We live in an increasingly post-cash world, but cashless comes at a cost. Merchants – the stores we rely on for everything from groceries to oil changes – pay more than $50 billion in fees to the credit card companies that finance consumer purchases. As a result, merchants have a considerable incentive to persuade customers

We are gathered here today in remembrance of the Kansas state tax cuts, which expired on Wednesday, after a protracted fight between the Kansas state legislature and Republican Governor Sam Brownback. Though its life was short, the Kansas tax cuts — “the cuts,” to friends — left a strong impression and will not soon be forgotten. The cuts came roaring

This post is based off remarks given at a House of Representatives briefing on the 2007-08 Financial Crisis and the current state of financial reform. There is ample media coverage and anecdotal claims from the banking industry that Dodd-Frank is bad for community banks. It’s politically challenging to counter this narrative because nearly every county

“Higher education” is a vague term. It describes a sector that is hardly uniform, with over 4,000 degree-granting institutions eligible for federal funding but serious disparities among them. A college education from one of these institutions continues to serve as a prerequisite to moving up the income ladder in our narrative about economic mobility. Yet,

Last Monday, Democratic Senate leadership expressed their concerns over the president’s recent tax cut proposal in a joint letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Office and Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Their letter correctly criticized the plan’s lopsided benefit to the top 1 percent and pointed out the threat it would pose to

Only two countries in the world are not signatories of the Paris Agreement, an historic pledge by the world’s nations to work to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It seems very likely that this week the U.S. will add its name next to Nicaragua and Syria, when President Trump makes good on a campaign threat to

Education is the cornerstone of the American dream: Study hard, earn a degree, and your work will be rewarded. Lee Hall, a university professor who holds two law degrees, is still waiting for his rewards. Teaching five undergraduate and law school courses per semester, Hall makes an annual salary of $15,000—less than a pet-sitter, he

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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said yesterday that “the economy is doing well” as she announced the Fed’s third benchmark rate hike since the Great Recession. Yet there are important arguments against the rate hike: Unemployment hasn’t fallen to the level it reached in the late 1990s; wages are still stagnant; people of color are

Over the past month, college students across the county have explored how financialization affects their schools with a series of trainings led by Refund America, Hedge Clippers, LittleSis, and the Roosevelt Institute. As many students know, Wall Street firms make billions of dollars off of higher education every year through vehicles including toxic swaps and exorbitant

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One of the standout features of our increasingly financialized economy is a systemic disinvestment in public goods such as infrastructure and education. As the finance sector hoards the wealth our economy produces, wages stagnate, corporations and the wealthy avoid contributing their rightful share in taxes, and money and power coalesces at the top, revenues at

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