This week marks Martin Luther King, Jr’s 90th birthday. In OtherWords, Jessicah Pierre reminds us that King advocated racial equality not only in civil rights, but also in economic matters. Yet today the racial wealth divide is growing, not shrinking — and that’s dragging down the economy for everyone.

Meanwhile, as the government shutdown carries on, Chuck Collins points to federal workers lining up at food banks as evidence that the economy is nowhere near as strong as unemployment figures suggest. A growing number of workers, federal and private, are joining what he calls “Underwater America.”

Also this week, Jill Richardson calls on Hollywood to do better on body image. Jim Hightower says AI wants to reprogram you. And Khalil Bendib draws a president precariously perched on a certain wall.

New This Week…

A Dream Deferred: King’s Dream of Economic Justice Is Far from Reality | Jessicah Pierre
90 years after King was born, the racial wealth divide is actually growing — which drags down the entire economy.

The Government Shutdown Expands the Ranks of ‘Underwater America’ | Chuck Collins
Unemployment is low, but federal employees are lining up at food banks. They aren’t alone.

Hollywood’s Fat Shaming Is Getting Old | Jill Richardson
In real life, people of all shapes, sizes, and colors are the romantic leads in their own lives.

AI Wants to Reprogram You | Jim Hightower
Driverless cars cost jobs and threaten pedestrians. Investors’ advice? Just get out of the way!

Humpty Trumpty Sat on a Wall | Khalil Bendib
Polls suggest the president is headed for a fall over his “build the wall” shutdown.

In Case You Missed It…

Government by Extortion | Mitchell Zimmerman
The White House’s “rule or ruin” strategy — wall or shutdown! — is anti-democratic.

Democrats Failed Their First Big Test on Climate | Basav Sen
Kicking the can down the road appears to be a bipartisan sport in Washington.

This EPA Rule Change Could Kill Thousands | Olivia Alperstein
Mercury regulations save 11,000 lives each year. Now, the EPA wants to get rid of them.

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Peter Certo

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

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