew and replicated so effectively that it eventually posed as the institutional normal. Today, it can be hard to see through the elaborate and restrictive veil that separates us from our education. However, by understanding how it all began, we can see that the all-powerful system we inherited is not permanent. By identifying how it started, we can condemn it and clear a path toward restoring our values and our institutions.

Higher education was never meant to be an “investment.” It was meant to be a public good -- a right. Pursuing dreams of a college education should not require dire consequences that threaten to cancel out its benefits. Progressives and Millenials will not continue to absorb the seemingly incremental infringements on our rights and liberties. We understand history. We understand that the system was not and is not forever. Today, students fight increases in student loan interest rates, challenging the institutions that say the higher interest rates are necessary. We can take back higher education for ourselves: fight to decrease tuition and fees, increase access for all, and make higher education something we can truly be proud of as Americans.

Mario Goetz is a Junior at the University of Michigan and a Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Summer Academy Fellow working as the Campus Network Field Intern.

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Daily Digest - July 26: The Trouble with Summers's Silence

Jul 26, 2013Tim Price

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Should Obama pick Larry Summers to head the Fed? (Politico)

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Should Obama pick Larry Summers to head the Fed? (Politico)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal writes that while Ben Bernanke led the Fed through a crisis, his successor will need to build consensus and establish the central bank's new normal. That's a problem given that Summers hasn't said a word about the biggest debates he'll have to settle.

Even as economy rebounds, income inequality festers (MoneyWatch)

Charles Wilbanks notes that most American remain deeply dissatisfied with an economy in which workers at the bottom see their wages fall while those at the top are making money hand over fist. And to add insult to injury, taxpayers are forced to subsidize their bosses' raises.

The day the right lost the economic argument (Salon)

Michael Lind argues that President Obama's Knox College speech offered a strong and broadly appealing summary of progressive economic theory focused on manufacturing, innovation, infrastructure, and education, while the House Republicans' alternative plan offered nothing in particular.

Some Democrats Look to Push Party Away from Center (NYT)

Jonathan Martin writes that as Democrats contemplate their future post-Obama, many are advocating for a populist approach to economic policy, financial reform, and rising inequality rather than the murky middle ground that the party's leaders have settled for since the '90s.

White House hardens stance on budget cuts ahead of showdown with Republicans (WaPo)

Zachary Goldfarb and Paul Kane report that the Obama administration may force a government shutdown come September if Republicans in Congress refuse to undo sequestration and continue to demand deeper cuts to a budget they've already carved to the bone.

Congress to Fed: End Too-Big-to-Fail Already! (MoJo)

Erika Eichelberger notes that Dodd-Frank requires the Fed to implement rules to scale back its emergency lending powers, but three years since the law was passed, the central bank still just says it's working on it. Things like this don't happen overnight. Or even over 1,095 nights.

Why 17 liberal senators voted against the student loan "deal" (MSNBC)

Suzy Khimm writes that while the Senate finally passed legislation to address the doubling of federal student loan interest rates, progressives weren't willing to swallow a compromise that lowered students' rates now while guaranteeing they'll have to pay even more in the future.

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Daily Digest - July 19: Shouldn't Students Like a Student Loan Deal?

Jul 19, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Senate Strikes Student Loan Deal; Not Good Enough, says U.S. Student Association (USA Today)

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Senate Strikes Student Loan Deal; Not Good Enough, says U.S. Student Association (USA Today)

Sean McMinn reports that the Senate has reached a deal on student loans, but the plan would allow rates to rise over time, even above the 6.8% that caused this fight. Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's partner on this issue, USSA, finds that to be an unacceptable compromise.

The Student Victims of Washington's Deficit Obsession (The New Yorker)

James Surowiecki argues that the student loan fight is really about the differences in fiscal and monetary policy desires in the U.S.. The obsession with cutting the deficit calls for higher rates and lowers growth, while the Fed wants low interest rates that help pump money into the economy.

