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. 1, January-February

A Museum of One's Own: Small Towns and Struggling Neighborhoods Have Long Tried-And Failed-To Convert Famous Writers' Former Homes into Tourist Attractions
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It's hard to imagine the two-story house on East 86th Street in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood ever becoming a tourist destination. Pizza crusts, empty bags of spicy potato chips, and wrapping papers litter the green carpet....
FDR Had It Right: If the Economy Is Going to Come Back, We Need to Buy-And Make-American
Our greatest primary task," said Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first Inaugural Address, "is to put people to work." Roosevelt had no doubt that this task took precedence over all others. "Our international trade relations," he continued, "though vastly...
Gentrification Hangover: Can a New Era of Affordable Housing Be Created from the Wreckage of Failed Luxury Real Estate?
Commuters arriving in Brooklyn via the Manhattan Bridge are greeted with a shiny vision of New York City's future that never came to be: condo buildings with names like the Oro, the Toren, and Forte, towering monuments to real-estate developers' credit-bubble...
I Love You, Man: Dueling "Ex-Gay" and Gay-Fights Conferences Have More in Common Than the Attendees Would like to Believe
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The irony of having an ex-gay conference at a popular gay vacation destination was lost on few in West Palm Beach, Florida, where the National Association for the Research & Therapy of Homosexuality held its annual get-together...
Industrial Policy: The Road Not Taken: In the 1970s, Wall Street and Its Economists Defeated Manufacturing
By the mid-1970s, cracks in the American industrial base were already visible. For the first time in the 20th century, the United States began running trade deficits. Factory closings that had earlier been limited to apparel, shoes, and plastic toys...
Is It Time for Obama to Shift His Agenda?
TIM FERNHOLZ: With Republicans and moderate Democrats holding up Obama's legislative agenda, maybe he ought to focus on bread-and-butter issues, especially jobs, even if that means delaying action on major goals like the energy bill or financial-regulation...
Listening to Afghanistan
In the spring of 2008 I wrote a column, "Listening to Iraq," in which I lamented the lack of access that most Americans had to the voices and opinions of the people most affected by the ongoing war. This made it difficult, I wrote, "for even the best-intentioned...
Losing Our Future: If We Don't Develop a National Industrial Policy for Clean-Energy Production, the Strategies of Other Nations Will Displace American Companies and Jobs
If you want to understand the consequences of America's failure to have a coherent, national industrial policy, look at one signature industry of the future--renewable energy. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that by 2030, total...
Machinery of Progress
What President Barack Obama needs to do is.... No, let's try this again. The problem with Barack Obama is.... Stop! I can't bear to read another column that starts like that, much less write one. As the administration's first year in office comes to...
Obama Year One
As Barack Obama ends his first year in office, there is much talk about disillusionment with the president among progressives. The litany of complaints is obvious: unemployment still at 10 percent, economic policies unduly favorable to Wall Street,...
On the Books: Could Microloans Help America's Informal Entrepreneurs Become Business Owners-And Rescue Urban Economies in the Process?
Loretta Harrison is a born hustler. "I been making and selling things since I was about 8 years old," says the 45-year-old, unemployed mom. She buys wholesale in Manhattan--balloons, socks, scarves, you name it--then loads up a pushcart and sells at...
Playing Ourselves for Fools: The Trading System America Sold the World Is Killing U.S. Industry. Here's a Better Way
Amid a generally poisoned atmosphere of vicious partisan combat, trade policy is unfortunately the last bastion of relentless bipartisanship. I say "unfortunately" because there is a stunning disconnect between America's trade policy and America's...
The Great Industrial Wall of China: Beijing's Mercantilism Challenges America's Market Ideology and Industrial Future
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On a flight to Beijing, my seatmate turned out to be a corporate counsel for a major U.S. manufacturer. He was leading the negotiations for the company's entrance into a significant sector of the Chinese economy. Surprisingly,...
The Plight of American Manufacturing: Since 2001, the U.S. Has Lost 42,400 Factories-And Its Technical Edge
Something has gone radically wrong with the American economy. A once-robust system of "traditional engineering"--the invention, design, and manufacture of products--has been replaced by financial engineering. Without a vibrant manufacturing sector,...
The Politics of Industrial Renaissance: Business and Government May Waver, but the American People Want More Manufacturing
So who's for reviving American manufacturing? American manufacturers? Well, some of them, under certain conditions. The American people? Most of them, under most conditions. The American government? Well, parts of it. Sometimes. Reviving American...
The Ruse of the Creative Class: For Years, Stagnant Towns Paid Richard Florida to Tell Them How to Attract Young Professionals. Now He Thinks They May Be beyond Help-But Isn't Offering Refunds
In April 2006, the Richard Florida show arrived in the Southern Tier of Upstate New York. It was only one of the scores of appearances this decade by the economic-development guru, whose speaking fee soared to $35,000 not long after his 2002 book The...
The Work-Around: How Some Supervisors of Low-Wage Workers Break the Rules to Make an Unfair System a Little Bit Fairer
Even though Andrew, a manager in a large food business in the Midwest, and his wife together make a decent income, he's preoccupied by the issue of low-wage labor. Many of the workers in his food company, he explains, make "poverty wages," and he is...

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