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. 12, No. 1, January 1

America's Children
It's no accident that politicians kiss babies. America is a nation that professes to love its children. Yet the policies we have in place to raise the next generation are those of a nation that kisses children off. This special report offers a tour...
A Sneak Attack?
A SNEAK ATTACK? George W. Bush's transition team and House Minority Whip Tom DeLay may have had an unacknowledged motive to delay passage of the 2001 budget: An idea going around in December was to put off the budget bill until February so that...
Caring for Crib Lizards
How to Stop Rampant Parent Bashing--and Help Families Raise Their Kids For a country that claims to love kids, the United States sure seems to dislike parents. According to a 1999 survey conducted by the foundation Public Agenda, only 23 percent...
Children First
Kids are the easiest group to insure universally. But the system that covers them is a patchwork mess. Bipartisan consensus is a concept rarely associated with the current U.S. Congress. One policy issue, however, has drawn support from both sides...
Cockeyed Caravan
The new movie by Joel and Ethan Coen, O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a picaresque comic strip "based"--as the credits inform us with the filmmakers' trademark brand of knowing tongue-in-cheekiness--"upon The Odyssey by Homer." Set in the Deep South...
Collateral Damage
In America's war on crime and drugs, children of inmates are the walking wounded. Carlos Kelly was six years old when, in December of 1991, his mother, Caridad, was arrested by federal agents in Florida for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. "I...
Contempt of Court
U.S. Supreme Court's intervention into the presidential election was and is a scandal. Five right-wing justices used the flimsiest of pretexts to block the Florida vote recount. Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Company are typically unmoved by alleged...
Correspondence
TAKING BACK DEMOCRACY TO THE EDITORS: While I am an admirer of Robert Reich, it puzzles me that he has put his faith in campaign finance reform ["Taking Back Democracy," December 4, 2000]. Corporations will always find a way to circumvent it....
Decent Child Care at Decent Wages
Imagine yourself a single mom with a one-year-old and a three-year-old and a job with a not-so-hot wage. You go down to your local child care center and are quoted a price of $13,500 per year. That would take half your pay and leave you without money...
Did Roe V. Wade Abort Crime?
And Why Hardly Anybody Wants to Talk About It Crime is down across America. The nation's crime rate has been dropping for the best part of a decade now, and everyone is keen to take the credit. New York's Mayor Rudy Giuliani claims that zero-tolerance...
Do School Vouchers Improve Student Performance?
With George W. Bush's assumption of the presidency, a campaign to provide vouchers for private schooling may gain new life. The idea of public funding of private schools is not new, nor does it belong exclusively to conservative free market reformers....
Every Baby a Trust Fund Baby
Estate taxes are a problem that most Americans would like to have. Not many do. To qualify, one has to have a nice piece of change--at least $ 1.3 million for a married couple and, taking loopholes into account, more like $5 million. At present fewer...
Families on Call
There are 25.8 million family caregivers in America today. According to a recent study by the United Hospital Fund of New York, they provide the equivalent of nearly $200 billion worth of health care services per year. That's almost double the annual...
Is the New Economy Family-Friendly?
"Life's a Pitch" and Other Lessons From Silicon Valley The passengers on the morning commuter train from San Francisco to Silicon Valley, who look young enough to be carded at happy hour, are clad in shin-length, hip-hugging jeans and trendy pleather...
It Takes a Tax Credit to Raise a Child
With some creative expansion, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) could all but end poverty among working-class families with children and help a lot of middle-class parents as well. The EITC is now this country's second-largest means-tested program...
Leave No Child Behind?
How Government Subsidy Fails Needy Kids If there's one thing most Americans agree on, it is the ideal of giving all children a fair opportunity to succeed in life. Government programs such as Head Start and election-year slogans such as "Leave no...
Not Your Father's High School Club
As the school bell signals the end of another day at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, a sprawling concrete structure two blocks from the Harvard University campus, the kids of Project 10 East gather around a shiny black lab table to munch on...
Papa, Don't Preach
How Moralists Lost the Youth Vote According to the Voter News Service numbers, Al Gore beat George W. Bush among 18- to 29-year-old voters by a mere 2 percentage points (48 to 46), a gigantic drop in this age group from Bill Clinton s 19-point margin...
Reforming Welfare Reform
In 2002 Congress will revisit Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), often known as welfare reform. Many progressives, ourselves included, fought hard against the program that passed in 1996. We judged it too punitive and too far from the...
Shut Down the College
Even the best political systems cannot eliminate corruption, venality, and civil strife, but they are supposed to limit their sway. Enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, the American electoral system was designed to do that, yet the recent presidential...
Support for Working Families
What the United States Can Learn from Europe Four decades of steady growth in female employment have gone a long way toward closing the job gap between women and men in the industrialized countries. One of the most striking changes in Europe and...
Taking It to the Web
For Coca-Cola, things don't go better with the Internet. Behind the story of the company's recent settlement of a $192.5-million lawsuit brought by black employees is a tale of how a few determined activists used the Internet to create a public...
The Betrayal
Nothing about the 2000 election matters nearly as much as the ugly means by which it was brought to an end. Throughout our history, with the terrible exception of 1860, every party as been able to live with the victory of an opposing candidate for...
The Internet Filter Farce
Why Blocking Software Doesn't--and Can't--Work As Promised "What if the baseball could repair the window?" reads the headline of a recent ad for myCIO.com. The copy continues: "The Internet caused the problem. It's only fitting it should also provide...
The Purloined Presidency
Thinking about how Democrats should treat the new Bush administration, let s consider what Bob Dole would do if he were in our shoes. A scant eight years ago, after all, Bob Dole was in our shoes. As the Senate minority leader, he headed the opposition...
Thirteen Days in 145 Minutes
When I learned that Thirteen Days, the new movie dramatizing the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, would follow events through the eyes of Kenneth O'Donnell, John F. Kennedy's appointments secretary--who would be played by the movie's headliner, Kevin...
Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back
The final numbers aren't in yet, but we may soon be calling this the first $4-billion presidential election in U.S. history. (About half as much was spent by parties and candidates a mere four years ago.) With most of the campaign money coming from...
Toxic Media versus Toxic Censorship
In the October 23, 2000, issue of TAP, Wend), Kaminer argued that political calls for regulating "toxic media"--like violent movies or profane rap albums--can lead to dangerous censorship and repression. But what if there's a legitimate public interest...
Unhealthy Partnership
How Managed Care Wrecks Mental Health for Kids Fourteen wars old and sullen, he came to the hospital on a Sunday afternoon for evaluation of long-standing abdominal pain. As a first-year pediatric intern, I thought of incredible diagnoses: An intermittent...
Why Bad Reforms Won't Give Us Good Schools
School reform has become a major industry since the Reagan era, when the 1983 report A Nation at Risk judged U.S. schools to be so mediocre as to endanger the economic future of the country. Mayors and presidents, corporate leaders and small-business...
Why the Democrats Should Cut Taxes
The economy is slowing yet the surplus keeps growing. President-elect George W. Bush wants to use both to justify a big tax cut. How should the Democrats respond? (A) Warn once again that a big tax cut will jeopardize Social Security and that a better...
With Friends like These
George W. Bush and his advisers, stumbling toward the presidency in the aftermath of a bloody election, believe that early compromise and conciliation (or at least the appearance thereof) are crucial if the administration is to attain any kind of political...