In the News

We live in a populist moment. The Great Recession shattered the myths and lies of the conservative era. Barack Obama’s historic election briefly lifted hopes, but they were dashed in a recovery that still fails most Americans. A young generation, bequeathed unprecedented debt, lousy or no jobs, and a calamitous climate, has every reason to challenge business as usual.

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Mytheos Holt for the R Street Institute: In what is likely the most bizarre story you will read all week, Seattle resident, trained fighter and self-proclaimed “superhero” (read: costumed vigilante) Phoenix Jones has decided to disband his team, the Rain City Superhero Movement (RCSM), citing an amusing problem: A lot of people seeking to join it aren't all that … well … super. ...

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Competition and innovation in bank payments risk being undermined if the system’s new regulator is too heavy handed, a report from Demos Finance warns.

The government is setting up a regulator to ensure new and smaller banks get a fair deal when using larger rivals’ systems. But analysts at Demos worry some actions to address this could backfire, prompting banks to withdraw services rather than comply. The think tank also wants the new regulator to consider potential uses for collecting tax data.

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This week, President Obama ordered changes to the federal student loan program that could help millions of borrowers make their payments more affordable starting in December 2015.

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New data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows Maryland had zero growth in gross domestic product (GDP), a standard measure of economic activity and health.

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Big news! President Obama announced an Executive Order this afternoon that would extend the protections of Income-Based Repayment to an estimated five million more student borrowers.

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Attorney General Eric Holder announced a plan of action that included requiring local and state authorities whose territory included tribal lands to place at least one polling place in an area recommended by tribal leaders. Holder went on to explain the difficulties faced by Natives trying to participate in elections, which have spurred him and the Justice Department to begin changes to current voting practices.

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Today, I conclude my comment upon the conference, “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism,” held last week and sponsored by Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, where I am a visiting fellow. Friday, I looked at some of the main themes of the conference. Today, I would like to respond to the criticism that we did not invite any Catholic libertarians to speak at the conference and float some ideas about what can and should come next.

President Obama signed an executive order Monday that could extend student debt relief to an additional 5 million people — a move aimed in part at better educating young borrowers of their rights while jumpstarting a moribund debate on the issue in Congress. 

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For upper-middle class Americans drowning in stuff, a message of simplicity might sound appealing. But for the poor, advice about streamlining an already bare-bones existence rings hollow.

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