Get a Clue, McDonald’s: The Other Insult No One’s Talking About (Salon)

Paul Campos argues that the most offensive part of McDonald's new budget website for their employees isn't that it calls for two nearly full-time jobs, but that it even exists. Poor people, he claims, know how to budget better than anyone, because otherwise they cannot buy necessities.

The Lessons of Belle Glade (NYT)

Cindy Hahamovitch worries that Congress has forgotten lessons of the past regarding abuse of migrant farmworkers. The House Republican alternative to the Senate immigration bill is particularly concerning, because it entirely lacks protections for migrant workers.

Why the Gender Pay Gap Is Worse for Whites Than Blacks (National Journal)

Niraj Chokshi explains why the gender pay gap is so much smaller for blacks and Hispanics. They earn less overall, and the jobs at that end of the labor market have less room for men to pull ahead.

New Class Of Businesses Look To Boost Support For Pro-Worker Policies (ThinkProgress)

Katherine Richard looks at benefit corporations, a new corporate legal status that requires third party evaluation of social and environmental performance. This structure encourages worker-friendly policies, like flexible scheduling and paid sick leave.

Obamacare a Boon to Entrepreneurs (TAP)

David Callahan argues that the Affordable Care Act is great for small businesses. Reports from New York show that the law is bringing down insurance premiums in that state, so potential entrepreneurs and small business owners will have access to better, more affordable plans.

Detroit Just Filed for Bankruptcy. Here’s How It Got There. (WaPo)

Brad Plumer breaks down the problems the city faced that led to bankruptcy. Between population decline, high unemployment, and low tax revenue, it's clear how Detroit reached this state, but solutions aren't yet apparent.

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Daily Digest - July 12: Stand Up for Workers and Wages

Jul 12, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Wal-Mart Won’t Open 3 D.C. Stores Due to Wage Law (Bloomberg TV)

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Wal-Mart Won’t Open 3 D.C. Stores Due to Wage Law (Bloomberg TV)

Erik Schatzker speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren on the D.C. living wage law. Dorian suggests that the mayor shouldn't veto the bill, because Wal-Mart's need to expand in new markets will overpower its distaste for higher wages.

An Oregon Trail to End Student Debt (The Nation)

Katrina vanden Heuvel sees Oregon's new model for financing post-secondary education as an example of how progressives can still achieve real innovative change. Instead of paying tuition up front, Oregon students will pay a percentage of their income for twenty years after graduation.

Want to Fix the US Student Loan Crisis? Put Colleges on the Hook (The Guardian)

Helaine Olen suggests that student loan risk should be put on the schools, by financially penalizing those with high default rates. The price of college needs to drop, but for now this would create an incentive to minimize loans in students' aid package.

Going Abroad With Dodd-Frank (TAP)

David Dayen carefully lays out the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's struggle with a rule regulating foreign derivative trades that is scheduled to be finalized today. He explains why it isn't likely to happen, and how this relates to the broader picture of financial regulation.

Senators Introduce Bill to Separate Trading Activities From Big Banks (NYT)

Peter Eavis reports on the 21st Century Glass-Steagal Act, sponsored by Senators Warren and McCain, and two others. Like the original, passed during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term, this bill would mandate a strict separation between banking and speculative activities.

The House Just Passed a Farm Bill with no Money for Food Stamps. What Does That Mean? (WaPo)

Brad Plumer looks at three options for what could happen now that the House has passed the SNAP-free farm bill. The scariest option would cause SNAP funding to lapse on September 30, leaving millions of people scrambling to afford groceries.

Child Care on the Third Shift (WaPo)

Brigid Schulte explains just how difficult it can be for low-wage workers to obtain child care. In retail and hospitality, the fastest growing sectors in today's economy, schedules are erratic and non-traditional, which only increases child care costs.

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Daily Digest - July 2: Staying in Small Town, USA

Jul 2, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Roosevelt’s Legacy, Burning Brightly (NYT)

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Roosevelt’s Legacy, Burning Brightly (NYT)

Edward Rothstein reports on the newly renovated Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY. The overhaul, the first since FDR dedicated the library in 1941, has been open to the public since Sunday.

