Commentary

Forty percent of all college students from the most affluent quarter of the population get a bachelor's degree within five years. For kids in the bottom income quarter, the figure is just six percent, according to a new book, "Strapped," by Tamara Draut.

IT'S APPROACHING that season when students and their parents anxiously await college admissions decisions. But increasingly, an equally feverish process is infecting the other side of the transaction and distorting the process of who gets financial aid.

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Michael Lipsky and Dianne Stewart, Senior Program Director and Director of Public Works at Demos, call for nonprofit groups to lead an effort restore widespread appreciation of the critical role of government as a protector of public values and as a place where Americans come together to solve our most pressing problems.

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Ludovic Blain, Associate Director of the Democracy Program, responds to Rep. William O'Brien's claim that only two other states in the nation allow voters to register on Election Day, and that they both require ID.

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Concord Monitor

Senior Fellow Rich Benjamin and Mark Winston Griffith honor Coretta Scott King's legacy by calling for progressives to take Coretta's lead by sounding a simple yet powerful call to morality, a call that points out the "culture" of greed, self-indulgence and hedonism so common in our nation.

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Drowning in student loan and credit card debt? Can't afford to get married, buy a home, have children? In "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead," Tamara Draut offers a look at the new obstacle course facing young adults--the under 35 crowd--as they try to build careers, buy homes, and start families. Draut visited "Weekend Today" to discuss her book.

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Senior Program Director of Public Works: the Demos Center for the Public Sector Michael Lipsky outlines how Starbucks, the automakers, and others, as signaled by their complaints about healthcare as a cost of production, are becoming allies in the decades-long struggle for national health insurance.

Everyone knows that America`s healthcare bills are rising. Since 2000 they have been increasing at about three times the rate of inflation.

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UPI.com

Senior Fellow Rich Benjamin discusses how assassins killed Martin Luther King Jr. as he began his most challenging campaign of all: the fight against inequality of capital and opportunity. Benjamin writes how racial segregation, while endemic to our history, is indeed un-American. Economic inequality is pretty much apple pie; it's taken less seriously by elected leaders, and it has grown more pronounced since King's assassination.

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Senior Fellow George Packer explains what it really takes to promote democracy abroad — multilateralism and patience.

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Americans owe $800 billion in credit card debt, more than triple the amount from 1989, and a 31 percent increase from five years ago, according to a recent report, "The Plastic Safety Net," by the Center for Responsible Lending, and Demos, a research group based in New York.
 
The study found that a third of low- and middle-income American households used credit cards for basic expenses - rent, groceries and utilities - in any 4 of the last 12 months.
 

Those with the worst credit card debt were people ages 50 to 64, who owed $9,124

Senior Fellow Jennifer Wheary comments on the latest strategy by Wal-Mart, demonstrating that if Wal-Mart stays wrapped up in the media spin and ignores the full range of evidence offered by the independent researchers, the company will fall far short of the ideals it espouses.

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