In much of the country, “Hollywood” is shorthand for a culture that feels impossibly removed from the lives of the movie-going public.

But this week in OtherWords, Farrah Hassen argues that the creators who pen the stories we love are facing the same pressures as working people all over the country. Once secure positions have become fly by night “gigs” while corporations cut corners with technology to slash payrolls. Don’t miss her column on the writers strike this week. Whether you work for a living or just watch TV, she says you’ve got a stake in it.

Also this week, Sonali Kolhatkar shares some good news about the looming availability of an over-the-counter birth control pill. Sam Pizzigati offers a history lesson on the last time this country ended child labor, a lesson we will soon need again. And Jim Hightower says if you think your food is overpriced, you’re right.

New This Week…

Lights, Camera, Action: Why the Hollywood Writers Strike Matters | Farrah Hassen
If you work for a living in this increasingly unfair economy — or just watch TV — you have a stake in the Hollywood writers strike.

Over-the-Counter Birth Control Would Be a Game Changer | Sonali Kolhatkar
Amid a widespread assault on reproductive health care, more accessible birth control would be a landmark moment.

To Protect Our Children, Tax the Rich | Sam Pizzigati
A campaign to curb greed was key to the first fight against child labor. With GOP states putting young kids to work, we need that battle again.

Corporate Food Chains Are Ripping You Off | Jim Hightower
Chain restaurants are overcharging customers, underpaying workers, and bragging about it to investors. If you think you’re being gouged, you’re right!

Cartoon: Fiscal Terrorism | Khalil Bendib
The GOP’s debt ceiling threats are nothing less.

In Case You Missed It…

We Need to Broaden Our Conversation About Guns | Nyla Samee and Khury Petersen-Smith
Looking at gun manufacturing rather than just gun ownership can help break down our status quo red-blue divide.

Gig Work Is Getting Dangerous | Veronica Avila and Mariah Montgomery
Underpaid app workers are facing more pressure to accept risky clients. That’s putting them in danger.

Retire This Dehumanizing Language About Immigrants | Daniella Prieshoff
Human beings fleeing persecution are not a “flood” or “surge.” And it’s not “illegal” when they cross the border to seek asylum.

The Drug War’s Dark Origins | Paul Armentano
When you hear why politicians wanted to ban marijuana in the first place, you’ll understand why our century of prohibition can’t end soon enough.

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Khalil Bendib

Peter Certo is the communications director of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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