The Washington Monthly

How to Save Our Kids From Poverty in Old Age

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
July 11, 2012 |

The federal government spends more than $500 billion a year on policies designed to help individuals acquire or build assets. The three most expensive of these policies—the mortgage interest deduction, the property tax deduction, and preferential rates on capital gains and dividends—together deliver 45 percent of their benefits to households with average income exceeding $1 million.

The Hole in the Bucket

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
July 11, 2012 |

Never before in history has the great American middle class obsessed so much over financial planning as during the last forty years or so. In the 1970s, this obsession fueled the growth of hot new magazines like Money and TV shows like Louis Rukeyser’s Wall $street Week. By the 1980s, it had led to the creation of personal finance sections in almost every newspaper, and to myriad radio talk shows counseling Americans on what mutual funds to buy, how much they should put into new savings vehicles like Individual Retirement Accounts or Keoghs, and how to manage their new 401(k) plans.

Introduction: Jobs Are Not Enough

  • By
  • Paul Glastris,
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
July 11, 2012 |

More than any election in living memory, the 2012 race is shaping up to be about one thing: jobs. Pundits are convinced that the rate of job growth between now and November is the magic number that will determine the outcome. The main policies the candidates are debating—whether to cut taxes or raise them on the rich; whether to shrink government or increase investments in infrastructure or research—are all pitched as ways to “grow” jobs. The presumption is that if we can get the economy to create jobs like it used to, America will be back on the right track.

The Slow-Motion Collapse of American Entrepreneurship

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • Lina Khan,
  • New America Foundation
July 10, 2012 |

"For all its current economic woes,” the Economist magazine recently asserted, “America remains a beacon of entrepreneurialism.” That idea is at the heart of America’s self-image. Both parties celebrate entrepreneurial small business as the fount of innovation and growth. Even if America no longer manufactures its own smartphones or computers, we cling to the idea that American entrepreneurs invent most of the new products and services that matter to the world.

Terminal Sickness

  • By
  • Lina Khan,
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
March 12, 2012 |

It was certainly one of the hardest choices that I’ve ever made,” explained Fernando Aguirre. He’d raised his family and built his career in Cincinnati, Ohio, rising through the ranks of the city’s business elite, first as an executive at Procter & Gamble’s headquarters and later as CEO and chairman of Chiquita Brands International. Along the way, he became a fanatical fan and part owner of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, as well as a proud sponsor of the Chiquita Classic golf tournament, the proceeds from which he poured into local philanthropies.

The Cure

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
October 28, 2011 |

While the partisan gap in Washington is wider than it’s been at any time in living memory, the two parties do have one remarkable agenda in common. Both have proposed cuts in Medicare so drastic that they would have been politically suicidal a decade ago and may still be. Yet neither party is backing off.

'My Mommy Doesn’t Have Any Papers'

  • By
  • Maggie Severns,
  • New America Foundation
August 29, 2011 |

In the spring of 2010, Michelle Obama visited an elementary school in Silver Spring, Maryland. Sitting cross-legged on the floor of the gym, with news cameras rolling, she called on an apprehensive second grader who had raised her hand. Why, asked the girl, was the president “taking everyone away” who doesn’t have papers to live in the United States? “My mom doesn’t have any papers,” she told the first lady.

The Case for Not-Quite-So-High-Speed Rail

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
July 8, 2011 |

After concluding some business in Frankfurt, Germany, recently, I found myself with a day to kill and decided to use it to tour the historic Cologne Cathedral, about 120 miles away. I could have rented a car and driven through traffic on the autobahn for about two hours, but instead I decided to walk a few blocks from my hotel and board Intercity-Express #616. The sleek bullet train left Frankfurt's magnificent nineteenth-century main terminal on time and sped along a super-engineered, beeline right-of-way completed in 2002 at a cost of $5.6 billion.

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.

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