In the News

The voting rights groups say that among other things, the federal exchange should be offering to help applicants complete a voter registration form. Although many applicants use the exchange independently, others turn to its call center or to “navigator” groups that have federal grants to help people apply for coverage.

“The navigators aren’t receiving any training or direction that they have to offer voter registration services,” said Jenn Rolnick Borchetta, senior counsel at Demos.

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Parents and students enter into an often complicated and opaque process when trying to secure financial aid, making some kind of financial discussion essentially a requirement for anyone hoping to successfully pay for college, said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank.

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Clinton supports raising the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour. Despite minimum wage hikes by many state and local governments, and by high-profile employers like Walmart and Target, the federal minimum wage remains stuck at $7.25 per hour, the same rate it has been at since 2009. Many advocates of a higher minimum wage, including Clinton competitor Bernie Sanders, want a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour nationwide.

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“The financial crisis and the Great Recession and its aftermath are hopefully the most significant economic calamity that this generation will experience,” said labor economist and policy analyst Catherine Ruetschlin, a visiting professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City [and Demos fellow].

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Critics — and even some supporters — of the program say its designations are arbitrary, and raise questions about whether the benefit should be rethought, expanded, or even eliminated.

Adding farming to the list could introduce further complexity, since farmers in the U.S. work mainly for for-profit business.

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“There are political advantages to saying we’re not going to provide aid to students who aren’t putting in the effort for their education,” said Mark Huelsman, a policy analyst at Demos, a think tank that has been promoting debt-free college.
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Finally, automatic voter registration is good politics for the Democratic Party. "Among eligible voters, some 30% of African Americans, 40% of Hispanics, 45% of Asian Americans and 41% of young adults (age 18-24) were not registered to vote in the historic 2008 election," according to the progressive think tank Demos.

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Robert Hiltonsmith, senior policy analyst at Demos, a progressive think tank, expects the positive trends to continue -- even if Tuesday’s survey suggests employers overall aren’t relenting on tough and irregular scheduling demands. “I think it’s a slow burn, but the pressure’s mounting,” he says.

Either way, the drawdown is a worry in the huge US retirement industry, which managed total assets of $24.8 trillion as of June 30. Massive withdrawals will crimp the lucrative fee income for administrators. And another concern is market performance, with fewer US buyers and sellers available to potentially prop up assets.

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The key to changing public policy in key areas is increasing the number of people who vote, according to a recent report by Demos, a public policy group that supports economic and social equality.

When compared to White voters, non-White voters were more likely to support policies that increased government spending on the poor, guaranteed jobs and a standard of living and reduced inequality.

[...]

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