In Peru, Indiana, workers are staging a last-ditch effort to prevent their employer — Schneider Electric — from closing their profitable plant, shipping their jobs away, and abandoning the community.

This week in OtherWords, plant worker Tracey Aikman says this won’t be the first time he’s been laid off by a company like Schneider. He points out that instead of protecting workers, the Trump administration has given tax breaks and federal contracts to profitable companies that kill jobs. Across the Midwest, Aikman says, workers are calling on that to change.

In another story about heartland activism this week, Savannah Kinsey reports on the fight for universal health care — and hope — in western Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, Jessicah Pierre, herself a former low-income student, reflects on Felicity Huffman’s sentence in the “Varsity Blues” scandal. While low-income parents risk serious jail time to give their kids a chance to survive, she says, wealthy parents at worst get a slap on the wrist for abusing their power and privilege.

Finally, Paul Armentano explains why we need to legalize cannabis nationally if we want to make vaping safer. Jill Richardson looks at how a youth-led climate strike is punching through otherwise dreary headlines. And Jim Hightower reminds us that big business won’t save us from itself.

New This Week…

President Trump: I’m One of the Workers You Lied To | Tracey Aikman
Trump keeps giving tax breaks and federal contracts to companies that send Midwestern jobs — like mine — out of the country.

What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America | Jessicah Pierre
Low-income parents risk jail time for putting their kids in better public schools, while the rich bribe colleges to shut the less affluent out.

Fighting for Health Care in America’s Forgotten Towns | Savannah Kinsey
Life expectancy in my Western Pa. town is on its way down. But there’s hope — if we fight harmful myths about poverty.

To Make Vaping Safer, Legalize Cannabis | Paul Armentano
Absent legalization, the feds can’t regulate the vaping contaminants that seem to be making people sick.

Punching Through the Bad Headlines | Jill Richardson
Trump’s environmental policies are a daily slog of bad news, but committed activists are slowly changing the story.

Big Business Won’t Save America From Itself | Jim Hightower
Nearly 200 CEOs have signed a pledge to “do better” than serving their own greed. How? They won’t say.

Bibi, Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough? | Khalil Bendib
The embattled Israeli prime minister made a last-minute bid to save his reelection by promising to annex more Palestinian territory.

In Case You Missed It…

‘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.

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.

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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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