The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from No. 30, January-February

Are Black Diplomas Worth Less?
The passage of Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), has signaled to many the beginning of the end for affirmative action [see Peter Schrag's "When Preferences Disappear," page 38]. Evidence from California shows, however,...
Breaching the Great Wall
Few nations loom larger on the global economic radar screen than China. In 1993 the World Bank estimated that China had the world's third largest economy but was the fastest growing of them all. The Central Intelligence Agency, which already considers...
Clean Elections, How To
The 1996 elections for Congress and the presidency cost close to $2 billion, and produced a turnout of just 48 percent. Some say the late-breaking Democratic money scandals cost the Democrats the House. There is little question that the price we all...
Dead Center
"We're going to govern from the center," White House political director Doug Sosnik said in the immediate aftermath of the election, and no doubt they will. The question is, which center? There's the balanced budget center, which has demonstrable...
Goo-Goos versus Populists
Since the election, almost every group in town has been meeting to develop a position on campaign finance reform. The Brookings Institution's Tom Mann has organized a working group that holds luncheons and has its own web page (www.brookings.edu/gs/campaign/home.htm)....
Is There a Social Security Crisis ?
Does Social Security face financial crisis? In "The Great Social Security Scare" Jerry L. Mashaw and Theodore R. Marmor argue that, contrary to the conventional wisdom propagated by major media sources such as Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly, Social...
Quayle Hunting
When chosen by George Bush to run as the Republican vice presidential candidate in 1988, J. Danforth Quayle--as he was known at the time--was considered almost universally to be a buffoon. Journalists, pouncing on his privileged background, draft...
The Clinton Presidency, Take Three
Bill Clinton's first term effectively lasted two years, until the disastrous midterm elections of 1994. Then came the two year Clinton-Gingrich government of national disharmony, ending in the President's miraculous revival. Now we have the third...
The Misdiagnosis of Eurosclerosis
For two decades, virtually every western European nation has faced high and persistent unemployment. Many Europeans now look to the United States as a model of labor market flexibility. It is argued that Europe's "rigid" policies, encumbering payrolls...
The New China Lobby
Just before the November election, concern about foreign influence over U.S. trade policy suddenly emerged amid revelations that the Clinton campaign had accepted (and then returned) illegal donations from wealthy East Asian nationals. But as the...
Tough Guys
Given the fame of its authors, its provocative title, and its contentious rhetoric, Body Count seems destined to be a best-seller, popular with the Republican right. The former drug czar and secretary of education William J. Bennett here joins with...
Welfare as Vermont Knows It
Devolution proponents frequently cite Vermont as an example of what a state can do to improve its welfare system when it is given the leeway to experiment. Since receiving a federal waiver in 1994, Vermont has been running its innovative Welfare Restructuring...
Welfare as We Might Know It
In August 1996, President Clinton signed welfare reform legislation that signaled the end of an era in the country's response to needy families. No longer will cash assistance to dependent children be guaranteed by the federal government. Instead...
When Preferences Disappear
By now, there can no longer be much doubt that the days of formal race preference programs, at least in the public sector, are numbered. On November 5, California voters did what everyone had long expected, approving Proposition 209, the California...
Who Governs Globalism?
For roughly 50 years, the U.S. government has served as the tolerant and broad-shouldered leader that articulates the global trading system's putative rules and values and scolds (or sometimes punishes) those nations that fail to observe them. American...
Why Boomers Don't Spell Bust
With the election behind us, brace yourself for the real debate about the future of Social Security and Medicare. The alarmists in this fight have a simple central argument: Many baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) will live to a ripe...