Commentary

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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Senior Fellow David Callahan comments on cheating as the antithesis of equal opportunity — the notion that we all should have a fair shot at success and that the people who get rewarded are the people who deserve those rewards because they worked the hardest. Callahan calls for faculty to cast the issue of cheating on campus as a matter of justice, and empower students to take action, so that perhaps some day they won't have to spend so much time playing cop.

Senior Fellow Sasha Abramsky details the confusion and misinformation that deprives ex-prisoners of the right to vote damages American democracy, as outlined in his new book Conned: How Millions Went to Prison and Lost the Vote.

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In this excerpt from his new book, Sasha Abramsky reveals what really happened during the 2000 Election voter 'purge.'

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