The Washington Monthly

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.

The Little Unions That Couldn't

  • By
  • T.A. Frank,
  • New America Foundation
November 6, 2009 |

As Barack Obama prepares to get a stimulus plan launched this winter, carefully planting seeds of cross-party warmth and nurturing each rare shoot, he may wish to avoid unrelated matters that cause bitter partisan showdowns and lay waste to the whole damn thing. At least, that seems wisest when you're asking for a trillion or so in new spending. So people understood why Rahm Emanuel, during a meeting with the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council last November, dodged an inquiry about a contentious piece of legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act.

The Subprime Student Loan Racket

  • By
  • Stephen Burd,
  • New America Foundation
October 26, 2009 |

At the age of forty-three, Martine Leveque decided it was time to start over. For several years, she had worked in the movie business, writing subtitles in Italian and French for English-language films, but her employer moved overseas. She then tried her hand at sales, but each time the economy dipped sales tumbled, along with her income, and as a single mother with a teenage son, she wanted a job that offered more security. She decided to pursue a career in nursing, a high-demand field where she could also do some good.

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