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. 10, December

Bonds of Steel: Can Alliances with Unions in Mexico and Europe Return the United Steelworkers to Its Former Strength at Home?
From the 1930s through the 1980s, the United Steelworkers (USW) and its sister industrial union, the United Auto Workers, were the heart of organized labor in America. If the woman in the street or the legislator in D.C. had been asked to name the...
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Can the Workers of the World Unite? the State of Unionism in the Era of Globalization
It was labor, not capital, that first aspired to eradicate national borders. But the international unity of labor, which Marx and Engels posited as a goal in 1848, was, for the subsequent 150 years, a matter of ideology only. Or, more precisely, of...
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Drag Queen: Conservative Gays Search in Vain for a Diva Icon of Their Own
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Why do gays love Lady Gaga?" a straight friend asked me at the 2009 National Equality March, right after the popstar diva told the crowd that the gay-rights rally was "the most important moment of [her] career." She's...
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Fighter, Conciliator, or Scold?
Despite justifiable pride in his legislative successes, President Barack Obama never had a working majority to enact the program that the economy needed. Obama's signal accomplishments--the stimulus program, health reform, financial reform--all built...
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Forget the So-Called War on Christmas. Should Liberals Be against Thanksgiving?
ANN FRIEDMAN: It's that time of the year again! Conservatives are set to once again claim that liberals have declared war on Christmas. But honestly, I'd much rather wage a pitched battle against Thanksgiving. TIM FERNHOLZ: It involves all your...
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Globalization, Union-Style: The Challenge Is to Raise U.S. Workers' Rights to the Level That European Workers Enjoy-Not to Lower Their Rights to Our Level
Seated on a folding chair in a cramped union office in New York, Wilhelm Ado, a visiting German labor leader, explained through an interpreter that he had come to help American workers do what they can no longer do easily on their own--organize themselves...
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Green Job Search: Unless America Changes Its Energy Policies, It Will Continue to Train Workers for Jobs That Just Aren't There
The small town of Clifton Forge, Virginia, lies just west of the Shenandoah Valley, where Interstate 64 starts to climb into the Allegheny Mountains. Historically, the area's been dominated by the pulp and paper industry, but it and other blue-collar...
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Language of Truth
I first heard Gjertrud Schnackenberg's particular name uttered aloud in the one-room office of The Paris Review. During the late 1990s, I worked as an associate editor at the literary magazine and as assistant to its co-founder, the late George Plimpton....
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Slumming in America: Human-Rights Arguments Are Effective Tools for Shaming European Companies into Good Labor Practices in the U.S
Get back to work, or we'll hire permanent replacements to take your jobs! That's what management at Robert Bosch, a German multinational firm with 270,000 employees worldwide, told union members who exercised their right to strike in December 2005....
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Straight Talk
After a rash of suicides by gay (or perceived to be gay) teenagers made national news this fall, sex columnist Dan Savage responded with an online video, recorded with his husband, telling gay teens that "It Gets Better." Savage encouraged other gay,...
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Thanksgiving Day Message, 2010
To: All service members in Afghanistan If this is your l0th Thanksgiving in Afghanistan, let us be the first to celebrate this milestone with you. As you know, Thanksgiving isn't just a special time in the heritage of our nation but also a special...
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The Ideas Deficit
"Ideas have consequences," conservatives intoned during the Reagan era, boasting of their think tanks, journals, and networks of well-financed academics. When I first came to Washington 20 years ago, there was still some truth to this. The conservative...
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The Limits of Smart Power: Can the U.S. Military End the Epidemic of Sexual Violence in Congo without Getting Involved in Another Endless Conflict?
In February 2006, an army of rapists descended on Duru, a farming community of 5,000 in eastern Congo. They called themselves, without a trace of irony, the "Lord's Resistance Army." Twenty-three years ago in neighboring Uganda, under firebrand...
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The Vacancy Crisis: Obama Has Made Fewer Judicial Nominations Than Any President in Recent History-With Disastrous Consequences
This summer wasn't easy for the Delaware Federal District Court. With one long-standing vacancy and an impending retirement, the four-seat court was hugely backlogged. "Because of the Speedy Trial Act," says Caroline Fredrickson of the American Constitution...
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Too Big to Be Governed? Financial Reform Will Fail If Industry Writes the Rules
Liberals cheered when Elizabeth Warren was appointed interim director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after a long internal fight. The bureau, which Warren first proposed in 2007, is one of the more expansive innovations of the financial-reform...
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Translating Solidarity: As SEIU Organizes on a Global Scale, It Must Adapt Its Approach to Accommodate Cultural Differences
After a decade working for food concessions operated by the French multinational Sodexo at Ohio State University sports arenas, 58-year-old Marcia Snell decided she and her fellow workers--including more than a dozen of her extended family members--needed...
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Virtuality Bites: On the Internet, Society's Most Intractable Issues with Race and Class Are Increasingly Prominent
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In July 2000, then-Federal Communications Commission Chair William Kennard gave the keynote address at the international Supercomm conference for broadband service providers. Before an audience of people whose job it is to...
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What We Don't Know Can Hurt Us
Information is the life-blood of public policy. Identifying a problem is the first step to solving it, and once a solution is in place, we need metrics to understand if the policy is working and how to turn its weaknesses into strengths. Though the...
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