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. 16, No. 2, February

A Battle Progressives Can Win: Bush's Privatization Splinters Republicans and Unites Democrats
PRESIDENT BUSH CLAIMS THE 2004 election gave him a mandate to pursue his No. 1 second-term priority, the partial privatization of Social Security. But the voters don't think so. Only 35 percent of Americans think Bush has a mandate "to allow workers...
A Bloody Mess: How Has Britain's Privatization Scheme Worked out? Well, Today, They're Looking Enviably upon Social Security
A CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT SWEEPS TO POWER for a second term. It views its victory as a mandate to slash the role of the state. In its first term, this policy objective was met by cutting taxes for the wealthy. Its top priority for its second term is...
Almost Heaven? the Pharmaceutical Lobby Is Taking Its Fight to the States. but in West Virginia, They Fought Back
IN APRIL 2004, SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THE WEST VIRGINIA House of Delegates flew to Minnesota to speak at a national meeting of the Council of State Governments. The legislators were eager for support from other states to bolster their ongoing effort to...
Another Mistaken Racial Stereotype: Contrary to the Right's Claims, Social Security Is a Good Deal for Blacks
PRESIDENT BUSH HAS DECIDED there's a crisis within the Social Security system. Among the many ways in which his supporters justify the need for immediate action, there's this one: Social Security is a bad deal for African Americans. It's hard to...
Are Voters Paying Attention? Progressives Surely Have the Tools to Defeat the Privatization Campaign. What's Needed Is the Right Strategy
IN THE WAKE OF HIS 2004 VICTORY, President Bush seems poised to challenge the axiom that Social Security is the third rail of American politics. Democratic Party leaders will be making a very serious mistake if they believe that Americans will rush...
A Worldly Economist
Robert L. Heilbroner, who died January 4 at the age of 85, was one of a dwindling generation of professional economists who had broad humanistic curiosity and progressive values, and who wrote graceful prose for a large audience. Heilbroner was first...
Breach of Faith: Muslims and Christian Conservatives Are Both Deeply Religious. but since Last November, That's the Only Thing They Have in Common
AT THE MUSLIM AL-NOOR SCHOOL in Brooklyn, New York, all girls wear the hijab. Heads covered with white cloth scarves fill the classrooms, and long blue or green robes hide any Western-style clothing worn underneath. A few are shrouded beyond what's...
Burying Tennessee
NO ONE DOUBTS ALABAMA state Representative Gerald Allen's sincerity when he says he wants to protect Americans from an insidious homosexual plot to redesign our nation's social fabric. One year ago, in February 2004, when constitutional amendments...
Bush's Bridge Too Far: The Republicans May Have Wall-to-Wall Control, but the Politics of Privatization Favors the Democrats
THE EPIC SOCIAL SECURITY BATTLE OF 2005 WILL boil down to two questions: which side will do a more effective job getting its message out to voters, and which party can enforce the tighter discipline in Congress. Seemingly, the circumstances favor the...
Bush's Numbers Racket: Why Social Security Privatization Is a Phony Solution to a Phony Problem
THE WORD FROM PRESIDENT BUSH AND HIS MINions is that Social Security is on its last legs, facing imminent danger of bankruptcy. Fortunately, Bush is prepared to rescue this antiquated program by offering workers the opportunity to invest a portion...
Dossier: Loose Nukes
Russia's estimated stockpile includes 18,ooo assembled nuclear warheads at some 150 to 210 sites ... Additionally, it retains an estimated 603 metric tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and 170 metric tons of separated plutonium ... A working nuclear...
Ethics Delayed
HOUSE REPUBLICANS finally have an ethics committee they can call their own. The relationship between the GOP caucus and the committee has been strained ever since the panel handed down three admonishments to Majority Leader Tom DeLay last fall for...
Hired Education: A Hidden Culprit in the Drug Scandals: The Increasingly Corporatized University
M. MICHAEL WOLFE, A GASTROENTEROLOGIST at Boston University, admits he was duped by the Pharmacia Corporation, the manufacturer of the blockbuster arthritis drug Celebrex. (In 2003, the company was purchased by Pfizer.) In the summer of 2000, The Journal...
Is Moore Less? Republicans Say Filmmaker Michael Moore Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving. Should the Democrats Give Him the Sister Souljah Treatment?
LATE LAST DECEMBER, IN A PARticularly dim installment of end-of-year political punditry, the assembled talking heads on the Sunday-morning Chris Matthews Show were debating who deserved the title "biggest noisemaker of 2004." The choices Matthews offered...
It's Medicare, Stupid
OF THE NATION'S TWO GIANT ENTITLEMENT PROgrams, only one is in real trouble. It's Medicare, not Social Security. As our special supplement makes clear, the Social Security system isn't in a crisis. The system has been in surplus for years now, and...
