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Scott Michelman
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In Nebraska, ProPublica reports, debt collectors frequently sue over medical debts as small as $60 and a simple missed doctor’s bill can quickly land you in court. Filing suit is one of the most aggressive ways to collect debt, but... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Troubling new statistics -- as reported in the Washington Post. Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2016 at CL&P Blog
NPR reports: The Texas-based Pastoral Medical Association gives out "pastoral provider licenses" in all 50 states and 30 countries. Some providers call themselves doctors of pastoral medicine. But these licenses are not medical degrees. That has watchdog organizations concerned that... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Yes, argue proponents of basic income, the policy proposal to scrap social welfare programs in favor of just cutting everyone a check. Fivethirtyeight summarizes the arguments: Efficiency-minded libertarians like the idea of streamlining the bureaucracy of the welfare state. Silicon... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2016 at CL&P Blog
The New York Times, in an article titled, "One Top Taxpayer Moved, and New Jersey Shuddered," explains: Our top-heavy economy has come to this: One man can move out of New Jersey and put the entire state budget at risk.... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2016 at CL&P Blog
A sign of things to come, reports the Times: In January, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced grants totaling $1 billion in 13 states to help communities adapt to climate change, by building stronger levees, dams and drainage... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2016 at CL&P Blog
That question was the subject of a recent class action lawsuit on behalf of the drivers in California and Massachusetts. Now Uber will pay $100 million to settle the case and will allow the drivers to collect tips, but will... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2016 at CL&P Blog
A piece in Fivethirtyeight last week highlights the challenges occupational licensing laws pose for younger job-seekers. These are rules, usually at the state or local level, that require workers to get a government-issued license to hold certain jobs. That makes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2016 at CL&P Blog
A thoughtful article in the New York Times Magazine this week posits that TV has largely shifted from portraying working class and middle class struggles (from mid-century to the early 90s) to shows largely focused on hanging out and that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2016 at CL&P Blog
A lot is going on in yesterday's decision in FTC v. Amazon, 2016 WL 1643973 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 26, 2016) -- some excellent and some troubling. First, the good news. A Seattle district court held that Amazon engaged in unfair... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Check out this fascinating report in Wired last week, which explains how Cornell Tech researchers cracked the code to shortened URLs from Microsoft and Google and as a result were about to figure out personal information about specific individuals: "By... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Researchers at George Washington University have found that "people who eat fast food tend to have significantly higher levels of certain phthalates, which are commonly used in consumer products such as soap and makeup to make them less brittle but... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2016 at CL&P Blog
More than 300 kids have been killed and almost that many seriously injured when they've gotten tangled up in blind cords, the Post reports. It describes the deaths in chilling fashion: "The deaths are fast and silent. Often, the parent... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Borrowers who obtain loan forgiveness based on disability or families who have student debt discharged based on the death of a child have to pay taxes on that benefit under current law. Now three senators are pushing for relief. Marketwatch... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2016 at CL&P Blog
As we've discussed, poor people across the country face incarceration for minor offenses because they can't pay fines and fees. (See here, for instance.) On a more hopeful note, check out the recent op-ed in the Post by Texas municipal... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Following up on Brian's illuminating post earlier this week about the widening gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor, two other articles discussing health and the economic divide are worth a read. First, the New York Times,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Earlier this year, we flagged Maryland's pending legislation (H.B. 131) to protect the rights of consumers to speak up -- critically, if they like -- about the businesses they have done business with. California passed a similar bill in 2014.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Patients of Dr. Allen Sossan of South Dakota claim that he performed unnecessary medical procedures or performed procedures improperly on them. They sued Dr. Sossan and the hospitals that credentialed him. One of the claims is that the hospitals wrongfully... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Recently, we flagged an excellent segment from John Oliver on credit reporting. In light of that piece, consider this case, now on appeal to the Seventh Circuit: Toyota Motor Credit Corp. believed Jeffrey Brill owed Toyota an outstanding debt on... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2016 at CL&P Blog
When policymakers and journalists talk about college admissions (as they often do this time of year, because it's admission season), it tends to sound like this, Fivethirtyeight recounts: High school seniors spend months visiting colleges; writing essays; wrangling letters of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Check out this ominous piece from the Wall St. Journal, "How Private Is Your Tax Return?" which discusses the privacy practices of private preparers and tax software regarding filers' private information. Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Last week, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that state labor law prohibits employers from forcing workers to perform their job on their feet when their tasks could be done sitting down. The ruling, which requires consideration of the totality... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2016 at CL&P Blog
As you may have heard, on March 30, a D.C. district court threw out a designation by the federal Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) that MetLife needs to comply with special government safeguards under Dodd-Frank for entities whose "material financial... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2016 at CL&P Blog