Editor's note

Now that Republicans are confident they’ll pass their tax plan, some lawmakers have begun talking about the need to tackle the deficit that’s sure to grow as a result, painting a bull’s eye on entitlement and other spending programs. To justify the coming cuts, some are trotting out harmful and false narratives about low-income Americans, writes Michele Gilman. The clinical law professor describes the three most pernicious myths about the poor she expects we’ll be hearing a lot more of in coming months.

What happens to your recycling after it’s picked up curbside? Much of it probably is shipped to China, which processes a huge share of U.S. and European scrap. Now, however, China is dramatically slashing imports of what it calls “foreign garbage.” University of California, Berkeley environmental politics professor Kate O’Neill calls Beijing’s move a wake-up call for western nations to clean up their own acts.

And as wildfires continue in California, University of California fire researcher Max Moritz explains how fire-prone areas can learn how to co-exist with wildfires, starting with better land-use planning and building codes.

Bryan Keogh

Economics + Business Editor

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Sen. Chuck Grassley recently seemed to suggest some poor people spend all their money on “booze or women or movies.” AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

3 myths about the poor that Republicans are using to support slashing US safety net

Michele Gilman, University of Baltimore

As the GOP prepares to slash spending to pay for tax cuts, lawmakers have been bringing up claims about the poor that don't stand up to scrutiny.

Imported laptop housings, Guiyu, China. Basel Action Network

Will China's crackdown on 'foreign garbage' force wealthy countries to recycle more of their own waste?

Kate O'Neill, University of California, Berkeley

China, which recycles much of the world's waste material, is slashing its scrap imports. This move could force the United States and Europe to boost recycling instead of shipping trash overseas.

This fire season has been particularly damaging to urban areas. AP Photo/Reed Saxon

California needs to rethink urban fire risk, starting with where it builds houses

Max Moritz, University of California, Santa Barbara

With wildfires continuing to rage across southern California, a fire researcher says lowering fire risk means reconsidering where and how we build our communities.

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Today’s quote

The mere fact that some individuals happen to be famous, powerful or wealthy in no way absolves them of the responsibility to respect the humanity of others.

  Richard Gunderman