National Consumers League

From the Experts Blog

NCL staff is hard at work for you playing watchdog on a variety of issues. Get to know the latest From the Experts!

WalMart's raising wages. Yay?

Walmart is getting a lot of attention for pledging to raise the minimum wages it pays employees to $9 an hour by April and $10 an hour within a year. As the economy recovers and more jobs are available, apparently WalMart is having trouble filling its workforce. 

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Why maintaining 529 tax benefits was the right decision

Sometimes, even people you respect do stupid things. I’m talking about the Obama Administration’s proposal for taxing families that put money into 529 college savings plants. Right now, parents can set aside funds for their kids’ college education which gets invested in mutual funds and any growth in investment is tax free. In other words, when your son or daughter is ready for college, if you put $20,000 away and it’s now worth $30,000, that $10,000 gain goes untaxed. 

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President’s budget brings good news to food safety advocates

Monday, the president released his budget and with it, a proposal to create one single federal agency focused on food safety. The proposal came days after Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced bills to create an independent federal food safety agency. Both the budget and this legislation seek to reallocate food safety inspections, labeling, and enforcement into a single agency cutting government costs and overlap.  

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Wage stagnation may threaten democracy itself

Why have wages stagnated so badly in the US compared to Australia and Canada? The report notes that while US wages have stagnated and not gone up, since 2000, Canadian wages have risen 10 percent and wages in Australia by 30 percent. A group of eminent economists has taken on that question and developed a detailed analysis—to be issued imminently—of this vexing problem in a project underwritten by the Center for American Progress. 

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MLK Day tribute

This week marks our nation’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. day. As we honor a truly great American icon we keep in mind two parallel and pertinent events that are occurring in America. One is the increasing awareness of the epidemic of police killings of black men (and black women too, though not as frequently). “The Root” enumerates 20 unarmed African Americans and the stories surrounding their killings by police. 

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