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. 7, September

Aborting Health Reform: Without Reproductive-Health Coverage, Any Public Insurance Plan Is Doomed to Fail
In September 1993, as Hillary Clinton lobbied Congress to pass her health-reform bill, she plainly addressed the looming controversy over reproductive care. "It will include pregnancy-related services, and that will include abortion, as insurance policies...
A Modern Safety Net: We Need to Update Our Social Contract for the Real Lives of Working Families in a Brutal Economy
The Great Recession has revealed that our social safety net--primarily established by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression--is more hole than net. For many Americans, this is not news. Low-income families have spent decades dealing with...
A National Mission: Britain's National Goal of Reducing Child Poverty Was a Political Success. Did It Work?
How do you build a bipartisan consensus to tackle seemingly unfashionable social problems? Look at Britain. In October 2007 David Cameron, head of the U.K.'S partially revamped Conservative Party, made a speech that boldly concluded, "We can make British...
A New Agenda for Tough Times: After a Decade of Economic Change and Fresh Thinking, It's Time for a New National Effort to Fight Poverty
It has been 13 years since a Democratic president's signature on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 eliminated a flawed program that also provided the only protection against destitution. Yet that act also brought...
Behavioral Theory: Can Mayor Bloomberg Pay People to Do the Tight Thing?
Groundwork is a tiny, storefront service agency that sits across the street from a hulking housing project in East New York, the Brooklyn neighborhood infamous for being one of the poorest and most dangerous in New York City. Though on the surface...
Can Separate Be Equal? the Classroom Is Where Poor and Middle-Class Kids Should Meet-To the Benefit of Both
For generations, those seeking to break the cycle of poverty have divided into two camps: integrationists, who believe that separate schools and neighborhoods for rich and poor perpetuate poverty, and community organizers, who want to "fix" inner-city...
CliffsNews: Back-to-School Cheat Sheet
For those who checked out during the summer of 2009, a summary of the news based on what anyone seems able to remember (Note: Not fact-checked) Central America: Honduras, or a similar nation, deposed its president, who was left-wing, but democratic,...
Countercyclical Capital: Is D.C. the Only Place in America Not Affected by the Downturn?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The view from Charlie Palmer's Steakhouse is terrific. Look out the massive picture windows and there, above the leafy trees that stretch nearly to the top of the hill, the Capitol dome glistens, refulgent in the late summer...
Left without Labor
Several years ago, I spoke, on a panel where an audience member posed the rhetorical question, "Can any of you envision a robust progressive movement that doesn't have organized labor at the center of it?" The appropriate answer--the one that wouldn't...
Nativism versus Security
It's tempting to write off Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio as just another right-wing hatemonger. Like the Pat Buchanans and Lou Dobbs of the world, he has a large platform, talent for exploiting the racist side of populism, and an all-consuming...
Neo Cities: How Online Communities Are Born-And What Happens When They Die
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When Yahoo announced earlier this year that it was shuttering GeoCities, an online community of user-created Web pages from the early days of the Internet, the response was more mocking than mournful. "So Long GeoCities: We...
Overdue Process: When It Comes to Terrorist Suspects in Detention, Obama Is Finding That Bush Set a Difficult Precedent to Break
The cavernous room in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., was nearly empty, except for a few journalists holding yellow legal pads. A small parade of government lawyers marched in and rested their briefcases on their desks before approaching...
Present at the Re-Creation: The Liberal Financial Experts out to Reform Capitalism
The financial crisis has led to an accountability moment for our economic system. But the most disappointing--if unsurprising--realization in what ought to be an era of reform is that so few experts from the world of Wall Street and commerce have stepped...
Putting Poverty in Its Place: Neighborhood-Based Approaches Can Succeed, If They're Part of a Broader Urban Strategy
The Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) has given new meaning to the adage that failure is an orphan but success has a thousand parents. The zone, a public-private partnership founded and led by the charismatic Geoffrey Canada, has produced significant gains...
Race, Wealth, and Intergenerational Poverty: There Will Never Be a Post-Racial America If the Wealth Gap Persists
Despite an enormous and persistent black-white wealth gap, the ascendant American narrative is one that proclaims our society has transcended the racial divide. But wealth is a paramount indicator of social well-being. Wealthier families are better...
Recovering Opportunity: Racial Barriers Continue to Hold Back Millions of Americans-And Our Economy
When he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)--the economic stimulus package--President Barack Obama promised it would "begin the process of restoring the economy and making America a stronger and more prosperous nation."...
States of Distress
Economic growth declined by only 1 percent from April through June, compared to 6.4 percent in the first quarter--in these times that passes for good news. Without the Obama stimulus of $787 billion, the damage would be far worse. But there are two...
The Poverty of Political Talk: It's Still Hard for Politicians to Speak Clearly about the Poorest Americans
In the spring of 2007, I traveled to Allendale, South Carolina, a struggling town near the Georgia line, to interview John Edwards about his ideas on fighting poverty. I watched as, photographers in tow, he strolled the back alleys and shook hands...
There Goes the Neighborhood: We're Spending Billions to Reverse the Damage Wrought by the Mortgage Crisis. but Wall Street's Bill Collectors Have Their Own Agenda
To get to Pittsburgh, a historically black neighborhood south of downtown Atlanta, I drive past several boarded-up and burned-out homes. Turning onto McDaniel Street, I steer around a pile of clothes and toys spilling out into the road. "Lord, behold,...
The Truth about Tuition: We Shouldn't Try to Just Make College Cheaper-We Should Make Sure It's Worth the Money
For decades, the politics of higher education have followed familiar lines: Democrats champion higher Pell Grants for needy families, tuition tax credits for the middle class, and cheaper student loans paid for by cutting banks out of the system. Republicans...
Where Will Republicans Find Their Next Leader?
MARK SCHMITT: So, we don't have Sarah Palin to kick around anymore, or maybe we do, but David Axelrod recently said that when he sits around talking about Republicans the White House is worried about, her name doesn't come up. Who do you think they...
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