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. 12, July 2

A World of Debt
Why "Debt Relief" Has Failed to Liberate Poor Countries ONE OF BILL CLINTON'S FINAL ACTS AS PRESIDENT was to secure Congress's approval for a $435-million component within the foreign-aid bill last October. This provision fulfills the pledge the...
Beyond Jeffords
Two headlines that appeared within 12 days of each other--Jeffords Quits Republicans, Dems Take Control of Senate (Associated Press) and `L.A. Turns to the Left as Top Office Goes to a Democrat (the Los Angeles Times)--have given encouragement to millions...
California: An Exchange
PROGRESSIVES AND THE NEW IMMIGRANT MOVEMENT In the new workers' movement in Los Angeles, immigrants are playing a crucial part: * Two years ago, 74,000 home-care workers--many of them immigrants--joined the Service Employees International Union...
Correspondence
AIR PIRACY TO THE EDITORS: I'd like to point out some fallacies in Merril Goozner's article "Air Piracy" in your June 4, 2001, issue. Consolidation of airline networks will increase passengers' ability to travel to a destination without changing...
Death Becomes Them
In an early episode of Six Feet Under (which premiered June 3 on HBO), Viveca St. John, a dead porn star--electrocuted the day before when her cat knocked her hair-curler heater into the bubble bath--sits up on a mortuary table and comments on her...
Failure to Convert
Political parties rarely make deep changes in their societies by winning a single election. Once in power they generally need to reinforce their support, repeat their triumphs at the polls, and so change the terms of politics that even their opponents...
From Protest to Program
LAST YEAR, DURING A VISIT TO CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, I got a firsthand look at the underside of globalization. Located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, Juarez is home to more than 400 plants known as maquiladoras. Here, workers assemble parts...
Globalization and Its Critics
THE WORLD ECONOMY IS INCREASINGLY governed by a kind of one-party system--a global party that believes in the freest possible flow of capital and commerce across international frontiers. Although center-right and center-left parties joust for control...
Government without Democracy
The global economy is well governed in the interest of the elite. CRITICS OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY OFTEN SEE IT AS anarchic, a mad market that has burst national bounds and floats free, unrestrained by the laws and rules that made the nation-based...
Halting the Judgernaut
Can the Dems on the Senate Judiciary Committee block the takeover of the courts? As Capitol Hill adjusts to Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords's earthshaking repudiation of the Republican Party, the Senate Judiciary Committee is bracing itself to be the...
L.A. Story
The old order still governs here; the future will not be rushed. Considering all the changes Los Angeles has gone through in just the past decade--white flight and immigrant influx, the displacement of the business elite, the rebirth of the union movement,...
Law and Marriage
These days I settle for small and subtle signs of progress. Take the story in the February 15 Washington Post on the demise of a proposal in the Virginia legislature that would have required public-school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance....
Localizing Globalization
Can California and other states block plans to expand NAFTA? IN 1999, AFTER A STUDY BY THE UNIVERSITY OF California at Davis warned that the chemical MTBE may cause cancer in humans, California became the first U.S. state to phase out its use as...
Microsoft's Algolagniac Thesaurus
If I wrote here that Microsoft employees were expected to have regular intercourse with their superiors, doubtless you would expect news of a sexual-harassment suit. But I'm writing this on the Microsoft Word software program, and, according to its...
Mrs. Vendler's Profession
Poor, old Robert Frost--destined to be knocked around as a political tennis ball ever since that day in December 1960 when John F. Kennedy called him at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and asked if he would read a poem at the upcoming inauguration....
Regulating the Global Brothel
As feminization of migration continues, prostitution becomes the prototypical global industry. How do we "protect" its workers? ON THE NIGHT OF SEPTEMBER 10, 1997, TORONTO police officers raided more than a dozen apartments suspected of being houses...
Sneak Preview
Want to know how the Democrats will do in 2002--and whether President Bush will win re-election in 2004? For a reliable prediction, watch Virginia in the fall. The state's off-year elections have for the last three decades foreshadowed the political...
The Case for Borking
As the battle over the federal judiciary heats up, progressives must convince the general public of a basic proposition: The judiciary is an inescapably political branch of government whose agents, the judges, should be viewed in much the same way...
The CIO without the CIA
Inside the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center FOR FOUR DECADES, THE AFI-CIO'S INTERNATIONAL presence was notable less for its promotion of labor rights than for its Cold War ferocity. At global conventions, for instance, the labor federation's protocol...
The Democrats Make Nice
What is Tom Daschle up to? "In this divided government" he declared upon becoming Senate majority leader,"we are required to find common ground and seek meaningful bipartisanship." He told the press he would not seek repeal of even the most ill considered...
The Electric Slide
Late this spring, while hardly anyone was paying attention, the epicenter of the California energy crisis moved east. For a year, the focus had been on the state s misbegotten deregulation scheme and on Democratic Governor Gray Davis's dithering response...
The Global Alternative
Though the leaders of the Washington Consensus would deny it, there's more than one way to organize the global economy. THE ECONOMIC ORTHODOXY THAT GUIDES THE management of the global economy has failed to deliver. During the past two decades of...
The Plutocrat as Populist
Terry McAuliffe made the Democrats rich. Can he make them win? We are so far behind," exclaims Terry McAuliffe, gazing out his window toward the Capitol. "I got a briefing last night that absolutely shocked me. I'm not going to give you the numbers....
The Taxonomist
THE WAR'S NOT OVER The awful Bush tax bill has been passed and signed into law. If it takes full effect, it will undermine tax fairness, sharply increase income-and-wealth inequality, and bust the budget for years to come. Some 38 percent of the...
Wary Allies
Trade Unions, NGOs, and Corporate Codes of Conduct CORPORATE CODES OF CONDUCT OFFER A"THIRD way" to promote labor rights in the global economy--a civil-society alternative to first-way government regulation or second-way trade-union organizing and...
Who Needs Enemies?
Imagine that you had never seen Alfred Hitchcock's movies and had only read the scripts. It would be possible under such circumstances--though just remotely, I'll grant--to miss the fact that these films are scary and suspenseful and to view them as...
Who's Who on the Senate Judiciary Committee
THE DEMOCRATS THE COMMITTEE CHAIR' Patrick Leahy of Vermont. THE BIG GUNS: Joseph Biden of Delaware and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. Both Biden and Kennedy are powerful senators with the potential to play major roles, but each chairs another...