Daily Clips: February 29th, 2016

College, the skills gap, and the student loan crisis: The American Prospect sat down with economist Marshall Steinbaum, someone who I had never heard of before this morning. His relative anonymity should not stop you from reading his thoughts on education, however. Steinbuam’s in-depth take on student loans and college in particular is much needed in today’s day and age where specificity is lacking. (Seriously, go to Hillary Clinton’s website and try and find a specific number for refinanced interest rates. You can’t.)

Here was my favorite answer from Steinbaum:

I think we’ve made our bed: People have to go to college to work, and hence it’s incumbent on us to make sure they can actually find a job and that college is affordable and non-exclusionary.

But we could rethink everything. We could forget the “skills gap” nonsense, and go back to a world where economic policy is organized around making sure everyone who works makes a decent living, regardless of educational attainment, and that our universal K-12 system actually gives everyone the academic background they need not just to enter the economy, but to prosper in it.

SCOTUS and abortion: Reuters reports that this Wednesday the US Supreme Court will hear “a major abortion case for the first time in nearly a decade” where “the regulations at issue will not involve fetuses or the mother, but rather standards for doctors and facilities where the procedure is performed.”

Remember, because of the recent death of Antonin Scalia, “if the justices split 4-4, no national legal precedent would be set but the lower court decision upholding the Texas law would stand.”

A tipping point for automatic voter registration

“I have met many Democrats that are convinced that Republican are trying to keep their party from voting, and I’ve met many Republicans that are convinced that Democrats are cheating,” said Kim Wyman, the top elections official in Washington state. “And it’s really hard to convince either side otherwise.”

Um…Kim Wyman…cry me a river. Maybe look at the data and tell your Republican buddies that they are delusional and that their fears are almost totally unfounded. Give me a break. Talk about an example of false equivalence.

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Nick Cassella
Nick Cassella graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2014. After graduating, he worked on the Initiative 594 campaign before joining Civic Ventures, where he now manages Civic Skunk Works' social media presence.