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. 15, No. 1, January

A Bad Senior Moment: The GOP Won This Medicare Fight. Now, Dems Must Keep Seniors (and Themselves) United
IN A MIDDLE-OF-THE NIGHT VOTE HELD OPEN FOR AN UNprecedented three hours on Nov. 21-22, Republican leaders finally corralled enough conservatives to ram through the House of Representatives a bill restructuring Medicare and authorizing a limited prescriptionp-drug...
Abort Mission: Ronald Reagan's Miniseries May Have Bombed, but His Global Gag Rule, Vastly Expanded by the Bush Administration, Is Still Spreading Misery
THE TELEVISION LEGACY OF THE REAGAN administration has finally aired, on Showtime rather than CBS, bringing its screechy tales of 1980s conservatism only to a small, paying audience of devotees to kitsch. The miniseries was blasted by conservatives...
And They're off! Dean May Be on a Roll, but He's Still 2,159 Delegates Away from Being the Nominee. Here, Our Comprehensive, All-Knowing, Semi-Speculative Skinny on Who's Strong Where
ELECTIONS ARE INVARIABLY MORE MESSY, MORE CONTINGENT, THAN THEY MAY seem in advance, and the coming year's Democratic presidential primaries are unlikely to prove an exception. Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.), who has fervor, volunteers and money to...
Banking on Decent Jobs: Bankers Have Choices in How They Use New Technology to Transform Work. So Far, Ordinary Workers Are Both Winners and Losers. Why Not More Winners?
NEW TECHNOLOGIES CAME SLOWLY TO THE BANKING industry, but change is now coming faster and faster. The question is, who will benefit? Consider the check, a banking mainstay introduced shortly after the Civil War. For more than a century, checks were...
Culture War, Round 3077: This Latest Battle Has It All: A Federal International-Studies Bill and Two Sides-Government and Academe-Worlds Apart in Their Interpretation
AMERICANS, THANKFULLY, ARE NOT being gunned down in disputes over political correctness. But disputes over who should decide which ideas should circulate where are very much in play. In fact, a new front has opened. On Oct. 21, the House of Representatives...
Do Good and Dump W
HOW'S THIS FOR A TWOFER? Raise the minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of Floridians and boost Democratic turnout in the Sunshine State's 2004 presidential election to boot. Presently plotting this prospect is the Association of Community Organizations...
For a Smarter Public, Deliberation Day
It is easy to wring one's hands, especially with a presidential campaign approaching, over the scandalous state of the public's knowledge about politics. But is there anything practical to be done? There is, and the answer can be found in a new and...
Friends of Spam
WITH THE DAWNING OF the new year, e-mail users will find their inboxes subject to the benevolent hegemony of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act. Rarely has there been such an appropriately ambiguous...
Higher Skills, Fewer Jobs: With Advanced Technology and Skilled Workers, America Can Keep a Strong Manufacturing Sector, but Rising Productivity Equals a Smarter-And Smaller-Work Force
IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, U.S MANUFACTURERS HAVE suffered their most dramatic job losses since the Great Depression. Even with the turnaround in job creation reported this fall, manufacturing lost another 19,000 jobs in November. The sector's low-skilled...
High-Wage America: How We Can Reclaim a Middle-Class Society
THIS PROSPECT SPECIAL REPORT HAS DEMONSTRATED that America is needlessly generating a disproportionate number of low-wage jobs, and that other paths are possible. Low-wage America is a nation of hard-working people struggling to make ends meet--and...
How a Bill Becomes a Law (Revised)
FORGET WHAT YOU learned in Government 101 (or math class for that matter), because in Congress these days, a negative plus a negative equals a positive. And even though R's control everything, a House "yea" plus a Senate "yea" can still equal a firm...
Is It Time to Believe? Bill Clinton Rebuilt the Democratic Party in Crucial Ways. but Howard Dean Is Rebuilding It in a Way Clinton Missed. Party Insiders Would Do Well to Make Their Peace with It
AS DEMOCRATS IN IOWA AND BEYOND PREPARE TO START voting, we can look back and identify four distinct phases of this nascent presidential campaign: the early, we-get to know-them phase; the preliminary nuts and bolts phase, concerned with which candidate...
Las Vegas as a Workers' Paradise: The Hotel Workers' Union Boosted Wages and Transformed Dead-End Jobs into Middle-Class Careers in the Very Belly of the Casino Economy. Here's How It Happened
I. WHAT'S RIGHT WITH THIS PICTURE? LAS VEGAS--In the middle of his life, Sylvester Garcia decided he'd had enough of the cold and the heat. He'd been a welder in the copper-mining towns of New Mexico for a most a quarter of a century, but, he says,...
