The Common Core Mystique
America / Education / Politics / U.S. Domestic Policy

The Common Core Mystique

Critics from both ends of the spectrum have attacked the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for a number of reasons. “They are a ploy for the federal government to spread its agenda, pollute the minds of children, and diminish teachers’ role in educating!” “They eliminate teacher autonomy and creativity in the classroom!” “They give corporate … Continue reading

Tele-Psychiatry Included in Mental Health Reform Bill
America / Healthcare / Technology

Tele-Psychiatry Included in Mental Health Reform Bill

The day after a gunman stormed Fort Hood and the media reported the assumed presence of mental illness, the Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013, H.R. 3717. The Act aims to redistribute funding in mental health programs and to improve mental health services by … Continue reading

Discharge Petition Irrelevant, Let’s Get Back to the Facts
America / Economy / Immigration / National Security

Discharge Petition Irrelevant, Let’s Get Back to the Facts

Two weeks ago, in the midst of immigration “deadlock,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) submitted a discharge petition in order to retrieve HB-15 from committee and bring it to a floor vote. HB-15 is the House version of the “Gang of 8” immigration reform bill passed in the Senate last spring. The media focus … Continue reading

The Myth of the Underpaid Minimum Wage Worker
America / Economy / Labor Force / Politics / U.S. Senate

The Myth of the Underpaid Minimum Wage Worker

One of greatest falsehoods that clouds the discussion over whether to raise the minimum wage is that these workers are underpaid compared to the value they provide to their employers.  Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren made the case, “If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are … Continue reading

The Problem With Wellness Initiatives
Affordable Care Act / Constitution / Economy / Healthcare / Labor Force / Politics / Regulation

The Problem With Wellness Initiatives

In an attempt to decrease health care costs, wellness initiatives have become increasingly popular programs offered by corporations. Health and wellness is an extremely important issue and when it comes to health care reform there should to be a larger personal responsibility component. Unhealthy lifestyles, such as inactivity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol … Continue reading

Is Medicaid Expansion Something To Be Proud Of?
Affordable Care Act / America / Healthcare / Labor Force / Medicaid / Medicaid Expansion

Is Medicaid Expansion Something To Be Proud Of?

In the State of The Union, President Obama touted that 9 million Americans had received insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Of these 9 million Americans, 3 million enrolled in private insurance plans and 6 million enrolled in Medicaid. But these numbers and their forecasted impact on health care delivery are misleading. First of … Continue reading

The Confident Public: Misguided or Justified on the “Graying of America?”
America / Culture / Economy / Fiscal policy / Medicare / Politics / Social Security

The Confident Public: Misguided or Justified on the “Graying of America?”

The graying of America is not a new fear for economists and politicians. Before even the earliest Baby Boomers began retiring, economists were making predictions about the hardships America would undoubtedly face as it aged. Many say those problems have already begun, while others argue they have been over exaggerated and prematurely predicted. The American … Continue reading

The Cost of Being “Cool”: Politics and Pop Culture
America / Culture / Politics / Presidency

The Cost of Being “Cool”: Politics and Pop Culture

Heading into the 2014 elections, politicians will no doubt use pop culture in an attempt to engage the electorate, specifically young Americans, in the political process in order to encourage voter participation. The question is who will use pop culture effectively and why should politicians care about pop culture in the first place? According to … Continue reading

How Vermont’s Single Payer Proposal Can Backfire
Affordable Care Act / America / Healthcare / Social Insurance Programs

How Vermont’s Single Payer Proposal Can Backfire

American health care reform is a three-headed beast. Attempts at reform typically seek to resolve issues regarding access, quality care, and cost control. The ACA, one of the largest overhauls of American healthcare is aimed at improving access—but the problem becomes what good is increasing access to expensive and low quality care? Vermont’s leaders have … Continue reading

Unemployment Benefits: Republican Victory
America / Economy / Labor Force

Unemployment Benefits: Republican Victory

According to the US Department of Labor, the purpose of Unemployment Insurance Extended Benefits is for “workers who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment.” It provides an additional thirteen weeks of benefits for states experiencing high unemployment. From the US Department of Labor again, State Unemployment Insurance Benefits have the … Continue reading