The Washington Monthly

The Fallacy of Union Busting

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Sylvester Schieber, independent consultant
May 13, 2011 |

If you are an informed, fair-minded person, chances are you feel at least conflicted about all the hard-knuckle attacks on public employee unions in Madison, Wisconsin, and other state capitols. While Governor Scott Walker's agenda was clearly much larger than balancing his current budget, there is no denying the magnitude of the pension crisis. Long predicted, it's finally here, and it's constricting the art of the possible in almost every state.

The Real Enemy of Unions

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • New America Foundation
May 10, 2011 |

Last August, on a blazing-hot Nebraska evening, I sat in a cool hotel bar in downtown Omaha and listened as a team of Dockers-clad union organizers joked, drank, and argued their way into an alliance with a group of southern and western ranchers. The organizers, from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), made a simple argument: Meat-packing houses like JBS and Smithfield — their already immense power swelled from years of mergers — are using their dominance of cattle markets to hammer down what they pay for beef and for in-house unionized meatcutters.

The Greater Terror

  • By
  • Benjamin Wallace-Wells,
  • New America Foundation
January 15, 2011 |

Hardly anyone ever thinks about Minsk, an omission for which there are plenty of good reasons. The weather is unpleasant, the architecture brutal, the country obscure, and—because Belarus has spawned neither émigrés nor much in the way of modernity—Minsk seems stuck in history without memory. This gap in memory is important because, during a particular moment in time, the 1930s and ’40s, Minsk and some similar places in far eastern Europe—Kharkiv, Wola, Vilnius—all mattered very much.

Guerillas in the Mist | Washington Monthly

March 31, 2011

... Or so I thought until I got to the relevant passage in The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and and Al-Qaeda, Peter Bergen’s new book. Rather than giving us yet another single-viewpoint version of the events at Tora Bora, Bergen lets a rich cast of characters do the talking. ...

Be the Mediator in Chief

  • By
  • Andrés Martinez,
  • New America Foundation
January 3, 2011 |

It may sound counterintuitive, Mr. President, but all you need to do after the midterm losses is dust off your original game plan and stick to it. Play the role of mediator in chief you sought to play and recommit to transcending petty politics and partisanship.

The American people didn’t hire you for your experience, your ideology, or your ability to connect as a drinking buddy. You were hired because you exuded a calm, lawyerly temperament and a pragmatic competence that American voters craved after eight years of George W. Bush and a spectacular financial meltdown.

Inscrutable Shoppers

  • By
  • Christina Larson,
  • New America Foundation
October 27, 2010 |

Yang Xiao, a thirtysomething Chinese newspaper journalist, lives in one of the new high-rise developments on the outskirts of Beijing. Built six or seven years ago, the forty-story building complex is home to around 2,000 families—mostly young couples, some with children. A sign outside the front gate proclaims the name of the complex, “Rome,” which in China today connotes imperial grandeur. The exterior architectural details are a mix of Chinese megablock style and “Old European” flourishes.

The Next Real Estate Boom

  • By
  • Patrick C. Doherty,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Christopher B. Leinberger, Metropolitan Land Strategist & Developer
October 25, 2010 |

What if there were a new economic engine for the United States that would put our people back to work without putting the government deeper in debt? What if that economic engine also improved our international competitiveness, reduced greenhouse gases, and made the American people healthier?

At a minimum, it would sound a lot better than any of the current offers on the table: stimulus from the liberals, austerity from the conservatives, and the president’s less-than-convincing plan for a little stimulus, a little austerity, and a little bit of a clean-energy economy.

Brains on Drugs

  • By
  • Steven Teles,
  • New America Foundation
April 28, 2010 |

As this issue goes to press, congressional deliberations on the mammoth financial reform bill have entered the trench-warfare stage, over a seemingly obscure question: where to put the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), which will centralize the writing and (to some degree) enforcement of federal financial regulations on such things as mortgages, savings accounts, and consumer debt. Should it be an independent agency, like the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a subunit of the Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve?

Who's Honoring Us Now | The Washington Monthly

March 11, 2010

Camille Esch won an Education Writers Association award -- second place in the magazine category -- for her great piece, "Higher Ed's Bermuda Triangle," in our college-guide issue last year.

Original article.

Who Broke America’s Jobs Machine?

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
March 1, 2010 |

If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.

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