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. 13, No. 1, January 1

A Deal Built on Sand: At the Doha Meetings, the World Trade Organization Got Back on the Fast Track. but a Train Wreck Lies Just Ahead
PULLED ALONG BY THE WAR ON TERRORISM, THE multinational corporate campaign to deregulate the global economy seems back on course--at least for the moment. By shrewdly buying votes and appealing to patriotism, the Bush administration engineered the...
A Merry Christmas for Tax-Credit Abusers. (the Taxonomist)
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS COME UP WITH STILL another outrageous tax-giveaway scheme, this time not by legislation but by administrative fiat. In mid-December, the administration announced that it would soon send out billions of dollars in tax refunds...
A Politics of Denial: Are the World's Fledgling NGOs a Match for Its Repressive Governments?
ON THE SIDEWALK OUTSIDE THE DURBAN INTERnational Convention Center last September, members of India's lowest "untouchable" castes staged a hunger strike. They,were protesting their government's refusal to let the issue of caste come before the United...
A Royal Shame. (Wunderkinder)
A YOUNG MAN NAMED Anthony, inmate of an Arizona mental hospital, says a friendly good-bye to his psychiatrist and then prepares to shin down the wall on a rope of knotted sheets. Anthony's stay at the hospital has been voluntary; but, as he explains...
Ashcroft's Hypocrisy: It's Double-Standard Time at the New Model Justice Department
THREE YEARS AGO, JOHN ASHCROFT--THEN A senator from Missouri, now the U.S. attorney general--opened a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on gun control by declaring that a citizenry armed with both the right to possess firearms and to speak freely...
A War Economy. (Correspondence)
JAMES K. GALBRAITH'S gloom and doom runs deep ["A War Economy," October 22]. The unimaginative do try to assert that present market-driven solutions cannot prevail over the present slump. I take exception to this short view. Prosperity is not static,...
Bless You, Little Redundancy. (Devil in the Details)
SAY YOU'RE THE HEAD OF A New Democrat think tank and a report you've commissioned on how to downsize the U.S. Postal Service, in best third-way fashion, has just been plopped upon your desk. Right up top in the introduction, the study forthrightly...
Controlling Pakistan's Nukes: Has the U.S. Taken over the Stockpile? (Gazette)
BATTALIONS OF REPORTERS and analysts who have been scouring the tinderbox region of South Asia and Central Asia since October 7--the start of the bombing of Taliban and al-Qaeda hideouts--have missed the significance of one of the biggest stories unfolding...
Enron's End: No One Pushed Harder for Deregulation, and No One Had More to Conceal, Than This Pillar of the New Economy
THE SPECTACULAR FALL OF THE HOUSE OF ENRON would have been a huge news story were it not for the terror war. Just a few months ago, Enron Corp. ranked number seven on the Fortune 500. But in little more than 15 months, it managed to lose over 99 percent...
Fast-Track Attack and Davos by the Hudson. (Networks)
PRESIDENT BUSH MAY BE granted broader trade-negotiating authority, but he shouldn't feel that he's being handed a political mandate. When the House passed the fast-track bill in a 215-to-214 vote on December 6, the scene, in the words of one union...
First Step or Last Gasp? Al-Qaeda as Anticolonial Travesty. (below the Beltway)
THERE IS WIDESPREAD AGREEment that the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States ushered in a new stage of world history, one distinct from the last 50 or 100 years. Secretary of State Colin Powell has referred to the period since 9-11...
Freeh's Reign: At Louis Freeh's FBI, with Carte Blanche from Congressional Republicans, Real Cops Didn't Do Intelligence and Counterterrorisrn
WASHINGTON HAD RARELY SEEN SUCH URgency and bipartisan resolve. On a warm September day, the president and his hand-picked Federal Bureau of Investigation director laid out a new vision for what Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has called the "crown jewel"...
Free Markets and Poverty: Since 1980, as the World Has Deregulated Its Markets, Income Gaps Have Widened. Why Is This Record Heralded as a Success?
FOR BETTER THAN TWO DECADES, THE ORTHODOX recipe for global growth has been embodied in the so-called Washington Consensus. This approach, advocated by the United States and enforced by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), holds...
Globalism and Poverty
THERE IS A VERY SERIOUS CASE NOT AGAINST "globalization," but against the particular version of it imposed by the world's financial elites. The brand currently ascendant needlessly widens gaps of wealth and poverty, erodes democracy, seeds instability,...
Globalism's Discontents: Integration with the Global Economy Works Just Fine When Sovereign Countries Define the Terms. It Works Disastrously When Terms Are Dictated
FEW SUBJECTS HAVE POLARIZED PEOPLE THROUGHOUT the world as much as globalization. Some see it as the way of the future, bringing unprecedented prosperity to everyone, everywhere. Others, symbolized by the Seattle protestors of December 1999, fault...
Homegrown Horror: The Prospects for All-American Bioterrorism. (Gazette)
WHEN THE FIRST POST -- September 11 anthrax cases were revealed, speculation about who was responsible focused immediately on associates of Osama bin Laden or the government of Iraq. Now, though, it's widely believed that the anthrax attacks are homegrown,...
