In the News

Sharon Lerner, a senior fellow at the public policy organization Demos, has spent the past year interviewing a diverse sample of New Jersey employers about the effect of paid leave. Those who admitted they’d feared being deluged by workers abusing the policy said they’d learned such fears were unfounded. None of the employers in the survey reported that paid leave had negatively affected their company’s productivity, profitability, or turnover, and some reported improved morale.

The stock market is banging out record highs this summer. So why isn't America celebrating?

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed above 17,000 for the first time Thursday, boosted by strong job gains. It's been a remarkable summer for stocks, but many people don't feel like they're seeing any benefit.

“Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class,” by Ian Haney Lopez. When I returned to West Virginia earlier this year to write about its particular brand of conservative politics, I consumed a lot of talk radio and came to recognize a subtext that is charged with fear and resentment about the loss of some kind of America. Lopez, a Berkeley law professor, digs into the new vocabulary of racism."

 

“Room to Grow” is the new GOP manifesto to win middle-class voters.  We’ll drill down on its content.

Political maneuvers are often by the political class, for the political class. There are winners and losers, but nothing much changes other than which smiling face appears on TV.

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Another major retailer in the United States is giving a boost to its base salary, although the size of the increase will vary from state to state. On Thursday morning, the Swedish furniture retailer IKEA announced that it would be adopting a new wage structure which is expected to increase pay for about 50% of its American employees. The change in company policy will take effect on January 1, 2015.

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Joanne, a food service worker at the federal Ronald Reagan Building near the White House, took time off from her job Monday to join fellow federal contractor employees at a protest outside the Smithsonian National Zoo. As she explained her monthly budget, it was clear she had nothing much to lose.

“I make just around $1,000 a month,” she said, “and I pay $500 for child care, and $250 just to ride the Metro to go to work. After that, I have nothing.”

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To Bene’t Holmes, the White House Summit on Working Families was personal, not just another event designed by President Obama and his fellow Democrats to draw a policy or political contrast with Republicans this election year.

“I believed everything he said,” the 25-year-old single mom said of the president’s pitch.

My niece is a smart, hardworking gal who recently received her master's in architecture and is having a hard time finding a job, like many Millennials. To make matters worse, she's facing more than $93,000 in student debt. And this isn't from her bachelor's degree, but her master's degree -- despite the fact that she received it from a state university and half of the two year program was free.

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Stymied by the partisan gridlock, President Obama’s recent directives to bar federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees and to cut carbon pollution are bold examples of how presidents have used their executive powers to address critical issues when Congress has failed to adopt much-needed legislation.