Commentary

Much of the current ballyhoo in higher-education circles has centered on President Obama's announcement earlier this year to make community college free for all Americans "willing to work for it." The move, however, is a part of a larger suite of reforms that the White House hopes will make college more affordable and accessible.

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The wheels of justice have been said to turn slowly. Andfew things move quickly here in Cleveland, Mississippi, a town of 12,000 people with no movie theater and a quaint commercial district that’s shuttered on Sunday. But when a deadline on a school desegregation suit—originally filed in 1965—came and went last month with opposing sides still unable to agree on a resolution, some locals admitted frustration.

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In this post, Demos policy analyst Roy Ulrich writes about Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century and the fact that, unlike the federal government, states have no restrictions on taxing their wealthy citizens. He lists options and responds to arguments against the state imposition of a wealth tax.

Read full article.

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For companies hiring staff, pitches from online security firms sound appealing enough: Running a credit check before signing up a new employee will “offer insight into an applicant’s reliability and a sense of their personal responsibility,” insists employeescreen.com.

Another security firm swears employers using credit checks will “find out what you need to know.”

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In recent weeks, the White House has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening "community policing" around the country. The U.S.

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Two of the most commonly cited reasons for the lack of more liberal policymaking in the United States are the decline in unions and the rising class bias in voter turnout.  In the 2014 midterm congressional elections, the Democrats’ rout was largely attributed to a failure of their coalition to turn out at the polls. What is rarely examined, however, is the relationship between a decline in voter turnout and the dwindling number of union members.

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Andre Perry is 32 years old. He's a commercial photographer, lives in Brooklyn, and loves fashion. He's also black. A month ago, Perry was stopped at a subway station by an undercover officer with the New York City Police Department. He was interrogated about his two-finger ring, arrested, and charged with possession of a deadly weapon—"metal knuckles."
 
"I'm not saying those are your intentions, but you could hurt somebody with this," the arresting officer says in a video recorded by Perry on his cell phone.
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Boosting the federal minimum wage would be great news for the workers who’d receive a higher paycheck. Not so much for those who’d be out of a job. That anxiety sums up much of the debate around increasing the minimum wage.

Billionaire energy industry brothers Charles and David Koch are planning a 2016 campaign spending blitz that would easily eclipse previous outside political efforts, with the brothers and their political network poised to spend nearly $900 million to elect conservative candidates to Congress, the presidency, and state legislatures across the country.

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The last two years of Obama’s presidency will largely be defined by his defense of key legislation: the Affordable Care Act, caps on carbon emissions and Dodd-Frank. While the broad shape of the first two battles is already known, the war on financial regulation, because of its abstract nature, will often be waged outside of the public eye.

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