No Common Sense in the Commonwealth
In November, with much fanfare, Gov. Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced his "comprehensive tax reform plan." He bragged that it will bring "tax fairness for working families" and "put Virginia back on the path to fiscal integrity." Warner's. cheerleaders...
Pathways to Good Jobs: Can Career Ladders Solve the Low-Wage Problem?
LOW-WAGE JOBS CAUSE STAGNANT LIVING STANDARDS only when they are dead-end jobs. Deliberately designed occupational pathways can enable people to move up as they acquire more skills: Entry-level wages may be low, but people advance beyond them. A plumbing...
Phoenix Rising: Tucked Away in the Recent Iraqi Appropriation Was $3 Billion for a New Paramilitary Unit. Close Students of Vietnam May See Similarities
WITH THE 2004 ELECTORAL CLOCK ticking amid growing public concern about U.S. casualties and chaos in Iraq, the Bush administration's hawks are upping the ante militarily. To those familiar with the CIA's Phoenix assassination program in Vietnam, Latin...
Press One for Better Service: Squeezed by Corporate Managers, Call Centers Have Been Exasperating Consumers and Workers Alike. New Research Shows That Better Jobs Produce Happier Customers
Something was wrong on my credit-card bill, so I placed a call to the issuing bank's customer-service line. The computerized voice told me to press "1" for customer-service inquiries on existing accounts, then to press "3" for credit cards. Following...
Revolution Now (and Then)! the Battle of Algiers Defined a Political Moment When It Was Released in 1965. Now It's Back, and, If Anything, It's Even More Relevant Today
THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS IS BACK--along with the Battle of Algiers scenario. At a time when Gillo Pontecorvo's documentary-style account of a bloody, anti-colonialist urban uprising has been used by commentators from Tariq All to Zbigniew Brzezinski to...
Spare the Dime!
NOT CONTENT TO SPEND every waking hour chipping away at the New Deal, congressional Republicans are now seeking to erase President Franklin Delano Roosevelt from the dime and replace him with Ronald Reagan. The Ronald Reagan Dime Act, voted for by...
Super Hype: Not All Delegates Are Created Equal, but Party Insiders Can't Block Dean. Unless
IT'S NO SECRET THAT MUCH OF THE DEMOCRATIC ESTABlishment fears Howard Dean. For months, rumors have abounded that party insiders will mount some kind of last-ditch effort to deny him the nomination he seems ever closer to securing. One natural focus...
The Democrats' Micro Economics
To hear Democratic contenders in this final stretch before the primaries, you'd think the biggest economic question facing America is whether to repeal all or part of George W. Bush's tax cuts. How utterly pathetic. This lets Bush frame the issue,...
The Low-Wage Puzzle: Why Is America Generating So Many Bad Jobs-And How Can We Create More Good Jobs?
When America's most recent economic boom ended in 200l, the economy was turning out $7 trillion worth of consumer goods and services a year--enough to provide every man, woman and child with almost $25,000 worth of food, housing, transportation, medical...
The New Politics of Medicare
The passage of the Republican Medicare overhaul, with its new prescription-drug benefit provided wholly by private insurers, was a huge political victory for the president and an ideological triumph for conservatives. Unlike Bill Clinton 10 years ago,...
The O'Connor Project: Can We End Racial Discrimination without Affirmative Action? Here's What It Will Take
JUSTICE SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR, SPEAKING FOR A MAJORITY of the U.S. Supreme Court in the University of Michigan affirmative-action case, declared, "We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary ... ." What...
The Terror Trap: Hard-Line Campaigns against Islamic Terrorism-Here or in Israel-Don't Merely Fail as Strategy. They Fulfill the Terrorists' Stated Goals
THE FOUR MEN, VETERANS OF A GRIM business, had only grim words. Former heads of the Shin Bet, the Israeli security service entrusted with righting terrorism, they gathered to tell Israel's largest newspaper that the Sharon government was failing completely...
Wal-Mart Nation
"WE ARE THE VANGUARD IN AMERICA," UNITED AUTO Workers President Walter Reuther told the delegates assembled for the UAW's 1947 convention. "We are the architects of the future." And for the quarter-century, they were. In mid-century America, when...
When the High Road Isn't Enough: North Carolina's Hosiery Industry Has It All: Technology, Training and Employer-Worker Partnerships. but Because of Lax-And Often Unenforced-Trade Laws, It Still May Lose out to Cheap Foreign Labor
DAN ST. LOUIS MAY NEVER GRACE THE COVER OF Business Week magazine or dash off to board meetings in a Gulfstream jet. He works in a cramped, windowless office in a former Nickel's department store that is now home to a branch of Catawba Valley Community...