This week in OtherWords, Shailly Gupta Barnes explains the remarkable drop in U.S. poverty last year.

It’s no miracle, she writes — it’s the result of the federal government finally implementing common sense anti-poverty programs at scale. But with many of those programs winding down or already expired, she warns, poor people and their allies will have to pull together in the midterm elections to sustain this remarkable progress.

Also this week, Paul Armentano calls on leading Democrats to live up to their promises to reform U.S. marijuana laws, which he argues is good politics and even better policy. And Jim Hightower surveys the range of GOP targets this year, from Social Security to the Muppets.

Apologies for not getting a newsletter out last week — I’m recovering from COVID-19 and still moving pretty slowly, but I’m really pleased about what we have on offer this week.

New This Week…

Census Data Proves Anti-Poverty Measures Work | Shailly Gupta Barnes
But to truly end poverty, we must do more — and if poor people and their allies come together, we can.

Democrats Need to Keep Their Promises on Marijuana Reform | Paul Armentano
The politics of ending cannabis prohibition are good. The policy is even better.

The GOP’s 2022 Platform Is a Grab Bag of Nuttiness | Jim Hightower
When not attacking the Muppets, the party’s leading figures have spent the year laying out plans to tax the poor and eliminate Social Security.

A Hell of a Place | Khalil Bendib
Maybe getting kicked out of DeSantis’s Florida is a compliment.

In Case You Missed It…

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.

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.

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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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