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Education & Labor Archive

Jobs: A Human Right | Commentary

There are several signs in the House of Representatives that indicate that members of Congress are taking seriously the call to create quality employment for Americans. This is a good thing and something of which we need to see more, especially with 50 million Americans still living in poverty and another 100 million living in low income. With record income inequality in this country, furthermore, we clearly have some work to do.

College Scorecard: the Next HealthCare.gov | Commentary

Among the many recommendations to the White House for how it could have better handled the rollout of its HealthCare.gov website was a public declaration by eight Democratic senators suggesting that established entities and companies with relevant expertise should have played a larger role in the process. In other words, the federal government shouldnít try to reinvent the wheel when much of what itís trying to accomplish already exists. Still, this is a mistake many fear will be repeated as the administration introduces its college ratings plan.

America's True Inequalities Lie Within Obama's Worldview | Commentary

President Barack Obamaís State of the Union address offered a grab bag of specifically vague ideas and predictable plaudits but the common thread woven through his remarks was that of inequality. Between his arguments surrounding entry level wages, real income and his plan to unilaterally raise the minimum wage in federal contracts without the involvement of Congress, the undercurrent of income inequality ebbed and flowed throughout his speech.

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D.C. Leaders at Cross Purposes on Scholarship Plan

Can Washington, D.C., allocate its newfound wealth to defray college costs for some of its poorest high-school students without provoking Congress to cut federal scholarship funds?

A One-Size-Fits-All Corporate Tax System Hurts the Economy | Commentary

President Barack Obama told the American people during the State of the Union that a revised corporate tax code would make the decision easier for more companies to add jobs. But what the administration and many in Congress do not understand is that not all American manufacturers looks alike. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to taxing corporate America will leave many industries spending more in taxes and less in salaries.

What Obama Left Unsaid on Helping the Long-Term Unemployed | Commentary

People who have been without work for a long period of time are hurting. Even the most tenacious job seeker becomes discouraged over time, and their skills inevitably erode. The longer you are out of a job, the less attractive you become to employers, who wonder why you cannot find work. It is a vicious cycle, and your ability to support yourself and your family deteriorates.

Opportunity and Upward Mobility in the Restaurant Industry | Commentary

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on Congress to increase the minimum wage and pass Sen. Tom Harkinís and Rep. George Millerís bill, but he missed an opportunity to move the conversation beyond a narrow debate on wages and into a substantive discussion on meaningful policies that will actually close the income gap and strengthen the middle class.

Fulfilling the Promise of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act | Commentary

A little more than five years ago, after years of fighting for the rights of those demanding pay equality, we stood together at the White House watching President Barack Obama take a historic step in protecting American workers when he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This law restored the rights of employees to have their day in court for ongoing wage discrimination taken away by the Supreme Court in the Ledbetter v. Goodyear case.

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Senators Say Northwestern Unionization Effort Prompts Important Questions

Lawmakers could intensify debate on a historic attempt by Northwestern University football players to become the first college athletes to unionize, from holding highly visible Capitol Hill hearings to potentially expanding federal labor laws to protect the rights of student-athletes.

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Fighting Over the Health Care Law by the Hours

A tough partisan fight is developing over how best to meet the needs of part-time workers in light of the 30-hour workweek threshold for employer-mandated health care.

Liberal Democrats Seek to Extend Benefits Mandates

Liberal Democrats are looking to beef up benefits for part-time workers who face hurdles in finding full-time gigs in a sluggish economy.

Do What's 'Necessary' to Protect Workers | Commentary

In coming months the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold public hearings on one of its most far-reaching new regulations in recent years. OSHAís proposed silica rule would affect more than 2 million workers in construction, oil and gas exploration, manufacturing, and any work that involves silica-containing materials such as soil, dirt, sand, rock, brick, pavement or concrete.

The Path to Jobs and Prosperity: Tax Reform | Commentary

As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union address this week, the focus will no doubt be about generating more economic opportunity for the American worker. Consequently, both the White House and congressional Republicans have begun to approach the issue from a variety of angles and from across the political spectrum.

Build on What's Already Working, Mr. President | Commentary

By Fred Dedrick

Cut College Costs Using Carrots, Not Sticks | Commentary

Itís no secret college costs too much. In fact, weíre at the point where student debt exceeds that of credit card holders. This is a particular problem for first-generation and low-income students (the ones the president wants to talk about in an early 2014 White House meeting). If this barrier to education is not addressed, our economic competitiveness and standard of living will fall, as the Commission on the Future of Higher Education warned in 2006.

Employment Numbers Will Set Jobs Debate

The latest employment report out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics provided a case study in the difficulty of using the headline numbers to assess the jobs market and peg fiscal and monetary policy to the numbers.

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Lawmakers Will Tackle Packed Agenda Before Recess

In what has become a familiar scenario, the House and Senate have a full legislative plate and only until Jan. 18 to clean it, with a potential government shutdown on the line.

New Year Brings New Urgency to Address the Wage Crisis | Commentary

After more than four years without an increase in the federal minimum wage, following decades of neglect of this core income standard, many low-paid workers stand poised to get raises ó if not through overdue congressional action, then from states and cities moving ahead on their own to address the wage crisis.

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Jobless Benefits, Farm Bill Hit Snags

The most obvious place to find the money to offset extended jobless benefits, a demand of the GOP, may be in the bill that provides food stamps, but that plan will first require a to-be-determined deal on the farm bill.

How Congress Can Make Smarter Use of Domestic Funds | Commentary

Even with the short-term budget deal reached last month, domestic discretionary spending will be billions of dollars below its level of just a year ago. For some of us, thatís a triumph; for others, itís a tragedy. But we all can agree on the urgent need to spend as wisely as possible.

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