Last week, millions of families who’d been receiving enhanced federal unemployment insurance during the pandemic were cut off. About 1 in 10 Americans live in households that were affected by the move.

As Rebekah Entralgo reports this week, 25 states tried to force people back to work by ending the benefits early. It didn’t work — but it did undermine a pandemic safety net that’s otherwise kept over 50 million Americans out of poverty. Passing the federal infrastructure bill, she argues, would be much more effective at helping Americans get back to work.

Many anti-poverty advocates are also hoping that the infrastructure bill will extend the expanded Child Tax Credit. This week, La’Shon Marshall offers a moving personal story about how this simple tax credit could help her child grow up without the trauma, loss, or insecurity she endured herself.

And speaking of jobs, here’s one thing that isn’t good for them: private equity firms that buy profitable businesses and strip them for parts. In another personal story this week, Shirley Smith recounts how investors took over her employer, the top performing furniture retailer in Michigan, and cut it down to the bone in just three years. Over half a million retail jobs have been eliminated this way, she says, but there’s a way to stop it.

Also this week, Jill Richardson and Khalil Bendib take on vaccine misinformation.

New This Week…

Unemployment Insurance Isn’t Holding Back the Economy, Inequality Is. | Rebekah Entralgo
Ending enhanced unemployment benefits didn’t get people back to work. It just made them poorer.

What the Expanded Child Tax Credit Means to Me | La’Shon Marshall
I grew up poor and traumatized, not knowing how to get help. Now my own child’s life will be better.

Private Equity Destroyed My Job | Shirley Smith
It took greedy investors just three years to strip my employer for parts. Here’s how to stop them from coming for yours.

Spreading Vaccine Misinformation Is Dangerous and Wrong | Jill Richardson
People can disagree about vaccine mandates, but the evidence on vaccines is clear: They’re safe and effective.

A Religious Exemption | Khalil Bendib
Vaccines and the cult of MAGA.

In Case You Missed It…

9/11 at 20: Two Decades of Missed Opportunities | Lindsay Koshgarian
For just a fraction of what we’ve spent on militarization these last 20 years, we could start to make life much better.

A Chill Wind: Texas Unleashes Bounty Hunters on Women | Martha Burk
For now, the Supreme Court has allowed Texas to sic bounty hunters on women seeking constitutionally protected abortions.

The Victims of Our Post-9/11 Wars Deserve Remembrance, Too | Mitchell Zimmerman
Countless innocents died in the 20 years of war our country launched in the name of our 9/11 dead.

Tax the ‘Trillion-Dollar Seven’ | Bob Lord
Democrats want to spend $3.5 trillion on jobs and infrastructure. A third of that could be covered by just seven billionaires.

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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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