To stop climate change, should Americans have to part with their plastic straws, cheeseburgers, or incandescent light bulbs?

When Elizabeth Warren was asked about that recently, she said the question missed the point entirely: The vast majority of fossil fuel pollution comes from a few industrial bad actors, so of course they want to trick us into debates about something else. This week in OtherWords, Jill Richardson explains that polluters want you to think the climate crisis is your fault, not theirs.

The same could be said of the fires in the Amazon, which were deliberately set by people who sell things to a grocery store near you. Negin Owliaei and Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson report on the campaigns to get people to boycott these products — and to take the profit out of deforestation in the first place.

Also this week, Yasin Khan details the human costs of the “gig economy.” Tim Butterworth recounts how “socialistic” programs once made America great. And Jim Hightower shows how the politics of greed have infected our Agriculture Department.

New This Week…

It’s Not About Your Straws or Your Light Bulbs | Jill Richardson
Polluting industries want you to think the climate crisis is your fault, not theirs.

Who’s Burning the Amazon? | Negin Owliaei and Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson
The fires are no accident. They’re set by people turning a profit in a grocery store near you.

Rideshare Drivers Are Employees, Not Contractors | Yasin Khan
There’s a terrible human cost when companies like Uber misclassify their workers. A new law could change that.

‘Socialism’ Made America Great | Tim Butterworth
The GOP hopes the S-word will scare you, but great public works projects transformed this country for the better.

What Government for the Rich Looks Like | Jim Hightower
Plutocracy means spending millions to harass hungry poor families who have a dime more than Trump thinks they should have.

El Pentagono | Khalil Bendib
Some bad hombres are being billed for the border wall, after all.

In Case You Missed It…

Tax the Rich Before the Rest | Chuck Collins
Candidates should pledge that the middle class won’t pay $1 more in new taxes until billionaires put up at least $1 trillion.

Get Ready for Unnatural Disasters This Hurricane Season | Jill Richardson
The Trump administration is moving money away from disaster relief to lock up more immigrants.

Democracy Needs Unions | Christine Owens
When workers don’t have a voice in their workplace, they eventually lose their voice at the ballot box, too.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Peter Certo

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