Commentary

Economic Opportunity Program Associate Myra Batchelder and Senior Fellow Jennifer Wheary discuss that while tuition and student indebtedness continue to rise, quality of education, access to full-time faculty and any guarantee that a college diploma ensures financial stability are evaporating — marking this imbalance as cause for concern — and action.

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Senior Fellow Nomi Prins discusses the appointment of Henry Paulson to replace John Snow as Treasury Secretary and the well-worn path between Goldman Sachs and the White House. Prins highlights how what's good for Goldman isn't necessarily good for Middle America, and the conflict of a man whose entire career has been predicated on successfully promoting corporate welfare over public interest.

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Senior Fellow Sasha Abramsky outlines how a result of the overlap of mass incarceration with felon disenfranchisement, America faces a shrinking of the electorate and attack on voting rights with only one parallel in the nation's history: during the adoption of Jim Crow at the end of the 19th century, when Southern blacks were, wholesale, removed from the voter rolls.

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Distinguished Senior Fellow Robert H. Frank discusses how, given that widely reported finding that 55 percent of Americans would be willing to support a higher gasoline tax if it reduced dependence on foreign oil, proposing to suspend gasoline taxes in the midst of pervasive energy shortages will strike no one as bold political leadership.

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Senior Fellow Sasha Abramsky outlines how in recent years, some state electorates and legislatures have started to back away from the more extreme aspects of the drug wars, in part because the costs of incarceration are so high. The Feds, meanwhile, have stepped up their campaign. More and more young men and women are going to federal prisons for longer and longer periods of time on drug convictions, including, as with Angelos, marijuana charges.

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Senior Fellow David Callahan and John Schwarz discuss how, like it or not, the past quarter century — with its strong individualism and distrust of government — may be more indicative of the "default" U.S. political culture than the golden age of liberalism that came before.

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Economic Opportunity Program Director Tamara Draut discusses the debt-for-diploma system during graduation season. Draut documents how the birth of the debt-for-diploma system is squarely attributable to two factors: soaring tuition prices and dwindling federal financial aid, calling for an end to this system and a return to policies that shapes higher education as a viable opportunity in America.

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Economic Opportunity Program Director Tamara Draut outlines in Strapped how the debt-for-diploma system is a pernicious beast, stunting young adults' economic progress as they try to start their lives — draining precious dollars out of their paychecks for more than a decade.

America prides itself on its unlimited opportunity. So why are fewer and fewer young people able to attend college, find jobs and reach the middle-class promised land?

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Tamara Draut, Economic Opportunity Program Director, and Cindy Zeldin, Federal Affairs Coordinator for the Economic Opportunity Program, address the stark fact that, with a looming national health crisis, young adults are more likely than any other age group to be uninsured — and the shifts in economic policies behind why this is so.

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Distinguished Senior Fellow Robert H. Frank comments on the work of John Kenneth Galbraith, who died last month at 97, and why he never received a Nobel prize as an economist who recognized a bad allocation of resources when he saw one.

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