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. 26, May-June

After Solidarity
The American Republic has long had a set of public and nonprofit institutions that enrich our democracy by demonstrating that society is more than a mere market. The most expansive and explicit of these began in the New Deal, such as Social Security...
Connecting with E.M. Forster
As my jetliner rears back, I look up from E.M. Forster's Howards End to gaze at the concrete sprawl of airport momentarily filling my window. The rows of parked airplanes and automobiles make a fitting backdrop: In the period when Forster wrote Howards...
Cooked to Order
This is the story of how the fast food industry and its conservative allies sought to discredit two distinguished economists, and how the attack backfired. The economists in question committed the sin of conducting research that challenged the conventional...
"F" Is for Fizzle: The Faltering School Privatization Movement
Only a few years ago, privatization was the shiniest comet in the firmament of public school reform. Chris Whittle, Pied Piper of Channel One, the highly profitable in-school commercial television program, was vowing to open 200 new for-profit schools...
Rewarding Work: Feasible Antipoverty Policy
Virtually all economists who have studied the changing income distribution have confirmed what nearly everyone else knows. For most Americans, living standards are stagnating and becoming more unstable. For the bottom half, income is falling. And...
Saving Their Assets: How to Stop Plunder at Blue Cross and Other Nonprofits
First it was hospitals and nursing homes, ambulatory care centers and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Now it is Blue Cross plans and major teaching institutions. In an accelerating rush to the marketplace, many of America's largest health...
Social Security on the Table
Suddenly, Social Security is no longer sacrosanct. Critics say the program is going bankrupt, about to be overwhelmed by the graying of the baby-boom generation. Many young workers have little confidence that Social Security will be there when they...
Straight from the Sixties: What Conservatives Owe the Decade They Hate
The politics of the Gingrich revolution of the nineties are locked in a strange obsession with the politics they purport to repeal the politics of the late sixties. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Republican of Texas, forthrightly set out the conventional...
The Biggest Deal: Lobbying to Take Social Security Private
Not long ago, the Wall Street Journal called privatizing Social Security "the biggest bonanza in the history of the mutual fund industry." No wonder: By diverting 2 percent of payroll from Social Security into private accounts, the government could...
The Corrosive Politics of Virtue
The most influential men in America met in Boston. The nation, they agreed, faced a terrible moral crisis: rampant substance abuse, sex (even the old taboo against naked breasts seemed to be gone), illegitimacy. Public schools were languishing, the...
The Downside of Social Capital
In their search for new ideas, intellectuals and policymakers across the political spectrum have recently become enchanted with the concept of social capital. Liberals and conservatives alike now celebrate social capital as the key to success in a...
The Fleece Police
It's Wednesday night on the NBC Nightly News--time for yet another installment of "The Fleecing of America," the weekly series on government waste. Tonight's episode stars a job training program in Puerto Rico, designed to move seasonal farm workers...
Toward a More Perfect Union: New Labor's Hard Road
No single strategy can reverse a 20-year decline in average wages and its threat to our postwar pattern of broadly distributed prosperity. But it's hard to imagine a successful set of policies that doesn't include a revival of labor unions. With the...
Welfare Reform as I Knew It: When Bad Things Happen to Good Policies
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a friend of some years, was the first to sound the warning. When I met with him shortly after arriving in Washington in February of 1993, he said, "So you've come to do welfare reform. . . . I'll look forward to reading...
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Bowling Alone" was published in January 1995. Seldom has a thesis moved so quickly from scholarly obscurity to conventional wisdom. By January 1996 the Washington Post was featuring a six-part series of front-page articles on the decline of trust,...