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. 16, No. 5, May

A Wal-Mart Defense
YOU'D THINK THAT WAL-MART, as the nation's largest employer, could afford to buy itself one week of decent publicity. But what a run of misfortune! Even after Wal-Mart placed an ad in The New York Review of Books vouching for its own character, the...
Best in Show: Tony Blair, Aka Bush's Poodle, Is Not a Beloved Figure as British Elections Approach. but That Still Puts Him above the Competition
ON MAY 2, 2005, TONY BLAIR'S GOVERNMENT will begin its ninth year of running the United Kingdom. That tenure makes Blair the nation's longest-sitting Labour leader in the history of his party, and one of the longest of any party in the modern history...
Bigger and Better: When It Comes to Providing Broad-Based Social-Insurance Programs, It's the Government That's Rational and the Market That's Dumb
REMEMBER THOSE BUMPER STICKERS during the early-1990s fight over the Clinton health plan? "National Health Care? The Compassion of the IRs! The Efficiency of the Post Office! All at Pentagon Prices!" In American policy debates, it's a fixed article...
Big-Think Central: At the Council on Foreign Relations, the Stately Moderation of the Past Is Giving Way to a Growing Debate about Bush and Democracy
IN ADOPTING NEOCONSERVATISM AS ITS GRAND STRATEGY, the Bush administration took a breathtaking gamble. It broke from the conventional foreign-policy wisdom of both parties, cleaving to an aggressive but idealistic new vision of America's role in the...
Blocked Out: A Lifeline to Cities, the Community Development Block' Grant Program Faces Elimination. It Will Probably Be Saved-But It Also Needs Fixing
HERE'S ONE WAY TO SOUND THE alarm about the impending death of a federal program that tens of millions benefit from and almost no one has heard of: Accuse President Bush of copycatting al-Qaeda. At a February meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors,...
Can We Housebreak Capitalism? the Public Actually Values Safe Products, a Clean Environment, and Honest Markets
THIS YEAR MARKS THE CENTENNIAL OF UPTON Sinclair's The Jungle, and it's sobering to imagine how that expose of working conditions in Chicago's meatpacking plants might fare before the Bush administration's Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the...
Center Court: There Really Are Vast Differences among, the Supreme Court's Five Conservatives. and That's Exactly What Bush Hopes He Can Eliminate
TWO WEEKS PAST CONGRESS' SPRING break, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist still could not "with certainty" fulfill his oft-repeated vow to squelch Democratic filibusters of President Bush's judicial nominations. Skeptics in his own caucus deny him the...
Deepening the Religious Divide
IN THE RELIGIOUS WAR NOW BEING WAGED BY THE Republican Party, battles are designed not to be won but to mobilize troops for larger battles to come. The ultimate goal is not to dismantle the wall between church and state, although this would be a byproduct....
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
THE RELEASE ON March 31 of a report by the presidentially appointed Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction brought forth the non-news that America's intelligence community was mistaken...
Dossier: The United Nations Works
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) shipped 5,612,257 student kits, 201,416 cartons of chalk, and 5,106,885 school bags for primary and intermediate-level schoolchildren in Iraq from the start of the Iraq War in 2003 through November 2004 ......
Half Credit: Bush's Social Security Plan-That Is, Non-Plan-Just Gets More and More Unpopular. but the Democrats Shouldn't Revel in Their Brilliance
DURING GEORGE W. BUSH's FIRST term and especially after his reelection, Washington settled on a conventional wisdom about his presidency: Bush may be prone to dangerous policy blunders, but his political instinct is unerring. The unpleasant predicament...
Hammered
JUST WHEN YOU'RE ON THE EDGE OF DESPAIR about the resilience of American democracy, an ancient pattern reasserts itself. People drunk with their own self-importance overreach and begin to destroy themselves. Names like Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon,...
Judgment Days
SPRING IS IN THE AIR, and the right has caught judge-bashing fever like never before. The Terri Schiavo brouhaha featured death threats against the judges involved. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay swore that they would "answer for their behavior."...
