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. 23, No. 6, July-August

Creating a Countercyclical Welfare System
Welfare systems exist to reduce the worst excesses of poverty. When poverty increases during recessions, the welfare state is supposed to rush into countereyclical action, providing a firewall against a growth in destitution. That's the theory, anyway....
Dangerous Happiness: Louisa May Alcott and the Mother of All Girls' Books
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Christmas won't be Christmas without any present, s, grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. This is how Louisa May Alcott begins Little Women. She wrote it in 1868, when she was 35, after months of urging by Thomas Niles, a Boston...
Family Independence Initiative
Twenty-one years after Maurice Lira Miller founded Asian Neighborhood Design--an anti-poverty organization in Oakland and San Francisco that emphasized community development and worker training--he had seemingly reached the peak of his career. In 1999,...
How We Won
VICTORY: THE TRIUMPHANT GAY REVOLUTION--HOW A DESPISED MINORITY PUSHED BACK, BEAT DEATH, FOUND LOVE, AND CHANGED AMERICA FOR EVERYONE BY LINDA HIRSHMAN, Harper Collins, 464 pages, $27.99 Fifty years ago, being gay put you beyond the social pale....
Mismeasuring-And Its Consequences
The "facts" about poverty can be deceiving. In her magisterial book Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo tells the stories of the inhabitants of a Mumbai slum on the edge of a sewage lake who lack jobs, housing, running water, health care,...
Oasis Center
Founded 42 years ago to help young people addicted to drugs or alcohol, Nashville's Oasis Center has been expanding its reach ever since. Oasis now hosts a 24-hour hotline and houses the city's only shelter for runaways, where young people or families...
Pressing on the Upward Way
By her second semester of college, in the spring of 2008, Sue Christian was about as tired as she'd ever been in her 40 years. It wasn't that her studies kept her working hard; she was used to long hours. It wasn't that she was missing her salary;...
Progress, Paradox, and the Path Ahead
THE WAR ON POVERTY PETER EDELMAN: The '60s were when we, quote, unquote, discovered poverty. In the 1930s a huge percentage of people were poor, but then came World War II and the tremendous postwar boom, and we sort of forgot as a country that...
Project Match
In the mid-1980s, Toby Herr had been teaching students from Cabrini-Green, one of Chicago's most notorious housing projects, for eight years. The more she'd seen of her students' lives, the less she believed that education was enough to help them escape...
School for Success
Students trail into the Austin Community College classroom in ones and twos, taking seats in pale plastic chairs behind long narrow tables. Some wear scrubs, fresh from shifts at the hospital, while others are in street clothes. A few are middle-aged,...
Seeing What No One Else Could See
Michael Harrington's The Other America, the book that first documented the existence of pervasive poverty within the postwar United States--then congratulating itself for being the world's first majority-middle-class nation--struck American liberals...
Step Up Savannah
While the port city of Savannah has thrived in recent decades, many of its citizens have remained in poverty. In 2003, when the mayor appointed a task force to study the problem, the city's poverty rate stood at 21 percent, 9 percent above the national...
The Democrats' Demographic Dreams: Liberals Are Counting on Population Trends to Doom Republicans to a Long-Term Minority. They Shouldn't
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] If Democrats agree on anything, it's that they will eventually be on the winning side. The white Americans who tend to vote Republican are shrinking as a percentage of the population while the number of those who lean Democratic--African...
The Geography of Getting By
A mile west of the polished-granite and tinted-glass towers of the Los Angeles skyline, in the dense Central American hub of MacArthur Park, there is a street called Little. It is exactly that, a one-block nub, sandwiched between Wilshire on the north...
The London Games
GHOST MILK: RECENT ADVENTURES AMONG THE FUTURE RUINS OF LONDON ON THE EVE OF THE OLYMPICS BY IAIN SINCLAIR, Faber and Faber, 405 pages, $30.00 July 2012 marks the third time London has hosted the modern Olympics. In 1908, Britain was a rich and...
The Sixties at 50
Ever since the 1960s, many of us have measured progress by how far America has gone in fulfilling the ideals of that era: guaranteeing equal rights, preventing unjust wars, safeguarding the earth, ending poverty. This issue of the Prospect includes...
The Unheeded
END THIS DEPRESSION NOW! BY PAUL KRUGMAN, W.W. Norton & Company, 272 pages, $24.95 THE PRICE OF INEQUALITY: HOW TODAY'S DIVIDED SOCIETY ENDANGERS OUR FUTURE BY JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ, W.W. Norton & Company, 448 pages, $27.95 A prophet, says...
Upgrading Skills, Upgrading Opportunity
Even before the Great Recession began, our weak and unequal labor market was an important cause of increasing poverty in the United States. Since 2000, as rising inequality has been accompanied by stagnating or declining average earnings, the number...
Where Work Disappears and Dreams Die
Not all teenagers are as lucky as J'Len Glass. He trusts his parents. He knows they will always tell it to him straight. Yet the 15-year-old, who wants to be a doctor, can't help being skeptical of his elders' veracity--or at least of their memories--when...
Will You Marry Me?
I'm married in Massachusetts. I'm not married in the United States. That paradox is untenable, the First Circuit Court of Appeals declared in May as it unanimously struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act--the portion of the 1996 law stating...
Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership
In the 1990s, Milwaukee's manufacturing base was petering away. Part of the problem stemmed from outsourcing to nations halfway across the world, but the labor pool was also a challenge. Computers and robots had revolutionized manufacturing. But companies...
Worse Than We Thought, but We Can Solve This
We have two basic poverty problems in the United States. One is the prevalence of low-wage work. The other concerns those who have almost no work. The two overlap. Most people who are poor work as much as they can and go in and out of poverty....

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