In the News

Still, now that free public college is closer to being a reality, the cheerleading is accompanied by nitpicking among some college affordability advocates. Here are some "catches" in the New York state plan.

Tamara Draut, vice president of policy and research at Demos, a progressive-leaning think tank, praised the bill in a statement, but with a caveat: "The bill is what's known as a 'last-dollar' program." [...]

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New York approved a state budget Sunday that included the Excelsior Scholarship, which will allow students whose families earn less than $125,000 a year to attend state public colleges and universities tuition-free.

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Last week, four economics experts publicly debated whether the retailer represents the best capitalism has to offer, or the worst.

Tamara Draut, vice president of policy and research at Demos, one of the groups that has pushed tuition-free and debt-free college over the past few years, called New York’s plan “a step forward in returning to the days when students could work their way through public college without taking on debt.” But, Draut said, the design of the program means “the impact on reducing the need to borrow may be minimal, especially for first-generation, low-wealth students.”

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One of the ways that forging connection across difference gets easier is through shared stories. We may have different political beliefs, but we all have a story about our own family, about growing up, about the first time we fell in love, about the first time we wondered about sex, about losing someone that we care about. We all love music and the arts and media and consume culture, all of which is, itself, a story. [...]

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It’s hard to imagine honest, revelatory, even enjoyable conversation between people on distant points of American life right now. But in this public conversation at the Citizen University annual conference, Matt Kibbe and Heather McGhee show us how. He’s a libertarian who helped activate the Tea Party. She’s a millennial progressive leader. They are bridge people for this moment — holding passion and conviction together with an enthusiasm for engaging difference, and carrying questions as vigorously as they carry answers.

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It's one of the biggest financial decisions you'll ever make: choosing what to do with your 401(k) at retirement. That account may be the largest asset you will rely on for income in later life. You could leave it where it is or roll the money to investments inside an IRA. The right decision could give you hundreds of thousands of added dollars over a 30-year retirement. [...]

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“The Tax March,” as the progressive groups organizing it have dubbed it, will begin with a rally and speeches at the U.S. Capitol, followed by a parade that passes the Trump International Hotel, as well as the FBI and IRS buildings. Over 100 smaller marches are due to take place in cities across the country. [...]

On Sunday night, after umpteen interviews about rounding up 41 votes to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) called into the weekly “Ready to Resist” call organized by MoveOn and other progressive groups. He waited his turn. MoveOn’s Anna Galland reported that Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) just joined the filibuster. Heather McGhee, the president of Demos, praised Schumer for listening to activists.

To win over and mobilize the public, social justice advocates must articulate what we’re for, not just what we’re against. The American people deserve better than what’s currently on offer from team Trump, but for many, the status quo also falls short. If progressives are to fulfill one of our core principles—the use of public policy to improve the lives of those left out or underserved by the market economy—we need a simple, plausible plan that excites people. Two key components of that plan are Medicare for All and a guaranteed jobs program. [...]

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