Ownership and Government: President Bush's Proposed Ownership Society Invites a History Lesson: The Great American Middle Class Is the Fruit of Social Investment
"OWNERSHIP," PRESIDENT BUSH told the Republican national convention last August, brings security, and dignity, and independence." It is an assertion few Americans would dispute--and one that we should welcome. For it turns out that Bush's proposed...
Snapped Judgments: The Riveting Works of Japanese Photographer Shomei Tomatsu Suggest That Winning the Peace Can Lead to a Different Kind of War
THE VIEWS OF THE LOSER DO NOT typically fill prominent chapters in the history books. We know what Julius Caesar thought of the barbarous tribes in Gaul and Britannia, but almost nothing about what they thought of him. His descriptions of savage resistance...
Sun Still Rising: "Juggernaut Japan" of the '80S Gave Way, in the U.S. Press, to a Narrative of Economic Obsolescence. That's What the Japanese Wanted Us to Believe
FOR THOSE WHO CLAIM TO UNDERSTAND THE global economy, here's a pertinent question: Which East Asian economic powerhouse recently, announced the largest current-account surplus in world history? The answer is Japan, although very few readers of the...
Texas-Sized Problem: Tom DeLay Deserves Whatever He Gets. but He Deserved It Several Years Ago. and Therein Lies the Problem
ON SUCCESSIVE DAYS IN MID-NOVEMBER 2002, Tom DeLay was elected House majority leader, replacing the retired Dick Armey, and Nancy Pelosi was chosen as the House Democrats' leader, succeeding Dick Gephardt. One of those had amassed a capable but relatively...
The Mess in Mexico: The Scandalous Indictment of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Has Roiled Mexico. but It Hasn't Produced Any Outrage at Foggy Bottom
MEXICO'S FRAGILE DEMOCRACY is under attack from its own government--and may not survive. Yet the Bush administration's neoconservatives, who almost daily proclaim their commitment to protect--and indeed impose--free elections in the world's every nook...
The Non-Nuclear Option: Strong Families and Healthy Children Require Social Investment to Complement the Heroics of Modern Parenting
PROMOTING THE HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT OF children is both an ethical imperative and a critical economic and social investment. A decent and wise society protects and nurtures all its children, particularly those disadvantaged early in life, so that they...
The Price of a Free Society: Liberty Itself as Well as Security and Prosperity, Requires Effective Government. It's Time to Make That Case, without Apology
THESE ARE TIMES THAT TRY LIBERAL spirits. On one side, the Bush administration has taken up the agenda of the Christian right and sought to use the power of the state to shape how Americans live and die. On the other, it is undermining many of the...
The Vanishing State? Government's Dwindling Appetite for Regulating Capitalism Is Not an Inevitable Product of Today's Global Economy. It's a Handy Alibi
MORE PERMEABLE BORDERS SEEM TO MAKE it more difficult for a nation to maintain a mixed economy, regulate capital in the public interest, provide decent wages, and foster a political coalition to defend all of the above. Indeed, there is an extensive...
Thinking about the Government: Liberals Can't Compete with Conservatives on Government-Bashing. Maybe It's Time to Remind Voters What Government Does Well
Tom: You got dances, too? Caretaker: We got the best dances in the county every Saturday night. Tom: Say, who runs this place? Caretaker: The government. --The Grapes of Wrath, 1940 (screenplay by Nunnally Johnson) "I've always felt...
Under the Radar: The New Tax and Budget Battleground Is in the States. despite Wrenching Cuts, a Movement to Restore State Government Capacity Has Begun
THE NEWS FROM WASHINGTON IS FILLED WITH debates about safeguarding Americans' Social Security, proposals to make tax cuts permanent, and sweeping federal budget reductions in a time of looming deficits. In the meantime, the 50 states, various territories,...
When Democracies Kidnap
AS THE BUSH administration tells it, America is shining freedom's light into the darkest corners of Middle Eastern autocracies. But if the conduct of public affairs here and there is beginning to converge, that's also because our government has become...
Wild Pitch
LATE IN THE EVENING OF ST. PATRICK'S DAY, while much of America was out carousing, our hardworking U.S. senators stayed in session. It was time for the Senate to take its first stab at addressing Social Security's long-term financial health since President...