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. 1, January-February

A 21st-Century Agenda for Democratic Renewal: We Stand on the Threshold of a New Age of Democratic Potential. Here's How to Harness It
The 2008 elections in many ways showed that American democracy is still alive. Millions of voters volunteered for or donated to their favored candidates. Thanks to a free, open, and vibrant Internet, we could all tap an amazing wealth of viewpoints...
A Broader Definition of Democracy: Small Reforms Won't Bring the System-Wide Change We Need
"Over the last several years, the race for money and influence and power has left the hopes and concerns of most Americans in the dust. All you see from Washington is another scandal or petty argument. And so we get discouraged. Half of us don't vote....
A Global New Deal: The Next New Deal Won't Work If It's Only American. Fixing Our Economy Will Require Fixing International Systems
If you look at all of the U.S.-based operations of American International Group (AIG)--the insurance and annuities company that our government has been compelled to take over and bail out with more than $100 billion of our money--it's hard to see how...
Art in the Age of Obama: A New Era May Be Dawning in Which Artists, Strongly Supported by the President, Will Transcend Starry-Eyed Campaign Pictures and Develop New Forms of Enduring Art
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] LIKE MUCH OF AMERICA, THE ART world has fallen for Barack Obama with unguarded sincerity. From Shepard Fairey's widely reproduced poster to Robert Indiana's HOPE sculpture based on his well-known LOVE statue from the 1960s,...
Better Together: The Midwest Democracy Network Put Comprehensive Democracy Reform into Practice
It's been said time and again that "all politics is local." Truth be told, most people think of politics in national terms--this year more than ever. But the greatest potential for rethinking American democracy may lie in working at the regional level....
Can Money Be a Force for Good? the Revolutionary Potential of Small-Donor Democracy
Early last year, as the 2008 presidential campaign loomed on the horizon, campaign-finance experts and newspaper editorial boards warned preemptively of a "billion-dollar election." In a February 2007 editorial, The New York Times invoked Watergate...
Can Partisanship Save Citizenship? in the 1990s, Reformers and Academics Worried about How to Improve Civic Life. but They Didn't Foresee That Technology Combined with Party Politics Would Renew Civic Engagement and Even Elect One of Their Own
Public intellectuals don't agree on much. However, in recent years they seemed to nearly unanimously believe that American public life was in terrible shape. Political scientists debated whether voter turnout in national elections was merely stagnant...
From Consumers to Commons
NOT LONG AGO, I WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE WHO once had been a deficit hawk but had been turned into a full-blooded Keynesian by the current recession. He wanted a stimulus package in the range of $500 billion to $700 billion. "Consumers are dead in the...
Getting Ahead of Congress
GAYS IN THE MILITARY. REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AT home and abroad. Equality in public education. If this list of progressive policy priorities makes you cringe, you're not the only one. No sooner had the Democratic candidate flipped swing state after swing...
How Bush Broke the Government: To Gain a True Sense of Bush's Legacy, We Survey the Systematic and Politically Motivated Ways He Undermined the Federal Government
There is nothing new about presidents who are eager to overstep the bounds of their power, whether they are conservative or liberal in their political views. But the strategies that George W. Bush used to strengthen his presidency--and weaken other...
More Than the Vote: Being a Citizen Should Involve Active Participation in the Governance Process
Democracy, it has been said, is something a nation does rather than something it has. If that's true, Americans did a remarkable job of democracy this year. More than 130 million Americans voted, more than have ever done so in our nation's history....
Obama's Economic Opportunity: The Dismal State of the Economy Presents Obama with the Chance Not Just to Produce a Recovery but to Restore a More Egalitarian Society-And a Progressive Majority
History has delivered Barack Obama the greatest economic crisis since the one that greeted Franklin Roosevelt. As in 1933, the crisis is the direct result of free-market ideology and conservative misrule, which once again stand disgraced. This creates...
Our Capitalist Government
THE BASIC STORY OF AMERICAN ECONOMIC HISTORY is that every crisis has brought an expansion of government. But crises--along with eras of progressive consensus--don't just grow the government in familiar ways, measured by dollars spent or the number...
Parody
Dear Bom-bom, I'm not much of a letter writer, I guess, but I wanted to leave some advice for you as Laura and I move out. That's what Bill Clinton did for me, and it worked out pretty fine. I don't want to get too deep into policy this or policy...
The Case for Keeping Score: A Democracy Index Could Push States toward More Ambitious Electoral Reforms
In 2000, Americans finally learned what Roy Saltman calls "election administrations family secret": Our election system is run badly. Election problems prevented us from learning the identity of our 43rd president until weeks after the election. Things...
The Competence Dodge
IN NOVEMBER 2005, THE PROSPECT PUBLISHED AN ingenious and influential piece by Sam Rosenfeld and Matt Yglesias titled "The Incompetence Dodge." The article took lethal aim at liberal hawks who had argued that the Iraq War was the right idea; it had...
The Number-Cruncher-in-Chief: When It Comes to Major Policy Reforms, Cost Matters. Luckily, Obama's Budget Guru Knows How to Change the Price Tag
"The history of health reform," explains Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, "is congressmen sending health legislation off to the Congressional Budget Office to die." That's not the history you often hear. Budget analyses do not make for gripping headlines....
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