In the News

An elite class of wealthy donors who have gained mounting influence in campaigns now has the ability to exert even greater sway.

A Supreme Court decision Wednesday to do away with an overall limit on how much individuals can give candidates and political parties opens a new spigot for money to flow into ­campaigns already buffeted by huge spending from independent groups. [...]

In the past four years, under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court has made it far easier to buy an election and far harder to vote in one. [...]

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday released its decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the blockbuster money-in-politics case of the current term. The court's five conservative justices all agreed that the so-called aggregate limit on the amount of money a donor can give to candidates, political action committees, and political parties is unconstitutional.

Just days after 2016 GOP hopefuls traveled to Las Vegas to kowtow to billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, the Supreme Court has made it even easier for the ultra-rich to control elections. In McCutcheon v. FEC, the five conservative Justices ruled that aggregate limits in campaign contributions are unconstitutional. [...]

Roughly half of all U.S. families have no money set aside for retirement, Federal Reserve data show. Not a cent. But even that alarming savings deficit doesn't fully capture the emerging socioeconomic crisis facing what is, after all, a rapidly graying nation. [...]

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California officials have started sending voter registration forms to 4 million people who shopped on the state’s new online health insurance marketplace, as part of a legal settlement with voting rights groups that are urging states to make it easier for people to sign up to vote as they enroll in coverage.

Sometime in the next three months – perhaps as early as next week – the Supreme Court will issue its next big campaign finance decision, a ruling that reformers worry will further open floodgates of one-percenter campaign cash. The case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, concerns a challenge by the RNC and conservative CEO Shaun McCutcheon to the federal laws restricting how much one person can donate to candidates and party committees each cycle.

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As the nation’s trillion-dollar student debt continues to rise, a new analysis of public higher education’s funding finds dwindling state support is the key factor driving rising tuition costs and deepening student debt. According to Demos, a public policy organization advocating economic opportunity and inclusive democracy, over the last two decades state support for higher education funding shifted to a new paradigm.

White flight, corporate flight . . .

I grew up just outside Detroit and have felt an ache in my heart for this bleeding city for so many years now. It's long been one of the country's designated loser cities, beginning in the 1960s, when change hit it hard. The phrase at the time was "urban blight," a social cancer with unexamined causes that, in the ensuing years, has gotten progressively worse.

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Anyone wearing an "assistant manager" name tag knows that the job carries a nice title but doesn't necessarily come with commensurate pay. 

One of the biggest issues for assistant managers and other white-collar workers is unpaid overtime. That's because those employees are often expected to work 60 or 70 hours a week, pushing their pay down to minimum-wage level once all their hours are included.

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