Letter: Put the planet and people first

As Jim Hightower says, “politics isn’t about left versus right; it’s about bottom versus top.”

At this moment in Iowa (not to mention across the U.S. and world), the top is consolidating power and imposing brutal cuts to essential services. Among these are victim services provided by groups like the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline and reproductive health care services provided by Planned Parenthood. Wages are being forcefully lowered and union rights decimated. Tuition at Iowa’s public universities is being pushed up yet again. And, if we stay the course, Iowa is on track to drop from second worst to the worst in the U.S. for mental health care.

While none of this benefits us at the bottom, those at the top are happy to profit from our pain. Don’t just take it from me, as Warren Buffett has put it: “sure there is class war, and it is my class, the rich, who are making it and we are winning.”

In this time of crisis it’s the people around me who give me hope. More and more people are standing up and fighting back, demanding we put people and planet first.

Groups like Iowa Student Action and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement are on the front lines — educating, agitating, and organizing our way toward universal health care, racial and gender justice, a $15 minimum wage and free higher education for all. Want in? Join us — we have a world to win.

Eli Shepherd

Iowa City

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