1. Turbulence for Airline Merger
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Experts and travelers are worried the US Airways/American Airlines merger could hurt consumers by raising the price of airfare. Independent airline consultant George Hamlin says airfares have gone up after recent mergers. The Department of Justice hasn’t challenged past mergers, though, so Hamlin says it’s confusing that the department would go after this merger only.
2. Best Ways to Save for College
Are prepaid tuition plans just a trap? Gerri Willis says Colorado is shutting down its prepaid tuition program, because it was no longer financially viable. Edelman Financial Services CEO Ric Edelman hates prepaid tuition plans because they only pay for tuition, not room and board, and they trap families into staying in the same state to attend the state universities.
3. Shift in ‘War on Drugs?’
Attorney General Eric Holder is pushing his plan to evade mandatory minimum sentences for drug violations. Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-SC) says the states should prosecute low-level drug dealers, rather than trying to handle this at the federal level. Rep. Gowdy, a former drug prosecutor, says the war on drugs has not been successful, and that AG Holder doesn’t seem to have a viable alternative strategy for reducing the effects of drug culture in the United States.
4. Ralph Nader vs. Wal-Mart
Former third-party presidential candidate and consumer advocate Ralph Nader wants the world’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart, to pay its workers more. And while the debate led Wal-Mart to stop its construction on three D.C.-area stores, Nader says he’s not worried. He says consumer demand could lead to co-op stores, which would pay workers more and provide a better quality of life.