Kristol Deploys
DURING LAST YEAR'S presidential-election campaign, it became a staple of right-thinking commentary to suggest that the two candidates' foreign policies weren't nearly as different as the Sturm und Drang of stump rhetoric made it sound. John Kerry,...
Man-Made Disasters: The Tragic Tsunamis Exposed the Propagandistic Ways of Asia's Authoritarian Regimes-Habits the Bush Administration Has Ignored
BANGKOK, THAILAND-- ON DECEMBER 26, WHEN THE tsunamis struck Asia, I was in Thailand. Like nearly everyone in Bangkok, I turned to any television I could find. The local Thai channels captured the breadth of the devastation, showing grim photos...
Money in Their Pickets
FOR WOMEN VISITING abortion clinics, the picketing presence of fervent abortion opponents can be unsettling. But the stalls of many Planned Parenthood offices have found a way to, if not take refuge from the harassment, at least take something a little...
New Labor? the Recent, Extraordinary Challenges to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney Could Have the House of Labor Rearranging Its Furniture Soon
FOR A LIFE-AND-DEATH DEBATE about the future of the labor movement, the current conflict over the structure and role of America's unions got off to a singularly inauspicious start. A week and a day after John Kerry's--and the unions'--defeat at the...
Our Best Anti-Poverty Program: Private Accounts Cannot Match Social Security's Guaranteed Benefits
WHY DOES THE UNITED STATES and every other developed nation have a system of social-insurance pensions? The simple answer is that social insurance is intended to ensure basic income to those no longer able to work. These include the elderly, the disabled,...
Privatization and the English Language: President Bush's Notion of "Ownership" in Social Security Really Means Asking Workers to Accept Risk, Volatility, and Uncertainty
The art of building consensus out of the "vague and confusing medley" of individual opinions, Walter Lippmann wrote in The Phantom Public, consists in narrowing issues to a few simplified alternatives that can be reduced to "symbols which assemble...
Social Security and the New Fiscal Policy: Bush Would Put the Costs of Social Security Privatization on the National Tab, Just like His Tax Cuts, Wars, and Medicare Drug Benefit
THE MOST PROFOUND, AND PROfoundly disturbing, innovation in budget policy during the administration of George W. Bush has been to discard the old-fashioned notion that presidents who propose a tax cut or new spending should also propose some way to...
State Corporate-Tax Follies
IF YOU'RE UNHAPPY WITH THE MESS GEORGE W. Bush has made of the federal corporate income tax, you'll be less happy to learn that things are even worse in the states. Last September, my group published a study showing that America's biggest and most...
The Mind as Passion: Her Job, Susan Sontag Wrote, Was to Defend a Higher "Standard of Mental Life." Maddeningly, but above All Bravely, That's What She Did
ONCE UPON A TIME, AMERICAN intellectual life featured a ritual known as the Partisan Review symposium. It was a solemn event, combining elements of high Mass and a boxing match. Here is how it worked: Every year or so, the tribal elders, gathering...
Unusual Suspects: What Happened to the Women Held at Abu Ghraib? the Government Isn't Talking. but Some of the Women Are
ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 24, 2003--FIVE weeks after the suicide bombing of a United Nations compound in Baghdad killed 23 people, including top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello, signaling an intensified phase of Iraqi insurgency--a group of American...
We're All in This Together: With Privatization, Young People Would Be Hurt Twice-First When They Pay the Bill and Then When Their Benefits Are Reduced
SAVINGS ARE LOW, DEBT IS MOUNTing, the dollar is weak, and the economy is projected to grow more slowly in this century than the last. But that's not the half of it. What we really have to worry about, according to a chorus of prophets, is the prospect...
We've Already Tried Private Accounts! the 401(k) Experience Shows That Individual Account Holders Often Make Unwise Decisions and Are at the Mercy of Financial Markets
PRESIDENT BUSH WANTS TO "PRIVATIZE" a portion of the Social Security program. As part of that debate, we should remember that our experience with 401(k) plans provides some evidence about how well such a program might work. The results to date are...
Why We Need Social Security: It Has Radically Reduced Poverty in Old Age. and It Protects the Middle Class against Inflation and the Ups and Downs of the Market
FOR NEARLY THREE-QUARTERS OF a century, Americans have taken Social Security for granted. Now we had better learn how it works, what it has done, and what the true facts are regarding its future--or else we are going to lose it. Superficially, Social...
You Better Think!
ON FEBRUARY 12, THE 447 MEMBERS OF THE Democratic National Committee are to elect a new chairman to replace Terry McAuliffe. Four days later, an important new book--John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics, by Richard Parker--is...
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