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Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

 
Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

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Are Student Loans the Next Big "Debt Bomb"?

Student debt is one of the major rallying points of the Occupy Movement. Now, bankruptcy lawyers are lending credence to that message, Eric Pianen reports for the Washington Post


Bankruptcy lawyers have a frightening message for America: They’re seeing the telltale signs of a student loan debt bubble that is placing increased financial pressure on families struggling with their children’s mounting debt. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, more than 80 percent of bankruptcy lawyers have seen a substantial increase in the number of clients seeking relief from student loans in recent years.

In most cases, those clients could not meet the federal hardship standards that are necessary to discharge a student loan through bankruptcy proceedings. Instead, many of these parents or guardians who co-signed the student loans face the prospect of losing their life savings, cars or homes to collection agencies for aggressive private lenders.

The head of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACABA) told Pianen that, while he doesn't expect student debt to have the same crushing short-term economic impact as the mortgage crisis, the long-term impact on the economy could be severe. If students aren't willing to take on debt to get the education and training they need, the U.S. will ultimately become less competitive compared to countries where students can get affordable post secondary education.

[Photo credit: Lindsay Beyerstein, all rights reserved.]

Comments

I do believe that the student loans will be the next major issue facing us. There's no getting around this mess. Too bad these weren't asset based loans secured by real estate instead of eduction.

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