Civic Personalities in the Real World: In this series, we’re highlighting some of our amazing Up to Us alumni who are actively using their skills and energy towards advocating for a variety of issues. These changemakers took our Civic Personality Quiz to find out their personality, and how it connected to their life and work!

Civic Personalities in the Real World: Shelby Lynch | Up to Us

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Shelby Lynch, and I am currently a junior at Arizona State University studying digital marketing and integrative communications at the W.P. Carey School of Business, and am a part of Barrett, The Honors College. I…

A Guide to Understanding Universal Basic Income | Up to Us

The pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings of our current welfare system. The government responded by passing stimulus packages, but long-term measures are needed to address the growing inequalities linked to slow wage growth and a labor market that no longer allows people to fulfill their basic needs. Some policymakers believe that a universal basic income is the answer. Let’s take a closer look at the UBI meaning and the pros and cons of distributing a guaranteed living wage.

What Is Universal Basic Income (UBI)?

Universal basic income is a recurring payment that individuals receive from the government. Unlike needs-based welfare programs, a UBI system would distribute…

The Interview Process | Up to Us

The typical interview process begins with a short (15–30 minute) screening phone or zoom call. Should you get through the screen, you will have at least one full interview with a hiring manager or supervisor and sometimes with co-workers. Interviews average 40 minutes. Depending on the organization, interviews can be longer. They may hold additional interviews with in-depth questions about key expectations.

Know that all employers are not alike. Some employers interview and make an offer in the first round, but that is the exception. Nearly all do a preliminary screening to assess for fit and a basic understanding of…

It’s the moment of truth: you have found a role that speaks to you and you’re trying to evaluate whether to apply. You can’t do everything the position requires. Should you apply?

Here’s the skinny on hiring:

It’s a myth that the most qualified person usually gets hired. Hiring managers tend to select people who are enthusiastic and confident, easy to relate to and are clear about what makes them a fit for the position. Rapport, ability to connect, and interview skills often trumps competence!

It’s a myth that you have to be able to do everything in the job…

You’ve done the soul-searching work of developing your career search criteria, and you’ve done research to identify target companies. You have your resume and LinkedIn profile. And, you have been looking at job postings to develop your knowledge of different careers and career vocabulary. Now it’s time for you to reach out and connect to people directly, to get first-hand information about the roles that interest you, to learn more about organizational culture, and, especially, to find out about job openings that never get advertised.

Remember that two-thirds of all available jobs are not posted. They are filled by word-of-mouth…

Fiscal policy is how governments adjust their spending levels and tax rates so they can influence the economy. It touches many parts of society, including businesses, households and infrastructure.

Explore how fiscal policy is developed in the United States, and discover some definitions of what this policy is as well as the different approaches that have been taken historically. We’ll also discuss where the country is now, and how you can get involved and make a difference.

What is fiscal policy?

As the idiom goes, nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. But while taxes are definitely an inevitability, the amount of taxes people pay and the methods used to impose those taxes are influenced by many different factors that are far beyond citizen control. To understand it better, one has…

The US federal deficit has been a hot topic in the news lately. There have been headlines about the deficit hitting $3.2 trillion in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and political pundits talking about the deficit equalling the economy for the first time since World War II. And while all of that sounds impressive and slightly scary, wouldn’t it be great to know what that actually means?

What is the federal budget deficit?

It seems like the US deficit is constantly in the news, but it can be hard to cut through the noise and understand what exactly the deficit is and why the average American should even care. On this page, discover what the deficit is, how it happens, why it matters, how it affects the US debt, and, most importantly, how it affects the US consumer. Also, explore what you can do to learn more about the US deficit and take an active role in fiscal policy in the United States.

The federal budget deficit is an estimate of how much…

Participatory budgeting could bridge between democracy and economics and expand what Americans vote for when they go to the polls. Oftentimes, we as citizens are removed from our local and state budgetary processes and leave it in the hands of those we elect to represent us. It is up to us to expand our democracy and create a system where parts of our budget is left directly in the hands of the people. There are 3141 counties in the United States of America[1], if we were able to take 3.141 …

The U.S. federal debt has passed the $26 trillion mark and keeps growing. Experts believe that current levels of spending aren’t sustainable, and that we could be headed toward a new financial crisis. Is there a risk that the U.S. would default on its debt? What would happen in this scenario?

What Happens When a Country Defaults on Its Debt?

Countries such as Ecuador, Argentina, Venezuela and Greece have defaulted on their debt in recent history. This decision plunged Argentina into a period of instability before the debt was successfully restructured.

Countries like Russia, Spain and Germany have defaulted on their debt in the past and have successfully recovered. The effects of defaulting vary from one country to another. Inflation and high unemployment have affected countries like Greece and Argentina, and borrowing has become temporarily difficult and expensive for almost all countries mentioned.

The Total US Federal Debt and The Debt Ceiling

In 1933, the Second Liberty Bond Act established an early version of the debt ceiling. The purpose…

Individuals, corporations, and the economy have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help support Americans, small businesses, and the economy, the federal government has enacted four pieces of legislation that approves the spending of trillions of dollars. The Treasury Department has accelerated its borrowing to begin financing these legislative pieces.

Infographic courtesy of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation

How much has borrowing risen?

Treasury borrowing has risen by $2.5 trillion since the beginning of March. A large portion of that increase actually occurred since March 30, just after the largest piece of relief legislation, the CARES Act, was enacted.

How is new debt issued?

The U.S. Treasury offers marketable securities which are sold at auction in…

Up to Us

Up to Us is a movement of a generation, for a generation. In the last 5 years we have engaged 100,000+ young adults around our nation’s fiscal challenges.

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