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Hundreds of thousands of families lost their homes because of loans that were often not fully explained or under¬stood. Beyond the Mortgage Meltdown distills the origins and nature of the crisis in the housing market. Senior Fellow James Lardner highlights the complicity of regulators and lawmakers in the genesis of the mortgage epidemic, and warns that bolder steps will be needed to stem the rate of foreclosures along with its broader economic impact to protect both markets and consumers against future catastrophe.
Part of a Demos series of reports on deregulation showing that often the most significant impact is on the quality and reliability of work — in this case, on port trucking.
Since the Spring of 2007 and continuing into the Summer of 2009, Public Works: The Demos Center for the Public Sector and the Topos Partnership have collaborated on a Ford Foundation-funded effort to create a new public conversation on the role of government in the economy. This effort has included a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research efforts, spanned a period of dramatic change in the national economic landscape, and built on earlier research conducted by Topos principals concerning the public's view of government and public understandings of low wage work.
Paving the Way is part of a larger effort undertaken by the Topos Partnership and Public Works to create more constructive public dialog about public policy and economic outcomes. Promoting Broad Prosperity contains the complete findings and recommendations from this body of research.
Taxes support the government services that undergird the quality of life Americans enjoy. As communicators, we must promote this unique and foundational role that taxes play. We can do this by explicitly communicating the relationship between the purpose of taxes and the well-being Americans appreciate. We need to help people see taxes as a means to an end, a necessary part of how we achieve shared goals. This document helps achieve this by providing sample language and a checklist for communicating about taxes.
[RELATED: Read Demos' Letter in Support of the SAFE Banking Act, here.]
How the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will bring greater security to American consumers, investors and Main Street businesses.
This guide includes strategies for defending public services and the revenues needed to support them. Produced during the anti-government, budget-slashing political climate of 2010-2011, this report advocates for affirming the role of public services, systems, and structures. It examines dominant narratives about public budget challenges, and offers lessons from success stories in several states. Ultimately, Americans must reconnect the dots between the shared goals and desires they have for their communities and the public tools and resources necessary to achieve them.
Putting our nation on a path of broad prosperity will require generating new jobs, investing in key areas, modernizing and restoring our revenue base, and greatly increasing the cost efficiency of the health care system. Achieving these goals, however, will require an informed and engaged public to help set national priorities.
This is the second of a series of articles, entitled “The Financial Pipeline Series”, examining the underlying validity of the assertion that regulation of the financial markets reduces their efficiency. These articles assert that the value of the financial markets is often mis-measured. The efficiency of the market in intermediating flows between capital investors and capital users (like manufacturing and service businesses, individuals and governments) is the proper measure. Unregulated markets are found to be chronically inefficient using this standard.
When someone from another country goes through the difficult process of becoming a naturalized American citizen, he or she should be entitled to full participation in our nation's democracy.
A preliminary analysis of the United States Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) biennial report to Congress on the NVRA shows the dramatic impact that stepped-up oversight and enforcement of voter registration mandates at state agencies can have in reversing the long decline in registration among low-income and working class Americans. Individual states clearly show the impact of enforcement activity although the data in the recent EAC Report also show that many states continue to ignore their responsibilities.
In this report, we review a number of election laws and policies in 10 states chosen because they are expected to have close elections.
Work by Demos and its partners suggests that millions of low-income Americans can be brought into the political process through proper implementation of an often-neglected provision of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) that requires states to provide voter registration services to applicants and recipients of public assistance benefits. And the time is ripe to ensure that voter registration is provided at public assistance offices.
It may be a cliché that we are a nation of immigrants, but statistics show that it is as true today as in any other period in our history. And while Americans may debate the best way to bring noncitizens into the civic life of our communities, there is widespread, strong agreement that when someone from another country takes the affirmative step to take the oath of loyalty and become a citizen of this country, he should be welcomed and encouraged to be a part of our country and our social and political life.
The Great Recession of 2008 and its after-effects still are radically impacting the lives of millions. While men initially bore the heavier burden, women are now increasingly falling victim to unemployment, fore- closure, and eviction. Low-income women have been hit particularly hard. Women’s History Month provides an apt occasion to consider both what low-income women have at stake in current debates over the economic policies that shape our lives, and how they can gain a greater voice in those debates.
A central goal of any automatic voter registration proposal should be a representative electorate in which all eligible citizens, including those from historically underrepresented communities, are effectively registered and able to cast a ballot on Election Day. State databases of individuals receiving public assistance benefits--including SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Medicaid--can be an important source for registering low-income citizens--one of the most under-registered segments of the population.
Student loans are treated differently than almost every other form of debt incurred by American households.
New Mexico’s current political leadership is undoing state and regional policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions even as the risks posed by global warming to the state’s economy and population become more evident. Experts foresee even more difficult problems in the future unless steps are taken to stabilize the climate. Some of the challenges New Mexico faces include:
Anyone who has ever been stopped by a state trooper for a traffic violation knows that the computer systems used to maintain motor vehicle records are very technologically advanced. Sitting in their patrol cars, state troopers can instantly access vast amounts of centralized data about motorists. A comparable commitment to maintaining and accessing voter registration records, however, does not exist in most states -- a problem that undermines the effective functioning of American democracy.