NPA in the News

The emerging populist agenda

The Emerging Populist Agenda
The Washington Post
By Katrina Vanden Heuvel

The most surprising development in our political debate isn’t the gaggle of Republican presidential contenders or the ceaseless attacks on Hillary Clinton. What is stunning is the emergence of a populist reform agenda that is driving the debate inside and outside the Democratic Party.

Picking Up the Tab for Low Wages

It is hard to overstate the extent to which work no longer results in a decent paycheck and a rising standard of living in this country. The portion of the economic pie that goes to working people is currently near the smallest on record, in data going back to 1947. Similarly, the gap between worker pay and labor productivity has widened since the 1970s. In a healthy economy, wages and productivity would rise in tandem, but in recent decades, productivity gains have flowed increasingly to executive compensation and shareholder returns, rather than wages.

Populism2015: Construction Crew for Democracy

To the blare of sounding brass and booming drums, some 800 activists and community organizers from around the country recently converged on Washington, DC. We are living, breathing proof, they announced, that if we can’t get change from our representatives in the capital, we’ll bring it to them, and work to make them hear what must be done.

OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Feds outline payday loan rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a framework for the payday loan rules under consideration.

Director Richard Cordray said CFPB is considering allowing the payday lenders to choose between two sets of rules - debt trap prevention and debt trap protection.

The debt trap prevention rules would force lenders to verify a lender's ability to repay a loan up front and force lenders to give borrowers taking out consecutive loans a 60-day cooling off period.

But advocacy groups and lawmakers say they are concerned with loopholes in the proposal.

Front & Center: Closing credit's revolving door

It sounds so easy. Crisis arises, but your wallet's full of cobwebs. Solution? Visit a payday lender. Yet, the commercials conveniently ignore the steep interest rates that can soar as high as 650 percent annually for lump-sum loans. Now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to roll out regulations it says will protect the cash-poor from the debt snare. Liz Ryan Murray, policy director at National People's Action, community organizers known for aggressively pursuing an "economic and racial justice agenda," spoke with us about the industry and possible regulations.

Conservatives May Control State Governments, But Progressives Are Rising

In November, conservatives swept not only Congress, but a majority of statehouses. While gridlock in Washington is frustrating, the rightward lurch of statehouses could be devastating. Reveling in their newfound power, state lawmakers and their corporate allies are writing regressive policies that could hurt families by exacerbating inequality, further curtailing an already weakened democracy, and worsening an environmental crisis of global proportions.