Commentary

Millennials have been called everything from self-absorbed to lazy. Pundits have speculated on why America's youngest adult generation isn't buying cars and homes, getting married, having sex or children. Few are willing to point out, however,  just how disadvantaged young adults are today. 

One of the uniquely American beliefs is that each generation will do better than their parents—the janitor’s daughter becomes an accountant, the home care worker’s son becomes a teacher, or in my case, the steel worker’s daughter becomes a think-tank executive.[...]

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For former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, this will be his first weekend as a wealthy retiree. So it goes in a world where big banks can screw over customers and the public, and the CEO who presided over these practices can slink off into the sunset unencumbered by the kind of real retribution that plagues small-time drug users and petty thieves. They go free. We pay the price.

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Our city governments make decisions that affect us most, yet we know very little about the ways that money influences them. In a previous post I explored new evidence that people of color are not well represented by their councils. One possible reason is the overwhelmingly white municipal donor classes.

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Federal deficit hawks in Congress, driven by ideology and the campaign donations of, for lack of a better term, millionaires and billionaires, held yet another hearing last week about the national debt — but U.S. lawmakers continue to ignore the debt that is causing real trouble for the nation.

The debt danger Americans should really worry about comes from credit cards and student loans.[...]

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Though much political science research and news coverage focuses on federal and state level politics, most Americans interact far more often with municipal government.

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More bosses are weighing the credit worthiness of job candidates before making a hire — a practice that some lawmakers say unfairly keeps people with bad credit from landing a job.

On Thursday, the Senate takes up a proposal to restrict employers in most cases from using financial information such as credit scores to decide whom to hire, promote or fire. [...]

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There's no one reason for the routine neglect of African-American areas, but a study released today by the civil rights advocacy group Demos pinpoints a huge government-access problem in South Florida: Black people, the study says, can't keep up with the deluge of campaign money coming from Miami's cadre of rich lawyers, lobbyists, investors, and real-estate tycoons.

It’s not every day that low-paid workers — cleaners mopping the floors of Washington’s Union Station, vendors selling pretzels at the National Zoo, servers dishing out hot lunch at congressional cafeterias — speak out and win a voice in setting national policy. Yet three years ago, that’s exactly what began to happen.

In May 2013, workers employed by private companies under contract with the federal government came together to form Good Jobs Nation – and walked out on strike in the nation’s capital.

The Obama presidency has left an indelible mark on American society, particularly on the issues of race and racism. Deep and enduring fractures across racial lines have been thrust to the forefront of the national conversation.

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Washington College’s initiative could encourage students to finish school, said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank. “It’s certainly a good thing,” Heulsman said. “It can provide an incentive for students to complete and we know that the student debt crisis is fueled in large part by those who take on debt but don’t graduate.”

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