Democratic Left

The Socialist Roots of the March on Washington

Political pundits have long lionized the August 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech as a clarion call to end legal segregation.

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The I.R.S Was Right, Obama Caves Again

It’s happening again. Another imaginary crisis, and instead of fighting back, the President   agrees with his enemies and starts making concessions.  He should be defending the I.R.S.  employees who have been doing  their jobs under difficult circumstances.  As a careful reading of the Inspector General's Report shows, there is no scandal.  Well, let’s put it this way:  there are scandals at the I.R.S., but this isn’t one of them.  Look instead to the under-regulation of huge political organizations such as Karl Rove’s Crossroads.

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A New Era for Worker Ownership, 5 Years in the Making: The New Era Windows Cooperative opens its doors (and windows) for business

Reprinted with permission from In These Times.

The workers know launching and running a company won’t be easy, but given their deep knowledge of the industry and their personal investment in the project, they are confident they can do it.

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“It’s a lot easier for a worker to become an owner, than an owner to become a worker,” says Melvin “Ricky” Maclin, a worker-turned-occupier-turned-owner at the New Era Windows Cooperative. (Brendan Martin/The Working World)

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Move Forward Or Pack It Up

In 1989, N.W.A was the world's most dangerous group, there were fourteen Democratic U.S. Senators in the states that made up the Confederacy, union density was nearly 18 percent, and the Soviet Union looked like it was on the way to political liberalization. None of this is true today.

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50 Years Later- King’s Letter Challenges Us Still

When it came to injustice, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was not a patient man.     

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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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