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In OtherWords: December 21, 2016

Chuck Collins explains the hidden cost of giving season.

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It’s giving season, which means we’re probably going to see some headlines soon about major year-end gifts from prominent billionaires and millionaires.

Those gifts often make for heartwarming stories, my colleague Chuck Collins writes this week in OtherWords. But they come at a price: enormous tax write-offs that ordinary taxpayers wind up covering.

As charities become increasingly reliant on wealthy mega-donors, he explains, the implications for our democracy are troubling — even when the donors mean well.

Also this week, Olivia Alperstein reports on an often overlooked issue of basic human dignity — access to feminine hygiene products — and how it’s often denied to women on the margins. Jim Hightower examines Rick Perry’s (meager) qualifications to be our next energy secretary. And Khalil Bendib skewers Donald Trump’s response to allegations that Russia intervened on his behalf.

Finally, Ebony Slaughter-Johnson lays out a plan for progressives to appeal to white working class voters without playing down race. And Jill Richardson reviews our year of “post-truth.”

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Khalil Bendib / OtherWords.org

  1. All Women Deserve Access to Tampons, Period / Olivia Alperstein
    In the supposedly enlightened United States, millions of women lack proper access to menstrual supplies.
  2. Calling Working People of All Colors / Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
    The economic concerns of the white working class and people of color are more alike than different.
  3. The Dangers of Big Philanthropy / Chuck Collins
    When billionaires write charitable gifts off their taxes, the rest of us pick up the tab.
  4. Crony Capitalism Made Rick Perry Our Energy Secretary / Jim Hightower
    The former Texas governor’s only experience for the job comes from stiffing the American people — and their environment.
  5. The Year of ‘Post-Truth’ / Jill Richardson
    Thanks to fake news and hyper partisanship, many of us can no longer distinguish facts from opinions — or lies.
  6. Russian Influence? Nyet! / Khalil Bendib

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of OtherWords.org.