WAGE VICTORY AT WAL-MART — Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Research Director Josh Bivens summed up the progressive reaction to the news that Wal-Mart will raise its minimum wage for all workers to $10 an hour: “Let’s be clear about this: wages rising should be the norm in the American economy and should happen all the time without fanfare” … Apparently T.J. Maxx agrees, and is following suit. READ: “A Higher Wage is Possible at Wal-Mart” over at Demos.
BUH-BYE, KEYSTONE — As promised, President Obama vetoed legislation to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday. Natural Resources Defense Council President Rhea Suh: “Congress should stop wasting any more time pushing dirty energy projects that would worsen climate change and threaten our air, water and land.” AGREE? Tell President Obama to reject the Keystone pipeline for good HERE.
THE FINAL WORD ON NET NEUTRALITY — After a concerted effort by groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, CREDO Action, Common Cause, Free Press, MoveOn, the National Organization for Women, and others, senior Republicans conceded their fight against net neutrality on Tuesday. The FCC is expected to announce later today that it will regulate the internet as a public utility.
WATCH a trailer for Killswitch–a new documentary film about the battle for net neutrality, featuring Harvard Economist and Top Wonk Lawrence Lessig–HERE and READ what the real impact of the FCC rules will be over at Free Press HERE.
THE FINAL TALLY — An overwhelming majority of Chicago residents voted to pass the Fair Elections Illinois ballot initiative Tuesday night. Common Cause President Miles Rapoport: “Illinois voters have seen firsthand the corrupting power of big money in our elections and today’s vote is powerful evidence that they’ve had enough of it” … Meanwhile, $3.77 billion later, the 2014 midterms are officially the most expensive in history–despite the fact that there were fewer donors than in the last election cycles. The Center for Responsive Politics CRUNCHED THE NUMBERS HERE.
MONEY IN POLITICS MUST READ: “How to Get Money Out of Politics: Ideas for Change” from Every Voice in partnership with Bill Moyers.
STUDENT DEBT STRIKE — Among students who left school in 2005, a full 25% defaulted on their loans within nine years, according to new data from the New York Federal Reserve. A Demos analysis of this data suggests that the Department of Education is underestimating the problem of student loan default by half … This information comes on the heels of a massive debt strike against for-profit Everest College by the Corinthian Fifteen–organized by the Debt Collective. READ: “What Happens If You Refuse to Pay Off Your Student Debt?” over at The Nation.
UNITED FOR PRISON REFORM — Last week, a broad range of groups–including the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Tax Reform, the Center for American Progress, and the Leadership Conference Education Fund, and more–formed the Coalition for Public Safety with the intent of pursuing aggressive criminal justice reform. The United States leads the world in incarceration, with 2.2 million currently in prison–a 500% increase over the past 30 years. FIND OUT more HERE.
THE TIMES THEY AREN’T A-CHANGING – Hourly wages fell or stagnated for workers across the wage spectrum in 2014, continuing a 35-year trend of broad-based stagnation, according to new data from EPI. EPI Senior Economist and report author Elise Gould: “Wage stagnation is the result of specific policy choices made over the past 30 years, and it can be reversed by policy decisions going forward.”
KEEP OBAMACARE INTACT — To accompany next week’s oral arguments in King v. Burwell–the latest attack on the Affordable Care Act–the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy launched a new blog symposium. CHECK OUT the full archive HERE and READ the two most recent posts HERE and HERE.
FROM THE WONK WIRE …
… KOCH BROS JUST WANT SOME PRIVACY: Brennan Center Fellow and Top Wonk Ciara Torres-Spelliscy explores the tension between the need for both transparency and privacy with regard to large charitable donations.
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