The Public Interest

Public Interest is a magazine specializing in Politics topics.

Articles from No. 158, Winter

Gotham's Fiscal Crisis: Lessons Unlearned
IT IS certainly a memorable image: New York City mayor Abe Beame standing before the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and leaving a plaintive, one-word note--"HELP." At that time, 30 years ago, the Big Apple needed all the help it could get. It was in the...
Phantom Jobs and Job Losses
AMERICANS are working. But how many of them? The answer to that question can have profound political consequences. Employment was a big issue in the 2004 presidential campaign, as George W. Bush and John Kerry sparred over how many jobs had been created...
Russia, the Sick Man of Europe
THE Russian Federation today is in the grip of a steadily tightening mesh of serious demographic problems, for which the term "crisis" is no overstatement. This crisis is altering the realm of the possible for the country and its people--continuously,...
The Age of Depression
As the New York Times tells the story, Sherri Souza's husband is a National Guardsman posted in Iraq whose long-anticipated return home was canceled after the Pentagon unexpectedly extended his tour of duty. Like most spouses in this situation, Mrs....
The Working-Poverty Trap
IMAGINE working full-time, but nonetheless living in poverty. Hard as this may be for many of us to imagine, almost a quarter of the nation's workforce in 2001 earned less than $8.70 an hour. Full time, full-year work at this wage placed a family of...
Up from the Bottom Rung
PITY the poor labor economists. They build their careers studying one of the most complicated bazaars in the economic world--the marketplace for jobs. Not only that, but their labors have become even more high-stakes in recent decades, as an increasingly...
What Do Women Really Want?
WITH journalists as well as social scientists continually on the lookout for new trends, the public is regularly treated to the discovery of social "revolutions." One of the latest concerns women and work. In October 2003, Lisa Belkin detected an "opt-out...
Why We Study Western Civ
A FEW years ago, I gave a talk to an audience in a small German town based on a book I had written about a prominent but dysfunctional family that had lived there 450 years earlier. When asked how I came upon and researched this story, I described...