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. 4, May

2 Risk Is Best Managed from the Bottom Up
Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke stated the obvious during his March 10 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington: The global financial system contains too much risk and too little regulation. As the central figure in a multitrillion-dollar...
3 the Rich and Powerful Can Avoid Risk
Recent discussions of the malfunction of Wall Street have centered on the role of statistical models that failed to accurately account for all possible outcomes. These less likely results, known as "tail risks," were underestimated by the models. Now...
4 Housing Is Local, and Lending Should Be, Too
History will recall 2005 as the year the credit bubble grew fattest--when in much of Florida and California, real-estate prices doubled in a matter of months. But in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, it was the year that nearly 12,000 homes were abandoned to...
5 A Strong Safety Net Encourages Healthy Risk-Taking
Remember the "ownership society"? Just an election cycle ago, conservatives were urging Americans to give up their antiquated social-insurance programs--Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance--in favor of tax-subsidized individual accounts...
A Give and Take on Immigration
THE DOMINANT ANTI-IMMIGRANT NARRATIVE IN THIS country--despite paeans to the mythical "melting pot" we read about in grade-school social-studies textbooks--is that immigrants take. They come here to take our jobs. They take up social services. They...
A Tale of Two Exurbs: Most Outer-Ring Suburbs Are Being Developed into Unwalkable Sprawl. but It Doesn't Have to Be That Way
Leesburg, Virginia, is the archetypal American exurb. Named after an ancestor of Robert E. Lee, it is the seat of Loudoun County, 35 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.--the farthest true suburb west of Washington. To its west are small towns and a...
Charitable Relations: Philanthropy Adapts to the Obama Era
Last November, two weeks after Barack Obama was elected president, Gara LaMarche took to the podium at the annual meeting of Southern California Grantmakers. The president and chief executive of The Atlantic Philanthropies was in particularly good...
Expert Advice
ON JUNE 11, 1962, JOHN F. KENNEDY DELIVERED the commencement address at Yale. After some Harvard-Yale jocularity, he put forward the most memorable definition of that triumphal moment in what historians now call the era of liberal consensus: "What...
From the Executive Editor
THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRISES ARE CERTAIN to change our world in lasting ways. In our April issue, we looked at the possibilities--some of them healthy--for a society in which we expect and consume less. The crisis will also change fundamental...
It's Time to Rethink the Problem
How did it happen? How did the sub-prime mortgage crisis cascade into the Wall Street meltdown and then the worst recession since the 1930s? One answer crops up over and over: It was the math. According to Wired magazine, a single equation, the Gaussian...
Revolution amid Recession
UNTIL RECENTLY, THE OPTIMISTIC ASSUMPTIONS OF an era of prosperity dominated ideas about the information revolution. Although many observers recognized that new technology would bring "creative destruction"--making old industries obsolete, while opening...
States Left Behind: When Obama Selected His Cabinet, He Caused a Fair Bit of Upheaval in His Nominees' Home States
When, or if, the Republican Party and the conservative movement make their comeback, it will not be under the banner of Washington leaders such as House Minority Leader John Boehner or hapless party Chair Michael Steele. Rather, the comeback is most...
The Next War over the Courts: Conservatives Are Already Fired Up about Obama's Judicial Nominations. Is the White House Prepared for the Fight?
On March 17, President Barack Obama announced his first judicial nominee: David Hamilton, a 15-year veteran Indiana federal trial judge with the declared support of both Indiana senators, Republican Richard Lugar and Democrat Evan Bayh. With his selection...
The XXX-Files: Lobbying for the Porn Industry in a Time of Economic Crisis
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WE ALL KNOW home values and decimated 401(k)s are among the effects of the recession. But what about depleted sex drives? "People are too depressed to be sexually active," Hustler publisher Larry Flynt said in a January statement...
Tim's Treasures
"Our new Public-Private Investment Program will set up funds to provide a market for the legacy loans and securities that currently burden the financial system." --Timothy Geithner, The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2009 NEW [begin strikethrough]TOXIC...
What Are the Political-And Taste-Implications of the Food Industry-Created Banana Monoculture?
ANN FRIEDMAN: The banana as we know it is about to die out. All of the bananas we consume in the U.S. are the same varietal, and one disease could wipe them all out. As a lifelong banana-hater, though, I can't say I'm too upset about it. ADAM SERWER:...

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