The NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament is already underway this week — an event that raises nearly $1 billion in revenues for a league whose athletes are entirely unpaid. This week in OtherWords, Brian Wakamo argues that “student-athletes” get shorted as both students and athletes. The answer? Start a union!

Jessicah Pierre weighs in on this week’s other higher ed scandal, in which wealthy parents were busted paying millions in bribes for their kids to attend prestigious schools. The bigger problem, she says, is that slightly less overt forms of bribery are perfectly legal. Yet working families are encouraged to blame “affirmative action” while wealthy families rig the system for themselves.

Also this week, in the aftermath of a horrifying white nationalist massacre in New Zealand, Tracey Rogers reports on the growing conclusion of terrorism experts that white supremacy is a genuinely global terrorist threat. Unfortunately, as Khalil Bendib notes darkly, it’s a movement that’s more enamored of the present White House than afraid of it.

Rounding us out, Minnesota business owner Sarah Piepenburg explains the huge difference paid leave would make for local businesses like hers. Beth Porter says paper receipts could soon be as taboo as plastic straws. Bob Lord thinks that “grow the pie” analogy we always hear about wealth distribution is underbaked. And Jill Richardson thinks we need to do a better job understanding the benefits of public policy alongside the costs.

New This Week…

It’s March Madness. Unionize the NCAA! | Brian Wakamo
“Student-athletes” make billions for others while putting their own futures at risk.

White Supremacy Is a Global Threat | Tracey L. Rogers
It’s inspired terrorist attacks — and entire governing structures — on multiple continents. Can we name it?

The Real College Admissions Scandal | Jessicah Pierre
Wealthy families have rigged college admissions for generations, but they want you to blame affirmative action.

Small Businesses Like Mine Need Paid Leave | Sarah Piepenburg
Illnesses and injury shouldn’t bankrupt workers or their employers. Let’s pool resources to protect all of us.

Paper Receipts Could Be the Next Plastic Straws | Beth Porter
Paper receipts generate enormous amounts of waste each year — and hardly anyone needs them.

There’s Plenty of Wealth to Go Around — It Just Doesn’t | Bob Lord
We’ve “grown the pie” massively since the 1980s, but it hasn’t resulted in ordinary Americans getting a bigger slice.

Getting It Right on What Stuff Costs | Jill Richardson
Too often we get sticker shock at the cost of public policies, even when they’d actually save us money.

Church of Trump | Khalil Bendib
Recent mass murderers have an undeniable common hero.

In Case You Missed It…

Disasters Don’t Discriminate, But Disaster Recovery Does | Warren Alan Tidwell
Big relief groups often leave poor and rural areas on their own. That gives us an opportunity to come together.

Stop Making Women Apologize | Tracey L. Rogers
Women are socialized from a young age to say “sorry” for simply occupying space. This Women’s History Month, I say no more.

To Clean Up the Planet, Clean Up Washington | Michael Brune and John Sarbanes
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect our democracy — and our planet.

Bring Back Eisenhower Socialism | Chuck Collins
Conservatives want you to believe that not having to choose between paying for rent or medicine is Soviet-style tyranny.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Peter Certo

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

OtherWords commentaries are free to re-publish in print and online — all it takes is a simple attribution to To get a roundup of our work each Wednesday, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.

(Note: Images credited to Getty or Shutterstock are not covered by our Creative Commons license. Please license these separately if you wish to use them.)