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. 20, No. 3, April

A Green Industrial Economy: The Opportunity [or Good Jobs Is There-But Unionization and Government Contracting Standards Will Make a Huge Difference
In 2007 the central Iowa town of Newton mourned the closing of the Maytag appliance factory that had been the economic anchor of the community for more than a century. Only a month later, local officials happily announced that TPI Composites, a producer...
All Work, No Pay
WHEN BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA VISITED A Washington, D.C., public charter school on Feb. 3, they asked a class of second-graders what they wanted to be when they grew up. "First lady!" exclaimed one girl. Michelle Obama smiled. "It doesn't pay much,"...
A Politics of National Sacrifice: Thirty Years after Carter's "Malaise Speech," the Language of Humility and Civic Obligation Resonates More Powerfully Than Ever
On July 15, 1979, President Jimmy Carter gave the riskiest speech of his presidency. In what became known as the "malaise speech"--though the word "malaise" never appeared in it--the president riveted the nation. He delivered the speech amid rumors...
Beyond Sunny Hopes and Windy Rhetoric: To Realize the Promise of Solar and Wind Power, Aspirations Need to Be Matched with More Effective Strategies
President Barack Obama hopes that new wind and solar projects will produce many thousands of new jobs. Renewable energy, after all, is manufactured energy. If domestic producers were to provide the thousands of component parts that a major shift to...
Breakfast at Hugo's: Our Correspondent Learns Too Much about the Bolivarian Revolution
SOMETIMES, AN INSULT can get you free breakfast. After rashly calling President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela a dictator on our blog, TAPPED, I received an invitation from Chavez's embassy: Come to breakfast, and well tell you why he isn't an autocrat....
Cities on the Front Lines: Conversion to Solar and Wind Energy Is an Environmental Necessity and an Industrial Opportunity. Success Will Require a Concerted National Policy
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the Obama era, the federal government will play a much more active role promoting green economic development. In the meantime, cities and states have been the front lines of innovation. However, even the most creative of...
Fighting for Green Justice: In the Race for Green Jobs, Environmental-Justice Advocates Don't Want Urban Communities to Get Left Behind
Since the 1980s, the environmental-justice movement has linked the pursuit of a greener economy with the needs of urban minority communities that have suffered more than their share of environmental assaults. Though the best publicized new jobs in...
From Mass Transit to New Manufacturing: With the Right Policies in Place, an Expansion of Public Transportation Could Help Reindustrialize the United States
A new industrial-policy initiative for domestic production of mass-transit products could help the United States overcome multiple economic challenges. It could provide high-wage jobs, generate tax revenue, expand exports, and reduce trade deficits....
Lessons from Europe: Funding for Research into New Technology Is Key
While the U.S. can learn much from European strategies to promote renewable energy, it must also be cautious. The International Energy Agency (IEA) review says that a major failure of the European Union's green-energy policy is a dearth of investment...
Missed Connections
ONE OF THE TRICKS THAT CONSERVATIVES USED TO maintain control during the Bush era was to always vote on tax cuts in isolation, keeping choices about taxes completely separate from questions of spending and government services. Otherwise people would...
My Recovery Prediction
I'VE GOT SOMETHING OF A REPUTATION AS AN ECONOMIC soothsayer. Last March I predicted the economy would slide off a cliff in six months. Six months later, it did. How did I know? Ill get to that later. Now, I'm predicting the economy will start to recover...
Naughty Mommies: Are Bloggers Who Proudly Identify as "Bad Moms" Challenging Ideals of Motherhood or Reinforcing Them?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A MOTHER TELLS HER CHILD THAT Haagen Dazs is a special medicine for mommies because she doesn't want to share. Another purposely ruins her daughter's favorite T-shirt with red nail polish. One joins Weight Watchers so she...
Our Man in Kabul: Richard Holbrooke Learned Some Hard Lessons in Vietnam. Now He Is Applying Them to Afghanistan and Pakistan
At 5 P.M. on a weekday in Oak Grove, Kentucky, not far from Fort Campbell, a dark-haired woman is standing in front of her house on Artic Avenue. She watches her dog run through the yard. Inside, her three-year-old son waits. She tells me that her...
Post-Consumer Prosperity: Finding New Opportunities amid the Economic Wreckage
The economic bonfire fueled mostly by consumption in recent years has ended. As we have watched the familiar statistics plummet, with credit cards maxed out and home-equity loans a thing of the past, the reality has slowly become clear: We won't return...
Slouching towards Solvency
President Obama has worked wonders with the budgetary part of the recovery program. But if he doesn't solve the banking and housing crises, the economy will continue collapsing. The latest programs from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are both...
The Education Wars: Teachers 'Unions and Reform Advocates Are Locked in Aright over the Future of Schools. Now the Battle Lines Have Started to Blur
Like any successful negotiator, Randi Weingarten can sense when the time for compromise is nigh. On Nov. 17, after the Election Day dust had cleared, Weingarten, the president of both the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and its NewYork City affiliate,...
The Green Challenge
The green economy will get an $80 billion boost from President Barack Obama's recovery package in the form of direct spending, loan guarantees, and tax incentives. A clean-energy economy offers not just savings in imported oil and reductions in carbon...
The Radical Minimalist: Obama's New Regulatory Czar Likes Market Incentives. Will They Work?
Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.) --WALT WHITMAN, "SONG OF MYSELF" Barack Obama is best described as a "visionary minimalist," according to Cass Sunstein, the man who will oversee...
Where the Jobs Are: Compared to Spending on the Military or Oil Industry, Green Investment Can Improve Both Job Quantity and Quality. but It Will Take a Massive Shift in Resources
President Barack Obama's economic-stimulus program that passed Congress in February, despite being too small and too loaded with tax breaks for corporations, is among the most progressive pieces of economic legislation since the 1960s. The green-investment...
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