Policy Brief

In today’s economy, families increasingly depend on the incomes of all adults in the household, yet many working people also have responsibilities as parents and caregivers. Public policy has not kept up with the changing workforce: without access to paid leave, employees who need flexibility in...
09/04/2012
Publication
Personal debt can stand as an insurmountable obstacle to Americans wishing to build assets and secure a place in the middle class. In addition to the critical last resort of bankruptcy relief, Americans need fair rules to ensure that lenders – from credit card companies to mortgage lenders to...
09/04/2012
Publication
Household debt is burdening millions of families and stifling economic growth in the nation as a whole. In the first half of 2011, 11 million American households – more than one in five homeowners – owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth.1 Millions of families have already lost...
09/04/2012
Publication
Home ownership is commonly understood as the quintessential marker of having arrived in the middle class: a family’s home is often the single largest asset that they own and has traditionally served as an important vehicle for wealth accumulation and economic security.  Today, however, middle...
09/04/2012
Publication
In 1935, with the passage of the Social Security Act, our national leaders made a promise to all citizens: after a lifetime of hard work, no older American would suffer from poverty in their old age. The passage of this landmark legislation was the embodiment of a deeply shared value: a...
09/04/2012
Publication
Unions were instrumental in creating the American middle class, and today they continue to empower millions of Americans to bargain for wages and benefits that are capable of sustaining a middle-class standard of living. Among workers in similar jobs, unionized employees are significantly more...
09/04/2012
Publication
Just as postsecondary education has expanded opportunities for good jobs and entry into the middle class, college costs are rising beyond the reach of many Americans. State policy decisions are largely responsible for this major cost shift onto students and families. Public investment in higher...
08/19/2012
Publication
Just as a postsecondary education has become essential for getting a decent job and entering the middle class, it has become financially out of reach for many of America’s young people. State support for higher education has decreased considerably over the past twenty years, while financial...
08/17/2012
Publication
In 1993, Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)—commonly known as the “motor voter” law—to boost election participation by ensuring that all eligible citizens have ample opportunities to register to vote.  Because Congress determined that low-income citizens and those with...
08/08/2012
Publication
What does the acronym, “LIBOR,” stand for? The “London Inter-bank Offered Rate.” What does LIBOR represent? LIBOR is promoted as representing the average interest rate that large banks can borrow from one another. LIBOR is not the interest rate on any single loan. Rather it is an index intended to...
07/17/2012
Publication
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