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April 5, 2024

What’s Wrong with the US Economy? Anything?

Economists were expecting 200,000 net new jobs added in March. Instead it was 50 percent more. Unexpected strength, but maybe not so unexpected, really, for an economy that continues to deliver surprise after surprise. It’s been a great run lately for economic optimists: real wage gains, faster labor productivity, and gobs of jobs. A tight summary…

April 3, 2024

Feds Should Take a Big Step Back on Student Loans

The federal student loan program has gone off the rails. What was first designed as a program to alleviate the liquidity problem students face when paying for college is now an out-of-control entitlement program that rewards students for spending as much as possible on higher education, causing tuition costs to skyrocket in turn. Biden’s reforms…

March 28, 2024

Federal Student Lending is Beyond Repair

The integrity of the federal student loan program has been in precipitous decline since early 2020, when then-President Trump responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by putting a pause on student loan repayment. In retrospect, that move was the first domino to fall in a string of policy changes, culminating in the implementation of President Biden’s…

March 11, 2024

Louisiana’s FAFSA U-Turn Signals That “College-for-All” Has Peaked

Fifteen years ago, AEI’s ever-prescient Charles Murray argued in Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality that too many students were going to college—that “college-for-all” loomed too large in K-12 schooling, distorted our priorities, and had fueled the neglect of career and technical education. That take was noxious to education advocates, philanthropists,…

February 29, 2024

Recalling Pandemic Lessons on “Self-Certifying” Eligibility

Sometimes what is left unmentioned can be far more important than what is said. A good example is obscure guidance issued last week by the US Department of Labor (DOL) encouraging workforce programs to allow beneficiaries to self-certify their eligibility. That guidance directly affects a handful of programs with limited funding that offer a variety of employment-related…

February 22, 2024

A Slow Start for Skills-Based Hiring

Growing second-thoughts on bachelors’ degrees and labor market pressures have caused employers to move toward more inclusive recruitment practices through “skills-based hiring.” This approach prioritizes the specific abilities and competencies relevant to a job over traditional educational credentials, including college degrees, based on the theory that degrees often have little to no connection to ability….

February 15, 2024

Harvard (Mis)Leading Housing Study

 Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies is back with its annual State of the Nation’s Housing report—and once again it reaches a bleak conclusion based on a loaded and leading question designed to sound an alarm for more federal housing subsidies. Its key metric is what it calls “cost-burdened renters”—those spending more than a third…

February 12, 2024

Millennials Are Doing Better than You Probably Think

“Each generation is worse off than the one before.” It’s one of the primary tenets of the notion that American capitalism has failed and that we live in the final days of “late capitalism.” But have things really been all downhill since the Boomers became adults? Maybe not, according to the new study “Has Intergenerational…

January 30, 2024

Democrats in the House Have a New (Old) Plan for Higher Education

Lately, it’s been Republican lawmakers who have been at the table and offering up comprehensive reform for higher education policy, but this week House Democrats got back in the game. Today, they released new legislation outlining their vision for higher education reform beyond the administration-led student loan cancellation agenda. In some sense, this marks a welcome return to normalcy,…

January 29, 2024

Per-Child Benefit in Wyden-Smith Child Tax Credit Bill Would Discourage Full-Time Work for Families with Multiple Children

The Wyden-Smith proposed tax legislation would make four changes to the Child Tax Credit (CTC). First, it would increase the cap on the refundable portion of the CTC, eventually to the same amount as the maximum non-refundable CTC. Second, it would begin indexing the maximum non-refundable CTC with inflation. Third, it would apply a one-year lookback for…