This week’s readers gobbled up articles about the sad state of jobs in the economy, Detroit, higher education and health care. Here are the five most-read articles at TCF.org this week:
1. The New Sick-onomy by Daniel Alpert
Alpert, an expert in macroeconomics and banking, exposes the harsh realities of our supposed economic recovery. He writes, “Over 69 percent of the jobs created in Q2 2013 and over 57 percent of all the jobs created in the first half of 2013 were created in the three lowest wage sub-sectors of the economy. . . .” In addition to drawing the attention of our readers, Alpert’s insight earned press coverage from the Washington Post , The Daily Caller and Twitter mentions by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and David Frum.
2. Reinventing Detroit by Jacob Anbinder
In what Justin Fox of Bloomberg News and Harvard Business Review called, “The most thought-provoking thing I’ve read about Detroit in the past week,” Anbinder offered four possible policy ideas to help Detroit fix its budget calamity. Among Anbinder’s ideas: abolish the absurd dual nature of the city’s public bus systems.
3. The Free Market Will Now Decide Your Student Loan Rate by Benjamin Landy
The student debt crisis looms in the background of every American policy debate and Landy has another insightful take on the problem. Landy writes this week that, “Republicans think the federal government should act more like a bank. And Democrats, for the most part, have capitulated.” The result, he writes, is, “for the average undergraduate borrower, that means paying about 25 percent more in interest over the life of their loan, or nearly $3,000. For a low-income borrower who would have paid 3.4 percent in 2011 or 2012, it’s an increase of about 150 percent and over $9,000.”
4. “Pay It Forward” or “Pay It Yourself” by Sara Goldrick-Rab
A rare repeat on the most-read list, this article on Oregon’s “Pay It Forward” program continued to spark debate this week. Goldrick-Rab, a member of The Century Foundation’s community college task force, has serious reservations about the program and notes that it won’t actually eliminate student debt, and likely will increase class-based segregation at Oregon’s colleges and universities. And even if these problems could be eliminated, the entire project is probably not feasible anyway.
5. The Troubling Rise of Freestanding ERs by Aljandro Perez
Rounding out the top five this week, Perez takes a look at the market-driven increase in free-standing emergency medical treatment centers and why that runs contrary to the aim of the Affordable Care Act. Perez writes, “Providing access to quality health care for all Americans—at a cost that is affordable to everyone—is what the ACA is all about. The recent rise of freestanding ERs indicates that, at the moment, the system is failing to achieve those goals.”