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. 18, No. 12, December

All Our Children: Social Outlay for Early Childhood Education Is the Best Investment We Can Make in America's Future
ONE OF THE BEST-DOCUMENTED MODERN RESEARCH FINDINGS is that investment in young children pays big dividends. Brain science, social psychology, and decades of education research demonstrate that the life chances of at-risk children can be improved immensely...
A Movement Transformed: States Have Boldly Advanced the Cause of Preschool in the Last Few Years. Now, Let's Use Growing Support for Pre-K to Mobilize a National Investment in Early Childhood
PRESCHOOL HAS GROWN UP. Just five years ago, the question of whether to provide quality pre-kindergarten to our nation's 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds was a relatively obscure policy dilemma viewed primarily as a child-care issue. Today, the discussion...
Changing the Climate on Early Childhood: The Science of Early Childhood Development Is as Persuasive as the Science of Global Climate Change. Today, Both Challenges Urgently Call for a Transformative Politics
IN CERTAIN RESPECTS, THE THREAT OF LOST HUMAN potential and the science of early childhood development are much like the threat of global warming and the science of climate change. Can the human development movement take a few useful lessons from the...
Child-Care Pay, Child-Care Quality: Decent Early Childhood Education Requires Well-Trained and Compensated Educators
HIGHER QUALITY OF EARLY education and child care will require a better-paid and better-qualified work force. Making progress in these areas is also a matter of economic justice and of employment equality for the overwhelmingly female child-care work...
Continuing the Investment: Improvement Can't Stop at Kindergarten. Top-Notch "Early Education" Must Extend to 3rd Grade-And Beyond
DEEP CREEK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL is an education success story. In 2001, Deep Creek, where more than three-quarters of students come from low-income families and 80 percent are black or Hispanic, was one of the worst elementary schools in Baltimore County,...
From One Generation to the Next: Poor Health at Birth Is One Key Channel through Which Economic Status Is Passed from Parent to Child. Smart Policies Can Lift Kids beyond the Poverty of Parents
THE U.S. TAKES PRIDE IN BEING A land of opportunity, and Americans maintain the core belief that hard work and determination are rewarded. But, how level is the intergenerational playing field, and what factors underlie the intergenerational transmission...
Hold That Tax
IT SEEMS SO REASONABLE, PARTICULARLY TO MANY Democrats. To solve the long-term shortfall in Social Security, why not tax all earnings instead of just the first $97,500? Wouldn't taxing pay above that level be the economically progressive and fiscally...
How Hillary's Done It-So Far: Thanks to Her Sure-Footedness, Her Rivals' Mistakes, and Diminishing Democratic Divisions, She's Built a Commanding Lead. but We Haven't Heard from Iowa Yet
IF THE ZEITGEIST WERE ALL, BARACK OBAMA WOULD BE winning the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. Every poll shows record numbers of Americans despairing of their nation's direction and clamoring for change. Two surveys conducted in...
"Kids First" Politics, Round Two: Progressives Now Have a Chance to Push a Political Agenda Favoring Investment in Children. What Can the Second Wave of Children's Politics Learn from the First?
THE BLUE-RIBBON COMMISSION HAS AN INAUSPICIOUS history in American public policy. Most often, assembling a dozen or two bipartisan grandees to deliberate soberly about a problem for several years is merely a way of evading the problem. But there...
Left Behind? Ossining, New York, Was at the Forefront of School Integration. but as American Law and Public Opinion Turn against Race-Based Programs, Can the Town Continue to Use Racial Targeting to Close the Achievement Gap?
TEN AFRICAN AMERICAN TEENAGERS CLUSTER together in the center of a public high school classroom in Ossining, a northern suburb of New York City. School ended half an hour ago; in the hallway outside, janitors sweep the refuse of the day into neat piles....
