Democratic Left

Memorial Day: Remembrance and Resolve

"As we approach Memorial Day, we need to think not only of remembering our fallen sons and daughters, but also to resolve to protect future generations from such occasions."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Vietnam-memorial-soldier.jpg                                                          

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The Soul Of Student Debt - Part 2

This is the second installment of Chris Maisano's "Soul of Student Debt."

Modern student lending practices date from the 1950s, when Cold War competition with the Soviet Union spurred Congress to establish the Perkins Loan Program in 1958. Perkins expanded student loan lending through need-based loans at low interest rates. But this program was relatively modest. Federal student loan lending expanded further during the Johnson administration with the passage of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the establishment of the Guaranteed Student Loan program (known today as the Stafford Loan Program). With the onset of the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, states began their long-term disinvestment from public higher education, driving up the cost of tuition and necessitating the expansion of federal student loan lending. In 1978, federal spending on student lending was $500 million. In fiscal year 2012, the federal government lent $115.6 billion in new student loans. Today, the average student graduates college or university with over $25,000 in educational loan debt.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Quebec_students.jpg

 

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The Soul Of Student Debt

This is the first installment in a three part series by DSA's Chris Maisano. All three installments were originally published in Jacobin Magazine.

Janet Lynn Parker is a middle-aged elementary school art teacher from Arkansas. She graduated in 1991 from Arkansas State University with a degree in art education and $25,000 in student loan debt. Unable to find a job in her field of study, she bounced around from job to job until 1999, when she finally found employment at a public school at an annual salary barely over $20,000. Over that time, her financial mounting difficulties forced her to ask for multiple forbearances and deferments on her student loan, pushing the balance of her educational debt up to about $70,000.

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Bayard Rustin And The 1963 March On Washington

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.  Elementary and high school pupils study the march in class.  It ranks with the Boston Tea Party as that rare example of mass protest that is praised rather than deplored.  Largely because of the compelling oratory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it has become an iconic event in U.S. history.  How can Americans argue with rhetoric celebrating a dream of freedom?

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Original Mother’s Day Was An Antiwar Protest

Mother’s Day started as a call for women to organize for world peace.

Julia Ward Howe, a feminist, abolitionist and writer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” issued the first Mother’s Day proclamation in 1870 following the devastation caused by the American Civil War and the start of the Franco-Prussian war in Europe.

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Defend Immigrant Rights

International Worker's Day – May Day – 2013 took on special meaning this year, as the drumbeat for immigration reform got louder and louder.

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April 2013 Employment Report: “The Economy is Not Working for Most People” Says Chicago Political Economy Group

On April 24 two groups of young people met up on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, and it wasn’t for the shopping. One group was striking retail and fast food workers who had walked off the job to protest low wages and demand a $15 minimum wage for downtown workers. The other group was students protesting Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s school closings. Many of the striking workers were only a few years older than the students.

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May Day: Born in the USA

Still part of the fight for economic and social justice
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Over 1,000,000 people march in support of immigrants’ rights - May 1, 2006, Los Angeles. Photo by David Bacon.  http://dbacon.igc.org

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