September 30, 2019

The student debt crisis in our country is worsening. If nothing is done, its size threatens our nation's future. Young people saddled with student debt often postpone adult decisions, like purchasing homes or getting married, hoping to start "real life" with a clean slate. When these folks delay buying homes, they also postpone the purchase of everything that goes with home ownership – furniture, appliances, and more. Millions boomerang home, living with their parents into their late twenties, or even longer. Some default on their loans, ruining their credit, and impeding other purchasing.

How...

September 16, 2019

When the income and poverty data were released on September 10, the commentary touted the progress that the data reflected.  The poverty rate dropped by half a percentage point, down to 11.8 percent.  For the first time, the poverty rate is lower than it was in 2007, before the beginning of the Great Recession.   But wages only rose significantly among Asian Americans, and the poverty rates, by demographics, were 8.1 percent for whites, 20.8 percent for African Americans, 17.6 percent for Hispanics, and 10.1 percent for Asian Americans.  When we celebrate the drop in the poverty rate, we norma...

September 9, 2019

 Hurricane Dorian has drowned the Bahamas and devastated the coasts of North and South Carolina.  There are trillions of dollars worth of damages, and communities that it will take years to rebuild.  The fury of this hurricane, some say, is unprecedented, with winds measured at 130 miles per hour at their fiercest.  Dozens of lives have been lost – at least 30, as of this writing, in the Bahamas, and many others here in the United States.  As the winds die down, the questions rise up.  Could this hurricane, and its devastation have been prevented?  What role does climate change play in the des...

September 3, 2019

The event promised to be one of those last-gasp of summer events that would raise a little money for a good cause.  The young woman who called to tell me about it promised that I'd meet interesting people, enjoy excellent wines and that the cost of attending was modest.  "We aren't charging anything this year, " she said rather breezily.  "But please bring school supplies." 

 Her call wasn't the first call that I've had asking for school supplies.  And whether we are educators, parents of now-adult children, or others, we understand how important it is for young people to approac...

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