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. 24, No. 3, May-June

A River Runs through It: Everyone Agrees That the Only Way to Fix the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone-The Largest off the United States-Is to Fix the Mississippi, but Not Everyone Agrees How
To get an idea of how American coastal waters might look just before they succumb to all the degradations they have suffered these past five centuries, it would be worth taking a July trip to Mobile Bay, an Alabama inlet that feeds into the Gulf of...
A Shredded Safety Net
"I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there."--MITT ROMNEY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012 In 1996, the year that Congress passed and Bill Clinton signed welfare reform, fulfilling his campaign pledge to "end welfare as we know it," there...
Bad Faith and Budget Politics
Compromise is often an unhappily revealing art. "Ideals may tell us something important about what we would like to be. But compromises tell us who we are," the philosopher Avishai Margalit writes. In finding compromises with Republicans on the federal...
Cascading Effects of Parental Stress. Economic Hardship Reverberates through the Family in Multiple Ways That Harm Children
On August 14, 2003, the lights went out in cities across the Northeast. This rolling blackout, one of the worst in U.S. history, was a cascading failure, in which a local power surge on an already-overloaded system triggered failures across the network....
Child Poverty by the Numbers
The recession and its lingering aftermath helped drive an estimated 2.8 million additional American children into poverty, raising the nation's share of poor children to one of the highest recorded in nearly 50 years. The increase in the child-poverty...
Children of Color in the Persistent Downturn
At the peak of economic boom times in 2000, the U.S. child-poverty rate reached a historic low of 16.2 percent. Even then, UNICEF ranked the United States as having the second highest child-poverty rate out of 26 rich countries. The United States had...
Children of the Great Collapse
The stimulus was great for poor kids while it lasted. Now even bare-bones aid is at risk. Here's a piece of good news of which you might not be aware: The U.S. safety net performed a lot better than you thought during the recent downturn, which...
Dancing with Herself: The Anti-Celebrity of Frances Ha Star Greta Gerwig
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Comic actress Greta Gerwig has a versatile look-indolent or boyish, athletic or glamorous, always blond and beautiful but with broad shoulders and doughy cheeks that make her resemble an improbably attractive rugby player....
Ghosts of the Rio Grande: Every Year Hundreds of Immigrants Die along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Too Many Are Never Identified
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The path across the border is littered with bodies. Bodies old and bodies young. Bodies known and bodies unknown. Bodies hidden, bodies buried, bodies lost, and bodies found. The stories of the dead haunt the frontier towns...
Intergenerational Injustice: It's Not Social Security Deficits That Are Destroying the Life Chances of the Young but a Prolonged Slump Compounded by Bad Policies
Generational fairness has been a big theme of the austerity crusaders, whose most strident advocates tend to be financiers and business titans of substantial net worth. Yet their calls to radically reduce social investment out of a sense of generational...
New Dominion: How Soon Will Changing Demographics Swamp Old Virginia's Republicans?
By the summer of 1864, Confederate armies were hitting the limits of their strength: short on men, short on supplies, and losing ground in key theaters of the war. A reinvigorated Army of the Potomac, led by Ulysses S. Grant, had inflicted heavy casualties...
Patty Murray in 19 Takes: How the Senator from Washington Quietly Became One of Capitol Hill's Most Influential Players
No. 1: The Fixer Patty Murray may be the dullest, most unremarkable member of the United States Senate. Two decades in, she lacks any major legislation to her name, isn't associated with an issue, rarely appears on television, almost always speaks...
Rediscovering Albert Hirschman
Resistance fighter. Development economist. Philosopher. A new biography of the thinker who redeemed political economy for liberals. To consider the life story of development economist turned moral philosopher Albert Hirschman is to appreciate that...
Sheryl Sandberg's Can-Do Feminism: Why She's a Reformer in the Church of Meritocracy and Not a Heretic
In 1956, when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg entered Harvard Law School, her class of more than 500 students included nine women and one black man. Erwin Griswold, the school's dean, summoned the nine women and asked each to answer a question: How could...
Ted Talk
Early this spring, when rumors began circulating that freshman Senator Ted Cruz of Texas might run for president in 2016, liberals found the idea just as delightful as their Tea Party counterparts did--though for different reasons. What could do more...
Texas Tough: Can the Obama Campaign's Whiz Kids Lead a Democratic Revival in the Ultimate Red State?
Shortly before the Battleground Texas tour stopped in Austin's old AFL-CIO building in early April, the sky opened up. Thunder and lightning raged, parts of the city flooded, and traffic came to a standstill. But Democrats kept arriving, some dripping...
The End of the Solid South
The region's emerging majority is progressive. Its capitols are more conservative than ever. Something's got to give. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The final rally of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign took place on symbolically charged ground:...
The New New Haven: How a Union of Yale Employees Aligned Itself with Community Activists and Won Control of a Beleaguered City
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Major Ruth became a civic leader because he made a promise to his neighbor, Brian Wingate. Both had moved to the Beaver Hills section of New Haven, Connecticut, in 2003. A neighborhood of aging single-family homes that had...
The Past Is Never Dead: How the White-Supremacist South Made Possible the New Deal-And Drastically Curtailed It
Invoking "dysfunction" is now the basic black of punditry about American politics. As the British political theorist David Runciman recently observed in the London Review of Books, "Commentators find it almost impossible to write about American democracy...
The Politics of Inherited Advantage: In a Tough Economy with Dwindling Social Supports, Children of Privilege Have a Bigger Head Start Than Ever
Two 21-year-old college students sit down in a coffee shop to study for an upcoming test. Behind the counter, a barista whips up their double-shot lattes. In the back kitchen, another young adult washes the dishes and empties the trash. These four...
Tug-of-War: What Happens When a State Becomes More Progressive and More Conservative at the Same Time?
Bill Cook may be a relative newcomer to North Carolina politics--he won his 2012 state senate race by 21 votes, after two recounts--but he has big plans for the state. By this spring's filing deadline, Cook, a power-company retiree from the coastal...
Unlinked: Social Reading Will Bring Us Together While Restoring a Long Tradition in the History of the Book. Still
At night, I find incredible pleasure in my Kindle. I pick up all 7.8 ounces of it, palm it, turn out the lights. Then, the only physical act required is a small swipe of my finger across an index-card-size piece of glass. I can choose to go almost...