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. 19, No. 10, October

2008: Five Races to Watch
SENATE: [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] North Carolina Who: Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) vs. State Sen. Kay Hagan (D) Why: Hagan, a state senator from Shelby, North Carolina, is the underdog for a seat that's gone Republican every year since 1972. While...
African Americans and Immigrants: The Common Good: Are Foreigners "Taking Americans' Jobs"? or Are Employers Once Again Exploiting Cheap Labor and Vulnerable People?
America's current heartburn over immigration policy has focused on, among other things, the impact of immigrants on African American workers and other low-wage, uneducated workers. This superficial analysis is summed up by the cry, "They are taking...
Back to School, Back to Court
THE BIGGEST THING THE NEXT PRESIDENT CAN DO is something that's hardly been mentioned in this campaign: nominate federal judges who might one day toss out the system of the local funding of our schools. The only way to really improve education,...
Black Women: The Unfinished Agenda: African American Women Made Great Progress in Education and Entering into Previously Forbidden Occupations-But Their Gains in Earnings Mysteriously Stopped
We occupy many of the seats on the 5:30 P.M. Metrolink train from downtown Los Angeles to San Bernardino. We are behind the counters at the Department of Motor Vehicles and on both sides of the desks at the Department of Social Services. We push wheelchairs...
Channel Changer: For Years, Liberals Thought They Could Catch Up in Media by Playing by Conservatives' Rules. Rachel Maddow's Success Proves It's Better to Just Change the Game
"I think I have a fear in general about whether being a pundit is a worthwhile thing to be," Rachel Maddow tells me over dinner at a Latin restaurant in lower Manhattan. It's more than the ordinary self-deprecation of someone who just got her own cable...
Five Questions about the New Electorate
For a decade, Democrats have heard promises that a durable electoral majority was just around the corner. It's easy to construct such a majority on paper: Racial minorities and young voters (those born after 1978) turn out at record levels, working-class...
From Pop Charts to Politics: Is Hip-Hop's Mainstream Success Hindering Its Political Future?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN LATE JULY, A CROWD GATHERED in front of the News Corporation building in Midtown Manhattan to see hip-hop star Nas--perhaps the only rapper left who maintains both impeccable street cred and an easy fluency in American...
It's the Green Economy, Stupid
It's populist out there. Way populist. The dominant ideology among this year's Democratic candidates for seriously contested Senate and House seats might be called neo-Bryanism. Where once William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic nominee...
Meet the Next Treasury Secretary: The Most Difficult Economic Challenge of the Next Administration Will Be to Overhaul America's Collapsing Financial System. Who Will Lead That Effort?
One weekend last March, Timothy F. Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, fielded a panicked phone call from Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz. Bear was nearly out of cash, owing some $80 billion, mostly in short-term loans, to 5,000...
Parody
FROM: Steve Schmidt TO: McCain '08 Staff and Allies Friends, I gather that some of you are feeling uncertain over how to respond to press inquiries into the recent statements and actions of our candidate. These talking points should serve...
Race, Place, and Opportunity: Where We Live Influences Our Life Chances. Too Many Blacks Still Live in Concentrated Poverty
We live our lives trying to gain as much opportunity as our circumstances will allow. Space and place have always been important to pathways (and roadblocks) to opportunity, but they became even more important for the distribution of opportunity after...
Regular Work in an Irregular Economy: Ending the Temp Agencies' Control of Low-Wage Labor Markets
Imagine that you are a young person trying to find your first full-time job in New Brunswick, New Jersey, a small city about 35 miles southwest of New York. You don't want to work in a restaurant or a fast-food joint, because they won't give you enough...
Sub-Prime as a Black Catastrophe: First Came Racial Redlining. Then Came Racial Targeting of Toxic and Predatory Loans. Both Spelled Economic Disaster for African Americans
No other recent economic crisis better illustrates the saying when America catches a cold, African Americans get pneumonia" than the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. African Americans, along with other minorities and low-income populations, have been the...
Taking the Initiative
DESPITE THE PARANOIA OF LIBERALS AND THE SELF-aggrandizement of the religious right in the wake of the 2004 election, John Kerry did not lose because of antigay marriage initiatives on the ballot in 11 states. Polling consistently shows that contrary...
The American Collision
EARLIER IN THIS ELECTION CYCLE, MANY OBSERVERS suggested that if Barack Obama and John McCain became their parties' nominees, they would each moderate the polarizing tendencies in American politics. In the wake of the two parties' national conventions,...
The Economic Crisis in Black and White: Narrowing America's Racial Divides and Expanding Opportunity for All
Today, the U.S. economy is facing one of its greatest challenges in decades. The recent seven-year economic expansion netted a record for producing the fewest jobs since Herbert Hoover was president. The median income for American households has not...
The Fence to Nowhere: The Minutemen Promised Their Supporters a High-Tech Border Barrier. Instead, They Got a Five-Strand Barbed-Wire Fence and a Bunch of Radical Splinter Groups
Jim Campbell was a contractor before he became an Arizona retiree, so he happens to know a little about getting construction projects completed. He also happens to be avidly involved in efforts to stem what he and thousands of others see as an unholy...
Understanding the Black-White Earnings Gap: Why Do African Americans Continue to Earn Less despite Dramatic Gains in Education?
Today, African American men working full time and year round have 72 percent of the average earnings of comparable white men. For African American and white women, the ratio is 85 percent. And during good times and bad, the black unemployment rate...
Unionization and Black Workers: Trade Unions Are Still a Key Path to Higher-Quality Jobs and Greater Dignity at the Workplace
In much of the media coverage of the presidential campaign, unions and the black community are portrayed as separate groups without common members or common interests. In fact, black workers are disproportionately union members. In 2007, 12.1 percent...
We're All Chicagoans Now
FOR YEARS, THERE'S BEEN A QUIET ARGUMENT IN progressive circles about the appropriate design of the social contract, the public programs that ensure health care and economic security. Originating with the "New Democrats" of the 1990s, a centrist faction...
What to Expect When You're Expecting a Majority
No one expected Chris Van Hollen to be the next Rahm Emanuel. During Emanuel s five years as a congressman and his tenure as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), he earned a place in Washington mythology as a cursing,...
Women of Color: The Persistent Double Jeopardy of Race and Gender
Because women of color are both women and racial minorities, they face a double jeopardy--lower economic opportunities due to their race and their gender. This double jeopardy is reflected both in the jobs available to them and in their lower pay....

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