This September, America lost a true giant of journalism and public conscience. This week in OtherWords, Sonali Kolhatkar remembers Barbara Ehrenreich — the Nickel and Dimed author whose work exposed not only how hard it had gotten to make it in America, but how a deceptively toxic “positive thinking” industry put a smiley face on people’s struggles.

Also this week, Anthony Cook shares a compelling first-person account from Texas on the human cost when states refuse to expand Medicaid. Sam Pizzigati explains how higher inequality drives higher temperatures. And Jim Hightower drops his jaw at the lengths modern employers go to spy on their employees.

New This Week…

Remembering Barbara Ehrenreich, Who Exposed the ‘Cult of Positive Thinking’ | Sonali Kolhatkar
The late Nickel and Dimed author also laid bare the “positive thinking” industry that put a smiley face on inequality.

Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap | Anthony Cook
Over 2 million Americans like me are stuck without health care because 12 GOP-ruled states keep refusing to expand Medicaid.

Can’t Beat the Heat? Blame Inequality | Sam Pizzigati
Why poor neighborhoods are often hotter than rich neighborhoods — and what to do about it.

Workers Used to Watch the Clock. Now the Clock Watches You. | Jim Hightower
“Digital productivity monitoring” surveillance software is demoralizing workers and creating toxic workplaces.

Devolution | Khalil Bendib
America’s anti-science fringe driving us backward in more ways than one.

In Case You Missed It…

Pot Prohibitionists Fear Democracy More Than Marijuana | Paul Armentano
Legalization opponents have lost the hearts and minds of the public, so they’re trying to take the public out of the equation.

The Human Cost of LGBTQ Book Bans | Robin Savannah Carver
Banning kids from learning about themselves and each other isn’t just ineffective — it’s cruel.

Opportunity Shouldn’t Be About Luck | Rebecca Karpen
Cities and states are experimenting with “baby bonds” to narrow America’s yawning opportunity divide.

Pass the MAT Act to Defeat Overdoses | Sherri Ham
In football families like mine, the game means pain — and all too often, addiction to painkillers. Lawmakers can help.

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Peter Certo

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

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