Bright Kids, Small City (TAP)

Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz speaks to Millennials who have chosen to live in Harrisburg, PA on why they are staying in the Rust Belt, reversing a fifty-year trend of young people moving away. A risk-averse approach to money is central to that decision.

Washington Shrugs as Student Loan Rates Double (MSNBC)

Suzy Khimm explains why no one in Congress seems to be doing anything about yesterday's student loan interest rate hike. Congress feels no urgency when the next set of loans won't be taken out until August, so they’re taking a break for the holiday instead.

We Must Hate Our Children (Salon)

Joan Walsh can't come up with any other reason that we would accept the idea that incurring massive amounts of debt for school is a necessary part of starting out in life.

Don't Blame Unemployment Insurance for Our Jobs Crisis (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien looks at a study that shows that the labor market is just broken, and collecting unemployment insurance doesn't stop people from looking for jobs. Cutting benefits just keeps people from being able to pay their bills, which doesn't exactly help the economy.

War on the Unemployed (NYT)

Paul Krugman questions why the benefit cuts in North Carolina and other actions against the unemployed aren't getting more attention. Punishing the unemployed won't increase economic growth, which means it won't help anyone get a new job faster.

Non-Union Federally-Contracted Workers Will Stage Second Strike Today (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson continues to report on the strikes organized by Good Jobs Nation to pressure the federal government to raise labor standards for federal contractors. Strikers report violations of minimum wage and overtime laws by contractors who work in federal buildings.

The Truth About Immigration Reform and the Economy (Robert Reich)

Robert Reich counters three myths about how immigration reform will affect the economy. Our economic struggles, both short-term and long-term, could actually be nicely solved by a large increase in young workers paying into the system.

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Daily Digest - July 1: New Pot Industry, New Pot Regulations

Jul 1, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Legalizing Marijuana is Hard. Regulating a Pot Industry is Even Harder. (WaPo)

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Legalizing Marijuana is Hard. Regulating a Pot Industry is Even Harder. (WaPo)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal looks at the questions surrounding the new legal marijuana market in Washington state, which is regulated by the Liquor Control Board. The challenges are numerous, and the state's priorities for regulation are still unclear.

Limits to Growth – of What? (TripleCrisis)

James K. Boyce sees growth of national income as a poor measure of national prosperity, because everything from the BP oil spill to the prison system contributes to growth. He thinks policy goals need to shift from pro-growth to growing the good and shrinking the bad.

Signed, Sealed, Deposited (Pacific Standard)

David Dayen suggests that we save the Postal Service by returning to postal banking, which would not only bring in new income but also offer simple inexpensive banking services to the millions of unbanked and underbanked Americans.

Paid via Card, Workers Feel Sting of Fees (NYT)

Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Stephanie Clifford reveal the hidden costs of being paid via payroll cards. The fees for withdrawls, statements, inactivity, and more can result in employees who functionally make less than minimum wage.

North Carolina Axes Benefits for Long-Term Unemployed (MSNBC)

Ned Resnikoff reports that because they cut their maximum benefit, North Carolina is ineligible for federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation. They've also cut the timeline, so where other Americans can collect unemployment for up to 99 weeks, North Carolinians will be limited to 19.

44% of Young College Grads Are Underemployed (and That's Good News) (The Atlantic)

Jordan Weissmann looks at 23 years of recent college graduate unemployment and underemployment, and it's clear that things haven't changed much: unemployment remains in step with all working adults, and underemployment hasn't changed much either.

It’s Not Just the Interest Rate: How Congress Can Help Students (The Nation)

Zoë Carpenter examines other changes Congress could make to the student loan system, even as they've failed to stop the interest rate increase. Her suggestions, such as better income based repayment options, would have far more effect on current debtors.

New from the Roosevelt Institute

Are Less Visible Taxes Really the Answer?

Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Elizabeth Pearson makes the case that public opinion about taxation is malleable and that progressives should focus on raising awareness of the purpose of taxation and the benefits taxes will produce.

