In the News

Political leverage is another factor separating the top 20 percent from the rest of America. The top quintile is equipped to exercise much more influence over politics and policy than its share of the electorate would suggest. Although by definition this group represents 20 percent of all Americans, it represents about 30 percent of the electorate, in part because of high turnout levels.

Increased rates of delinquency, particularly among poor and minority citizens, also expose borrowers to job market discrimination. Some employers use credit checks as part of their hiring process, a practice that many argue is unduly burdensome and prevents Americans from getting the jobs they need to effectively pay off their student loans.

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"First, studies suggest that rights restoration decreases recidivism rates, by allowing returning citizens to fully participate in society," Sean McElwee, a research analyst for think tank Demos, previously told Mic. "Second, because numerous studies show that turnout is correlated with government transfers and responsiveness, voting rights restoration would force politicians to respond to returning citi

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This idea has gotten some play in Washington circles. On the right, American Enterprise Institute's Andrew Biggs has proposed replacing Social Security with a basic income set at the poverty line, plus an automatic savings program.

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Our guest says the new working class, with larger groups of women and people of color, has been marginalized by politicians. She argues for a revised New Deal that would change policy for working class Americans in the areas of health care, family leave, the minimum wave and more.
 
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With big states such as California and New York getting on board the minimum wage train, other cities, states and institutions are looking to follow suit. Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently unveiled a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. John Cranley, the mayor of Cincinnati, wants to raise the minimum wage for city employees to $15 an hour as well.

"There are no other countries that we would think of as advanced that don't offer some paid maternity leave," said Amy Traub, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning public policy group. "So many countries started guaranteeing maternity leave as more woman started to enter the workplace, and the U.S. just has been a laggard."
 
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Wednesday’s lawsuit was filed on behalf of two non-profit organizations, including the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. Brian Davis, the director of that organization, said in a statement that homeless voters are illegally shut out of the democratic process because of Ohio’s recent purges.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to block Ohio from conducting purges in the future, and for the restoration of the illegally purged voters to the rolls.

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The public policy group Demos and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a lawsuit filed Wednesday claim Ohio is violating the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 by canceling the registrations of voters who do not vote in three successive federal elections or in the intervening local elections. Ohio calls it the “supplemental process.”

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The latest challenge of voting procedures contends the state’s system eliminates names of registered voters based on their failure to vote. The lawsuit naming Secretary of State Jon Husted specifically alleges the illegal cancellation of registered voters who are homeless.

The lawsuit is related to a separate, ongoing complaint alleging laws and procedures for counting provisional ballots create hurdles for voters, particularly minorities.