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 Vol. 21, No. 9, November

Are Wealthy People Obliged to Buy from the Farmers Market?
MONICA POTTS: A few weeks ago, TAP contributors were debating food politics on Twitter. Silvana Naguib, who has guest-blogged for TAPPED, said, "I do think that if you are not poor and you live in an urban area, there is no reason not to buy your meat...
Austerity: The False Cure: The Formula of the Deficit Hawks Will Bring Us a Deeper Recession, Stunted Social Outlay, and a Much Tougher Road Back to Fiscal Balance
Democratic and Republican politicians, prestigious media commentators, and other prominent opinion leaders have recited the causes and grim consequences of large federal deficits with such incessant consistency that many citizens have come to accept...
Back to Deadlock
The voters often surprise us, but this fall's midterm election seems nearly certain to have at least one consequence. For the next two years, Congress will be unable to make any significant headway on the great challenges facing our country. The Republicans...
Budget Cuts and Our Children's Future: Deficit Hawks Invoke the Next Generation, but an Austerity Program Would Balance the Budget on the Backs of America's Most Vulnerable Parents and Children
Life for Griselda Almanza is not easy. She is a single mother in Oakland, California, with two young children. This year Almanza's life became much harder because budget cuts shut down the child-care program her sons attended while she worked as a...
Deficit-Attention Disorder: What Voters Really Think about Deficits, Debts, and Economic Recovery
Care to hear a politician--a Democratic congressional leader, in fact--getting it wrong on the deficit? Listen to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer addressing a Third Way event in Washington at the end of June: This month, a Gallup poll asked...
Economic Recovery and Fiscal Balance: We Can Finance Both Long-Term Fiscal Balance and Adequate Investments-Without Increasing Taxes on the Working Middle Class
The economy remains fragile and is performing well below its potential. Despite this, Congress has little appetite for further action to support jobs and growth, and the deficit has become the fig leaf of choice for those wanting to stand in the way...
In the Loophole: Even with Moderate Tax Increases, the Rich Find Ways Not to Pay
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Don't tax the rich. Jesus, don't tax the rich. They're making the economy go, they're investing, they're job-creating. So goes the refrain of Republicans, lobbyists, and other supporters of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy,...
Lucky Louie: Why Liberals Love the Maladjusted but Socially Conscious Comedian Louis C.K
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In one of the most talked-about scenes from Louie, the cable show from the comedian known as Louis C.K., a group of comics playing poker segue from a particularly raunchy conversation about male genitalia to one about gay...
On the Economics of Deficits: Most of the Federal Deficit Is Caused by the Recession Itself. to Cure the Slump, Fix the Financial System
What caused the deficits and rising public debt? The answer comes in two parts: present deficits and projected future deficits. The first point to appreciate is that current deficits and rising debt levels were caused primarily by the financial...
Put to the Test: As Genetic Screening Gets Cheaper and Easier, It's Raising Questions That Health-Cam Providers Aren't Prepared to Answer
When my children were born in the mid-1990s, new parents could already see that prenatal genetic testing was altering the terrain of pregnancy and childbirth. Growing numbers of educated women were having children at older ages, with resulting difficulties...
Social Security and the Deficit: Social Security Is Not Part of the Federal Deficit: Even with No Policy Changes, It Will Be in Balance for the Next 26 Years
Conservatives in Washington have their knives out for Social Security. Soon after being named co-chair of President Barack Obama's deficit commission, former Sen. Alan Simpson--who recently described Social Security as "a milk cow with 310 million...
The Bipartisan Attack on Medicare: To Fix Medicare, Fix the Larger Inefficiencies in America's Health-Care System
When people in the center-right in Washington come to agreement on policy, it is almost certainly a really bad idea. The War in Iraq is exhibit A. The current drive to slash Medicare, along with the companion effort against Social Security, falls into...
The Debate We Should Be Having: Austerity Is Perverse Economics and Self-Defeating Politics. Here Are Sensible Alternatives
In Tom Stoppard's brilliantly inverted Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, two minor characters usurp the play, while the main action of Hamlet occurs offstage. In today's debate about the economy, obsessive concern about deficits and debts are...
The Enforcement Paradox: With Their Failure to Enact Immigration Reform, Democrats Risk Turning Their "Emerging Majority" into a Permanent Swing Vote
In 1997, GOP messaging strategist Frank Luntz issued a warning: If Republicans failed to appeal to Hispanic voters, "they could be lost to us for a generation." And for awhile, his party seemed to listen. Toeing a moderate line on immigration became...
The Experience Gap
An IBM executive brief from 2008 asks, "Do individuals feel like your brand is relevant to their lifestyle? ... Or, as they wander from store to store, do your potential customers forget your brand as it blurs in their minds with those of competitors?"...
The Federal Reserve We Need: It's the Fed We Once Had-When a More Democratically Accountable Central Bank Was Enlisted to Patriotically Finance America's War Debt
Throughout the past year, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke has led the choir in warning about the size of the federal deficit. In July, he endorsed extending George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest households, while suggesting the need for spending...
The Investment Deficit: An Economic Recovery Will Bring Down Our Fiscal Deficit-But the More Important Deficit Is the Shortfall in Our Commitment to the Future
Over the last 50 years, our nation's I productivity tripled. The Dow Jones industrial average ballooned over the same period, growing from an average of 1,000 in 1970 to between 10,000 and 14,000 over the last decade. There are more billionaires and...
The Stalemate State: Political Gridlock Doesn't Maintain the Status Quo-It Makes Things Worse
The political gridlock that marked most of the 1980s and 1990s is back--and it's about to get worse. After the November midterm elections, not even timidly liberal initiatives will be able to overcome the omnipresent filibuster. If the Republicans...
Winning Ugly
In a controversial interview with Newsweek as the 2008 presidential nominating fight heated up, historian Scan Wilentz dismissed Barack Obama with a memorable phrase: "beautiful loserdom." Like failed Democrats of the past, including high-minded reformers...