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Daily Digest - June 14: When Labor Laws are Applied

Jun 14, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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New York Aims to Treat Underage Models as Child Performers (NYT)

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New York Aims to Treat Underage Models as Child Performers (NYT)

Eric Wilson reports that the New York State Legislature has approved a measure that changes labor laws affecting fashion. It's possible that this could force an aesthetic change on the industry, which produces clothes for women and shows them on girls.

Congress Turns Its Back on Rural America (Bill Moyers)

Greg Kaufmann continues to examine the effect of sequestration across the country, this time with an emphasis on rural areas. If the only Head Start center in a small town in Kansas is closed, the nearest option will be many miles away.

The Student Debt Crisis Is Everyone's Problem (The Nation)

Robert Applebaum reminds us that higher education is not a product to be sold but a public good and an investment in the country's future. The entire economy is dragged down when graduates lack disposable income due to their loan payments.

The Two Centers of Unaccountable Power in America, and Their Consequences (Robert Reich)

Robert Reich compares the powers of the intelligence community to that of Wall Street and the big banks. He doesn't trust either of these groups with the power they have, but the law provides little accountability for any of their actions.

Fortress Unionism (Democracy)

Rich Yeselson lays out a history of private-sector unions in the United States, with suggestions for what unions can do today to maintain their work despite an unfriendly legal climate and low union participation.

Are unpaid internships illegal? (WaPo)

Dylan Matthews discusses this week's ruling that Fox Searchlight violated minimum wage and overtime laws with its interns, and questions how it will affect for-profit versus non-profit sectors. Media coverage of current cases already has many companies reviewing their internship programs.

Sympathy for the Luddites (NYT)

Paul Krugman argues that as disruptive technologies eliminate jobs at all levels of skills and education, we must question whether education is still a solution to inequality. He says no, and that a stronger social safety net is needed to maintain the middle class.

Court: Human genes cannot be patented (CNN)

Bill Mears reports on yesterday's Supreme Court ruling, which concerned one of the ultimate cases of patent trolling: a company patenting a human gene. In this case, it was the breast cancer gene, which Myriad developed the first test for but certainly did not create.

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Governor Cuomo's "Tax-Free New York" Would Come at a High Cost

Jun 13, 2013Richard Kirsch

Eliminating taxes in college communities won't improve the economy, but it will undermine our public institutions.

Eliminating taxes in college communities won't improve the economy, but it will undermine our public institutions.

The decade-long conservative campaign for lower taxes and limited government has hit a wall of public outrage over the unfairness of the American tax system. But while lower taxes for the wealthy and corporations may not be popular, there is still huge public skepticism about how tax dollars can be put to work creating jobs or improving people’s daily lives. Fueling that skepticism are campaigns like that being run now by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is aggressively promoting the idea that we can promote prosperity by lowering taxes.

Governor Cuomo has been racing around New York, with six appearances around the state in less than two weeks, to promote a plan he calls “Tax-Free NY.” Just the name alone should be enough to alarm anyone who understands what society, citizenship. and civilization is all about or what is needed to create broadly shared prosperity. One of a governor’s fundamental jobs is to spend tax dollars wisely, to put the public’s resources to work educating our children, protecting the health of our air and water, building the roads and mass transit systems that allow us to get to work, enjoy community life. and get their goods to market. Taxes pay for public safety and courts that safeguard the rule of law. A “tax-free NY” would be a New York of anarchy, dire poverty, and hopelessness.

Of course, the governor is not really proposing to get rid of all taxes in New York. Instead he would eliminate all taxes – property, personal income, sales, and business – in new tax-free zones established in and around public and private colleges and universities in the state. Every one of these institutions of higher education are supported heavily by taxes in a host of ways: for their very existence and operations in the case of public colleges, and through research grants and government-provided or -guaranteed student grants and loans to private colleges. 

