The Editors

Recent Articles

Credit Facts and Fallacies

T he following information was culled from an interview with Ricki Lowitz, a former fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., and executive director of Working Credit, a nonprofit organization that offers credit-building education and counseling in seven states. FALLACY: Medical collections don’t hurt your credit score as other collections do. FACT: While this is changing with FICO 9, a new credit-scoring model, the most widely used credit scores continue to count medical collections against your score just like any other collection. FALLACY: No credit score is better than a bad credit history. FACT: Lack of a credit score is just as damaging as a bad credit score. “If you have no score,” Lowitz said, “it’s like having a terrible score, because whenever you need to do something like borrow money you will pay the highest interest rates for everything.” FALLACY: You need to pay a credit repair company to fix your credit. FACT: You can take...

Debate: Making American Democracy Representative

Two knowledgeable commentators respond to Benjamin Page & Martin Gilens’s argument in the Prospect for ranked-choice voting, proportional representation, and the abolition of primaries.

starr_headshot.jpg I n their article in the Fall 2018 issue of The American Prospect , “ Making American Democracy Representative ,” Benjamin I. Page and Martin Gilens argue that the way we vote for Congress has contributed to a highly polarized and unrepresentative government. In place of the current system, they call for three reforms to elections for the U.S. House of Representatives: ranked-choice voting, the abolition of primaries, and proportional representation in multi-member districts. This is a big, long-term agenda. Do Page and Gilens have the right ideas about how to reform voting? And do they have their priorities right? Two commentators address these questions. Drew Penrose is the legal and policy director of FairVote. Miles Rapoport is a long-time democracy advocate who served as Connecticut’s secretary of state and president of both Dēmos and Common Cause. He is the Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center of the Kennedy...

Event: On the Global Crisis of Democracy

Cal Sport Media via AP Images
On October 5 and 6, the Albert Shanker Institute is hosting a conference, co-sponsored by the Prospect and other progressive publications and organizations, on the global crisis of democracy. Intellectuals and activists from the United States, China, South Africa, Germany, Israel, Hungary, and Austria will discuss the rise of the nationalist-populist right, the growth of economic inequality and the shrinking legitimacy of political institutions, the rise of nativism and racism, and how best to counter these threats to democracy and decency. Prospect editors Bob Kuttner and Harold Meyerson are among the speakers. THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY Thursday, Oct. 5, 3:00 p.m. to Friday, Oct. 6, 5:00 p.m. Washington Court Hotel, Atrium Ballroom 525 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 The conference is free, registration is required. REGISTER HERE More information about the conference is available here .

The White Working Class

An American, and a Democratic, dilemma

AP Photo/Eric Gay
wwc_homepage_logo-3.jpg With our partners at The Democratic Strategist , The American Prospect is co-publishing this series of articles on one of the most contentious topics in today’s political discourse, and one of progressives’ and the Democratic Party’s most vexing problems: the white working class (WWC). The need for such a discussion is both obvious and twofold. First, the white working class—the bedrock of the long-vanished New Deal Coalition—has largely and increasingly been abandoning the Democratic Party, even when that has meant voting against some of its economic interests. While Hillary Clinton’s loss of such presumably blue-wall states as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania dramatized the extent of the Democrats’ problem, it was also just the latest stage of an epochal shift. Wisconsin, after all, has a wall-to-wall reactionary state government, with Scott Walker having won three elections placing and then keeping him in the...

What States and Cities Can Do To Fight Climate Change

Today, the Prospect is posting Ben Adler’s long-form piece, which also appears in the spring issue of our print magazine, on how states and cities are moving ahead on policies that limit climate change, and what they’re doing to counter the Trump administration’s policies that will make climate change even more severe.

As Ben points out, the regulations and standards for utility companies are set by states and in some cases, by municipalities. In the coastal states with Democratic governments—extending from Massachusetts to Maryland in the east, and California to Washington (with Hawaii thrown in for good measure) in the west—governments have set Renewable Portfolio Standards for their utilities that mandate transitions away from the use of coal and conversion to entirely renewable forms of energy over the next couple of decades. California and Washington have required new buildings to meet energy efficiency standards, through the use, for instance, of rooftop solar panels.

For their part, cities with progressive governments (which far outnumber states with such governments) have in recent years appropriated funds for light rail lines, bike paths, and other forms of transportation that provide alternatives to autos. And following the pattern set by new EPA chief Scott Pruitt when he was the much-beloved-by-oil-companies attorney general of Oklahoma, such enviro-conscious state attorneys general as New York’s Eric Schneiderman have announced they’ll be suing the federal government when it moves to undo long established environmental protections and climate-change legislation.

You can read the article in full here.