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. 20, No. 8, October

Bipartisanship in One Party
As the debate over health reform enters its decisive stage, there is a lot of talk about the need for compromise between Democrats and Republicans. That was a sensible point to make in years past when Republicans offered alternatives for reform to...
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Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers
Last February, a chain of gourmet groceries in New York City paid nearly $1.5 million in wages owed to 550 workers. In the same month, the Los Angeles city attorney charged two owners and a manager of several car washes with paying workers a flat daily...
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Childbirth at the Global Crossroads: Women in the Developing World Who Are Paid to Bear Other People's Children Test the Emotional Limits of the International Service Economy
The auto-rickshaw driver honks his way through the dusty chaos of Anand, Gujarat, India, swerving around motorbikes, grunting trucks, and ancient large-wheeled bullock-carts packed with bags of fodder. Both sides of the street are lined with plastic...
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Dark and Bitter: Food Workers Increasingly Exist in a Legal Limbo with No Protections for Wages, Benefits, Job Security, or Life and Limb. Why Are Employers like Hershey off the Hook?
On the morning of July 8, a temporary worker in Camden, New Jersey, slipped and fell into an 8-foot-deep vat of liquid chocolate, where he was struck by a large mechanical mixer and killed. His name was Vincent Smith II and he was 29 years old. He'd...
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Decent Work: How Government Can Get Back on the Side of Promoting Good Jobs
During World War II and the postwar boom, when unions had more influence and labor laws from the New Deal era were enforced, increasing numbers of Americans enjoyed a regularized working life. This included predictable earnings and benefits that increased...
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Evasive Maneuvers: Journalists Learn What to Do If They're Captured in Afghanistan-Or Rural Virginia
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] How do you dress for an abduction? That was the question on my mind as I prepared for my first day of kidnapping school--or, as it is officially known, Centurion Risk Assessment Services' Hostile Environment and First Aid...
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Forgotten Corners of the Economy: As Unemployment Rises, the Illegal Treatment of Day Laborers Only Worsens. Where's the Government?
Another dead day on the street corner and Gonzalo Mejia is wondering how he will get by. He's been finding work just one or two days a week lately. Worse yet, a contractor recently stiffed him out of $400 worth of pay. "All the time there is less...
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Good Jobs, Healthy Cities: Some City Governments Are Using Their Economic Muscle to Promote Good Jobs
Traditionally, most city officials concerned with fostering development have focused on economic growth, allowing private investors and developers to dictate the terms. Even those sympathetic to social justice have worried that efforts to raise wages...
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Government Paves the Way: A Decent Work Agenda for the Obama Administration
The trends described in this special report paint a picture of an economy that was in trouble long before the current recession took hold--at least from the standpoint of the American worker. Whether their distress is measured by stagnant wages or...
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How Detroit Went Bottom-Up: Outsourcing Cleared the Way for a Discreet but Dangerous Monopolization of the Auto Industry
In the spring of 2005, David Stockman at last reaped the reward of the monopolist. Stockman, who once served as Ronald Reagan's budget director, spent two decades on Wall Street preparing for this moment. After stints at Salomon Brothers and the...
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Integrate Expectations
In the popular imagination, Westchester County, just north of New York City, is a land of endless picket fences and backyard swimming pools. My hometown of Ossining, New York, is where John Cheever, chronicler of white suburban malaise, lived and set...
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My Model City
New Haven, Connecticut, at the tail end of the 1970s was a pretty good place for a precocious kid to get a political education. The city contains all the ethnic and social dynamics of New York City or Philadelphia in microcosm. But it's small enough...
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Opposite Day
Every Democratic presidency since Lyndon Johnson's (that is, both of them) has followed a pattern: A fresh face enters the White House bringing new hope and big ideas, delivers his agenda to Congress, and quickly gets the back of the hand from the...
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Refined Alert : New System Proposal by Homeland Security Advisory System Task Force
"I have assembled a task force ... to assess our current threat-level system and provide Options for any improvements."--Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano "The more refined [the system] is, the better."--Task force member...
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See Jerry Run. Again: California Is Still Living with the Consequences of Jerry Brown's First Governorship. Now the State Is Poised to Elect Him Again
The first rule of Jerry Brown s campaign for governor is that he doesn't talk about his campaign for governor. So far, this is working. If the 2010 election for governor of California were held this year, Brown would win. Easy. As of this writing,...
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Stuck on the Low Road: Deregulation Turned Truck Driving from a Good Job into a Bad One. Now, Thanks to Local Organizing and Government Action, There's a Better Road
Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, is a marvel of efficiency. More than 7,000 container ships visit its docks annually, most stopping for barely more than a day. New terminal facilities, built on landfill where the river meets the sea, handle 10 million...
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Ted Kennedy's Legacy
From rather shaky political beginnings--heir to his older brother's seat in 1962 (a family retainer warmed the seat for two years until young Teddy turned 30), one rough period after Chappaquiddick and another following his failed challenge to a sitting...
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The Good War and the Workers: World War II Defense Contracts Raised Labor Standards. Government Could Use the Same Leverage in Peacetime
The era of Franklin D. Roosevelt transformed the power of workers to achieve a better life. The New Deal facilitated the mass organization of the industrial working class into militant unions and also relied on the state through measures such as the...
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Which Side Is Government on? Millions of Contract Workers Whose Salaries Are Ultimately Paid by Government Live in Poverty. Uncle Sam Should Demand High Standards, Not Pay as Little as Possible
Ada Iglesias relies on her job as a cafeteria worker at Paramus High School in New Jersey to put food on the table for three hungry, preteen children. It s not easy. She makes $8 an hour, works only 24 hours a week, and while out of work over the school's...
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