How to Judge Globalism: Global Links Have Spread Knowledge and Raised Average Living Standards. but the Present Version of Globalism Needlessly Harms the World's Poorest
GLOBALIZATION IS OFTEN SEEN AS GLOBAL WESTernization. On this point, there is substantial agreement among many proponents and opponents. Those who take an upbeat view of globalization see it as a marvelous contribution of Western civilization to the...
Ignorant Bliss. (on the Contrary)
IN THE LOCKER ROOM, TWO WOMEN ARE DISCUSSING the war against terrorism. They agree that Attorney General John Ashcroft is right not to reveal information about the 1,000-plus people detained since September 11. The trouble is, "we're too soft" on the...
Justice for Refugees: Americans Are a Generous People Who All but Ignore the World's Dispossessed
AHMAD HUSSEIN IS 12 YEARS OLD. "MY GREATEST wish," he says, "is to learn to read and write, to have warm shoes, and eat as much as I want to." But Ahmad's wish has long been thwarted. He is one of more than 3.6 million Afghan refugees--the largest...
Medicine as a Luxury: The West Treats Vital Pharmaceuticals as Just Another Commodity. If Poor Countries Can't Afford Filet, Why Should They Get Cheap Drugs?
IT'S GENERALLY RECOGNIZED THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE right to eat. When famine breaks out, relief agencies rush food to the hungry. Politics and war may get in the way (indeed, they are often the causes of the famine). Sometimes relief efforts are too small...
My Dinner with Derrida. (Food)
IN THE 1960s, WHEN MY HUSBAND and I first traveled in England as students, we would have starved without the Chinese. From Brighton to Durham, from Bath to Norwich, the only inexpensive restaurants open at night were serving sweet-and-sour pork. Even...
Onward, Christian Moguls: The Lord and the FCC Provide a Televangelical Bonanza
VISION IS A FAVORITE TOPIC OF DR. GARTH W. Coonce, a minor Christian-broadcasting magnate from Marion, Illinois. In his monthly newsletter, Partnership, he often muses on the sacred visions that have inspired him to amass 16 television stations, creating...
Our Democratic Lords. (Comment)
FAST TRACK HAS GONE TO THE Senate, where its passage, alas, is assured. "I don't think we stand a chance of defeating it," says one dispirited union official. Indeed, labor lobbyists aren't even focusing on the trade legislation itself, but on an expansion...
Play Dead: Sony Muzzles the Techies Who Teach a Robot Dog New Tricks. (Gazette)
THE HARDCORE FANS OF AIBO, a popular robotic pet, are a creative, if geeky, bunch. Since 1999, when the lifelike toys first appeared beneath Christmas trees, hundreds of Aibo enthusiasts have programmed their charges to perform tricks unimagined in...
Starved for Attention: Globalization Has Increased the Need to End Hunger in the Developing Nations-And Has Provided the Means to Do It
AS THE AFTERMATH OF SEPTEMBER 11 PROMPTS questioning about anti-Western rage, a good starting point is a statistic: 800 million. That's the number of people in the developing countries who lack "food security"--who don't have enough food to perform...
Suddenly Serviceable: Is This the Moment for National Service? (Gazette)
FOR YEARS, CHARLES MOSKOS has been churning out impassioned arguments for creating an American system of compulsory civilian and military service. The Northwestern University sociologist is widely recognized as the intellectual guru behind the national-service...
Tax and Spend. (Correspondence)
IN HIS "COMMENT" COLUMN, Robert Kuttner [September 24-October 8] makes some good points but also contributes to the confusion about Social Security. Kuttner writes that Social Security is one of America's most cherished and expensive programs. But...
The Costs of Orthodoxy: Argentina Was the Poster Child for Austerity and Obedience to the IMF Formula. Not Surprisingly, Its Economy Tanked
"En este pais esta todo mal hecho, pero esta tan bien hecho que es indestructible." (Everything in this country is made badly, but it is so craftily done as to be indestructible.) --ARGENTINE PRESIDENT ARTURO "FRONDIZI (1960) WHAT A TIME ARGENTINES...
The Enron Economy. (Comment)
JUST AS WATERGATE BECAME A metaphor for the Nixon era and Whitewater the right s symbol for Clinton, Enron is the emblem of the Bush administration's way of life. Enron is to George W. Bush what Teapot Dome was to Warren G. Harding. Its demise should...
The Mirage of Progress: The Economic Failure of the Last Two Decades of the Twentieth Century
EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THE VAST 20 YEARS HAVE been an era of rapid overall economic progress for the vast majority of countries, especially in the developing world. Tariffs have collapsed and countries have flung open their borders to international trade...
The Roots of Treason, Explained. (Devil in the Details)
FROM SHELBY STEELE, writing on American Taliban John Walker on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal (December 10, 2001): Walker came out of a self-hating stream of American life. Yes, alone in Yemen and later in Pakistan, he may have been...
Tradecraft. (the Critics Film)
THE QUALITY OF MOST AMERican movies released lately has been so low that Spy Game stands out as a significant pleasure. This Robert Redford-Brad Pitt vehicle is not a film for the ages--I may well have forgotten all about it by next year--but it does...
War and the Constitution: Bush's Military Tribunals Haven't Got a Legal Leg to Stand On
THE MEDIA ARE AWASH IN DISINFORMATION ABOUT military tribunals. Since November 13, when President George W. Bush issued his controversial executive order mandating the use of military commissions to prosecute suspected terrorists, one far-feched claim...