If there is an idea behind the governor’s program, it is that the researchers and thinkers who work in higher education have long made university communities incubators of new businesses. Creating tax-free zones around New York universities is somehow supposed to make them more attractive to business innovation. But Governor Cuomo has this totally backwards. Universities are business innovators because of the creative people who work there. Eliminating taxes around a community college or university does not make the people who teach and do research more creative or innovative. Businesses don’t start in university communities because of low taxes. Businesses are started in university communities because of the quality of the researchers and intellectual richness of the faculty. Attracting and supporting them takes money – from taxes!

As part of Governor Cuomo’s push, I have received two emails from his campaign touting “Tax-Free NY.” The emails are full of quotes from the super-rich promoting the governor’s proposal, including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase. My favorite is from Kenneth Langone, one of the billionaires who tried to defeat President Obama last year: “States need to begin helping businesses by lifting the tax burden and also creating an environment in which employees want to raise their families.” The Blankfeins and Dimons and Langones of this world may live in gated communities, use private education, pay for private health care (at the Langone NYU Medical Center), and enjoy lavish retirements without Social Security, but most other New Yorkers rely on taxes and public programs to help them raise their families.

Of course, Langone – who made his fortune from Home Depot – and the rest of Cuomo’s tycoons would never have become rich without all the public structures that support their businesses and employees. In his advocacy for “Tax-Free NY,” the Governor is encouraging people and businesses to shirk their responsibilities and deny their obligations. The businesses and employees who benefit from the richness of a university community, often marked by excellent schools and libraries and good public services, have a basic responsibility to help pay for the benefits that give them that opportunity.

Building an America that works for all us, with broadly based prosperity, will take leaders who can tell a different story about America – the true story about the great American middle class built by decisions the country made, through our government, to invest in public education, a legal system that protects private initiative, labor laws that protect workers from exploitation, and investment in public infrastructure. That, Governor Cuomo, is also what built New York as the Empire State. 

Richard Kirsch is a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, a Senior Adviser to USAction, and the author of Fighting for Our Health. He was National Campaign Manager of Health Care for America Now during the legislative battle to pass reform

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Every Day is Student Debt Day for Millennials

Jun 5, 2013Joelle Gamble

Young Americans demand action on the student loan crisis, and they have a plan to solve it.

Young Americans demand action on the student loan crisis, and they have a plan to solve it.

“Work hard. Get good grades. Go to a good school and you will be successful.” Our generation has been told time and again that through hard work and dedication, we will be able to live happy lives, have secure jobs, and start families built on comfortable finances. But on this day of action around student debt, it’s clear we need more than these easy answers to help Millennials cope with the growing burden of education costs.

I come from a middle class family. Both of my parents served in the Marine Corps and got good jobs. My father works in law enforcement, and my mother is a teacher. They taught me that if I put in hard work, I would reap the results. So, I graduated at the top of my class in high school and went to a top (public) university. I worked all four years of college and graduated on time. Two days after graduation I started working at a good job.

By all measures, I did everything “by the book.” I even saved up some money to make early down payments on the student loans that I accrued during school. Over the past four months, I have paid off more than was required by law, and currently I am paying more on the principal than on the interest. One would think that I would be in pretty good shape.

But with $26,000 in debt, only slightly above average, I will still be making these payments for the next decade of my life. They will be as regular as my electric bill and rent. They will be considered before I think about how and when to start my family or buy a house.

I am one of the lucky ones: employed with enough spare cash to make student loan payments. So many other recent college graduates are not in the same position.

Student loan debt is one of the biggest economic and social justice issues this nation faces today. An entire generation of young, educated workers is being saddled with financial burdens that will follow them for the foreseeable future.

Recognizing this, the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network joined with the United States Student Association to make proactive recommendations for addressing the student loan debt crisis. Our report, A New Deal for Students, offers policies by students and for students, past and present.

In this report, students outline their arguments for a better system for financing higher education. Policy recommendations range from tax incentives for students committed to staying in their home states to raising the federal minimum range to supporting new graduates to teach in rural areas.

What we want is a real debate and, above all else, action by our lawmakers on this critical financial issue affecting millions of young Americans.

Joelle Gamble is the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's National Field Strategist.

 

Graduation cap and money image via Shutterstock.com

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