Look Back in Awe
DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ARE ALIKE IN ONE respect, according to the libertarian writer Brink Lindsey: their shared nostalgia for the 1950s. Except, he says, "Republicans want to go home to the United States of the 1950s, while Democrats want to work...
Nature, Nurture, and Destiny: The Bell Curve Revisited: What Science Teaches Us about Heredity and Environment
IN MAKING THE CASE FOR BETTER early education programs, advocates rely heavily on bench science. Neuroscientists are summoned to demonstrate the palpable impact of severe deprivation in the first years of life--recall the horrific accounts of the Romanian...
No Parent Left Behind: Often, the Most Effective Efforts to Intervene in the Lives of Disadvantaged Children Start Early-Or Even before They Are Born
GABBY REYES AND MICHAEL Ortiz are sitting on a couch at their house off Chicago's Fullerton Avenue on an October afternoon with their nine-day-old baby, Michael, curled up between them. Their beagle puppy, Bayle, runs across the living room. Despite...
Paying for It
OVER A DECADE AGO WHEN, AS SECRETARY OF LABOR, I hollered about Americas widening inequality, I'd get phone calls from Democratic officials who politely asked me to shut up. After all, I was part of the administration, and my complaints made it seem...
Pre-K Politics in the States: Pennsylvania and Illinois Have Made Early Childhood Education a Priority. Can Other States-And Washington-Learn from Their Example?
AS A CANDIDATE IN 2002, GOV. ROD Blagojevich of Illinois promised voters that his administration would boost investments in early childhood programs. He ratcheted up funding by $30 million each year for his first three years in office, helping reach...
Repealing the 20th Century: While Everyone Focuses on Its Abortion Decisions, the Roberts Court Is Merrily Revoking a Century of Legislation Protecting Citizens, Consumers, Workers, and Minorities against Business
WHEN MOST AMERICANS THINK ABOUT THE Supreme Court's effect on the life of their nation, they think about such cultural hot-buttons as abortion, or due process for terrorists, or free speech and pornography. They don't think about the Court's effect...
Shedding Her Bootstraps? in the Years of Plenty, Suze Orman's Mantra Was All about Personal Responsibility. in These Leaner Years, She's Changing Her Tune
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SUZE ORMAN'S SEVEN-DAY DECEMBER cruise around the Caribbean has been cancelled. In between shuffle board and sunning, the popular financial adviser had been slated to dispense wisdom on "How to Make More Out of Less," "Retirement...
The Supreme Court's Wrong Turn-And How to Correct It: After Posing as Moderates in Their Confirmation Hearings, Justices Roberts and Alito Have Moved the Court Radically to the Right. Henceforth, We Should Compel Nominees to State How They Would Have Ruled on Specific Cases, and Why
LAST MAY, THE SUPREME COURT FACED A TEXT BOOK case of pay discrimination. Lilly Ledbetter was one of a few women supervisors working at a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Gadsden, Alabama, and she remained at the plant despite her bosses'...
THE Unified Field Theory of George Soros
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] CONSERVATIVE PUNDITS THOUGHT THEY'D STRUCK conspiracy-theory gold when the federal government raided the Florida headquarters of WellCare Health Plans in October. The Florida Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit...
This Is Murder?
THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT 30-YEAR-OLD THERESA Hernandez has had her troubles. An intermittent user of methamphetamines, she had her 32-week pregnancy end in April 2004 with the birth of a stillborn boy. But "troubles" doesn't begin to describe what...
What Ever Happened to Moderate Republicans? with the Hard Right Dominating Their Party, the Neo-Eisenhower-Fordniks Have Formed Two Groups to Recenter the Republicans. but Even in Their Old Habitats-Wall Street and the Media-They're Struggling to Be Noticed
WHEN MINNESOTA'S JIM RAMSTAD WAS FIRST elected to Congress in 1990, the Republican Party was approaching a critical juncture. President George H. W. Bush, a mainline Protestant and former abortion-rights supporter who had just appointed moderate David...