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 May

Can Medicare Survive Its Saviors?
It is now an open question whether Medicare will provide adequate health coverage to the baby-boom generation as it begins turning 65 just over a decade from now. The source of uncertainty is not whether America has the resources to sustain the program;...
Correspondence
ON THE RAMPARTS TO THE EDITORS: After reading Joshua Micah Marshall's article "Exhuming McCarthy," [March-April 1999] in which he accuses me (among others) of being "a New McCarthyite," my response is this: "Have you no decency sir, have you...
Devil in the Details
THE PROMISE KEEPERS Nestled in the Republicans' 1994 "Contract With America" was the Citizen Legislature Act, which proposed a constitutional amendment to create congressional term limits. Such limits have, of course, long been a favorite cause...
End of the Second Chance?
THE CRUSADE AGAINST REMEDIAL EDUCATION Last spring's decision of the trustees of the City University of New York to phase out remedial education at CUNY's ten four-year colleges--and thus deny admission to most of the students who need it--has become...
If Wishing Only Made It So
Early in Patch Adams the film's bete noire, a grim and impersonal doctor, delivers this wisdom to a lecture hall of first-year medical students: "It is human nature to lie. People are not worthy of trust." Therefore, he says, he and his colleagues...
Surplus Worship
There are two great fiscal legacies of American liberalism since Franklin Roosevelt. One is the invention and broad public acceptance of social insurance--notably Social Security, unemployment compensation, and Medicare. The other is the use of public...
The Big Chill
FOUNDATIONS AND POLITICAL PASSION Starting a new organization? You will very likely apply for a tax exemption from the IRS in order to attract foundation grants and gifts from individual donors. This decision, of course, has fateful consequences,...
The Judicial Vigilantes
It was an altogether scholarly collection of professors, lawyers, policy analysts, journalists, and concerned citizens--among them such prominent conservative legal scholars as Robert Nagel, Steven Calabresi, Christopher Wolfe and Hadley Arkes--that...
The New Map of American Politics
In 1964 an Orange County man by the name of Ron Rankin helped mastermind the conservative takeover of the California Republican Party. But, after Barry Goldwater's electoral debacle that fall, Rankin says he looked homeward and realized that his devotion...
The Pollution Dividend
It was almost like winning a planetary lottery. When oil began flowing from state-owned lands in the 1970s, Alaskans found themselves in a tantalizing quandary: What to do with a windfall worth billions of dollars? After years of wrangling, they chose...
The Smallpox Wars
BIOWARFARE VS. PUBLIC HEALTH The poet Robert Frost once said the world would end in ice or fire. One or the other will also be the fate of the smallpox virus--and we don't yet know which. Smallpox, driven out of nature but not yet out of history,...
The Trouble with Teletubbies
THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF PBS "If PBS doesn't do it, who will?" --PBS motto Public television's pithy tag line is meant to have positive connotations--innovating, filling a void, performing a vital public service. But the slogan took on ironic...
Two Cheers for Clinton's Social Security Plan
President Clinton's plan to extend Social Security's solency through 2055 preserves the existing benefit structure and rejects individual accounts. The plan relies primarily on placing most of the projected 15-year budget surplus into the Social Security...
Where Have You Gone, Nelson Rockefeller?
Last December fifteenth, Republican Congressman Jack Quinn stepped before the cameras in his district office in Buffalo, New York to announce that he would be voting to impeach the President of the United States. Quinn was the quintessential GOP moderate--just...