In the News

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“More than half of education and related expenses at public universities is now paid for through tuition, up from about 35 percent in 2001,” wrote study author Robert Hiltonsmith, Demos’ senior policy analyst.

In essence, public universities are no longer public, he said: They have become de facto “subsidized private institutions.”

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You’ve likely heard the disheartening statistic that women earn 77 percent of men’s wages. Even though the statistic may be an oversimplification, the fact remains that working women continue to get the short end of the stick. Over the past decade, the gap hasn’t closed, and the progress that we’ve seen so far is actually mainly due to a decline in men’s wages.
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Caroline Fredrickson, author of Under the Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over, recently shared her findings with Truthout on how female workers - particularly in labor-intensive jobs - continue to be economically shortchanged in the United States.

Mark Karlin: You make the alarming and ominous prediction that the exploitation of women in the workplace may be the canary in the coal mine for the growing plight of all workers. How do you see that "leaning together" might reverse this trend?

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When a group of voting rights advocates notified the state Department of Health and Human Services recently that North Carolina may not be living up to federal requirements that social services agencies help their clients register to vote, a spokeswoman indicated the department was surprised.

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It is a scandal that, in a nation where family values feature so prominently in political discourse, there is barely a shred of protection for working women who give birth. Worse, even the weak provision of twelve weeks unpaid leave doesn’t extend to some women, as Demos senior fellow Caroline Fredrickson points out in her new book Under the Bus: How Working Women are Being Run Over. Women who work part-time, for small businesses, and immigrant women often in domestic work are left out of our leave mandates.
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To date, the Senate has been mostly unsupportive of the Moreland Commission's proposals. The good government groups are hopeful the current wake of scandal will be enough to finally persuade lawmakers to enact real change.

"We think that should be a wakeup call now to the Senate," Scharff said.

"This is not only a political decision,” said Emmanuel Caicedo, a senior campaign strategist with Demos. “This is a moment where our leaders can make a moral and ethical choice about whose voices matter."

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Mark Huelsman, senior policy analyst at Demos, said that the debt-free concept relies on what many higher education policy groups have long been saying: that states need to boost their spending on higher education and that student loan debt is crushing some borrowers and a drag on the economy.

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Looking at the types of programs named last month, opponents to cuts see what they call a guise to squeeze a public education system tasked with growing demands and enrollment but declining funding.

"There are people in the policy and political sphere who really feel this issue is getting toward full-blown crisis level," said Robert Hiltonsmith, a senior analyst at New York-based policy center Demos.

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Someone once asked me what I thought about "lean-in feminism." I told her that it was meant for wealthy women, not for women like me. Work, as I've always understood it, isn't a gentle, swaying sort of thing. It's not full of opportunities for musing on work/life-balance. It's where you go, when they let you, to make whatever money they'll give you in exchange for your labor.