Catherine Ruetschlin

Catherine Ruetschlin works as a policy analyst at Demos. She provides the team with analysis of labor market, population, and other US survey data, as well as additional research support.  Catherine came to Demos in September 2011 from the New School for Social Research, where she worked as a research assistant in the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis and as an academic advisor to graduate students in the social sciences.   She is currently completing a PhD in Economics at The New School, focusing on issues related to privatization in the criminal justice system. 

Recent Articles

Yes, McDonald's Can Do Better

When I was 18, I spent a year and change flipping burgers in one of those restaurants where customers eat from a tray balanced across their car windows. It was one of the three jobs I held at the time, affording a simple budget and enough left over to save up to go to college after a couple of years. I put in hard hours for my employer and it eventually worked out just fine for me. It also makes for a nice story, but one that is embarrassingly dated. The fast food industry in which I worked is not the fast food industry of America today—just ask the thousands of workers on the streets, standing up for same opportunity to get by and get ahead that built the American Dream.

Ten Reasons Fast Food Workers Deserve A Raise


There is a growing, industry-wide movement to push the fast food economy to work for all involved. Today, workers have called for a national strike that is expected to cross company lines and reach dozens of cities.

The fast food labor force has never been protected by collective bargaining power or labor scarcity, making their demands for higher wages and the right to organize a unique historical event. It is also a bold stance from workers made vulnerable by a frail economy, asking for benefits that reach well beyond their own household budgets to the economy as a whole.

Young People and Debt: The New Normal

Flickr/401(k) 2013

With a weak job market and uncertain prospects, young people have to make careful choices about how to invest in their futures. 

They’ve put off marriage and having kids. They’re moving back home with mom and dad. But the one expense with which they are not compromising is the high and rising cost of college. 

Walmart’s Missed Cue at Retail’s Big Show


Inside of New York’s Javits Convention Center this morning, Walmart US President and CEO Bill Simon took the stage before a crowd of industry leaders to talk about how retail can play a central role in revitalizing the American economy. 

Fast Food Shouldn't Mean Low Wages


From Burger King to Walmart, the low-wage workers we depend on to staff America’s consumption-driven economy are tired of being overworked and underpaid, and they are letting their bosses know.