Economists and Sweatshops  

“When smart people,” Robert Lekachman once said, “say stupid things, the question arises, why is their perception of reality so blurred?” I recalled Lekachman’s query when reading a recent New York Times article in which Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs claimed …



Human Rights and China  

In his 1997 inauguration speech President Bill Clinton said: “Our hopes, our hearts, our hands are with those on every continent who are build- ing democracy and freedom. Their cause is America’s cause.” That, unfortunately, is not true. The despots …



Responses  

When I read Jeff Isaac I fell into depression. Twenty years of my life—and thousands of others’—wasted! In the depth of my despair, however, I had a revelation. Isaac was right. “A new `activist public policy,’ centered around the problem …



A Weak Standard  

Last spring and summer, as Newt Gingrich and his followers gleefully set about dismantling what remained of the American welfare state, there were many stories in the press about the debut of the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard. For those …





The Republican Economic Agenda  

Republican ideologues are fighting a new cold war. Their enemy is the “corrosive liberal ethos” and the government that it supports. They believe that Ronald Reagan and George Bush failed, because government, or some semblance of it, still exists. This …



Anti-Inflation Fanaticism  

With the economy growing and inflation steady, why are so many people disgruntled? One reason may be that economic growth has not improved their standard of living. For example, in 1993, despite the economic recovery, the number of Americans below …



The Last Page  

Forty years ago in Dissent, Irving Howe and Lewis Coser wrote: “To will the image of socialism is a constant struggle for definition.” Ever since then one of the distinguishing characteristics of Dissent has been that “struggle for definition.” The …



Numbers Game  

Bill Clinton campaigned for his current job by reminding America what had happened during twelve years of Republican rule. He pointed out that wealth was transferred from the poor to the wealthy; he described an economy sapped of strength by …



Regarding Clinton’s Economic Package  

Bill Clinton won the presidency by promising the “most dramatic economic growth program since World War II.” In contrast to Bush, who offered no solutions to economic problems (he barely recognized any), Clinton emphasized the need to create millions of …



Our Economy Keeps Limping  

It has been a rough few months for George Bush. Last summer the administration believed that the recession was caused by jittery consumers who quit spending because of the Gulf War. But the economic slowdown was not related to the …



The Recession that Provoked No Response  

As I write (in July) the administration has proclaimed that the recession is over. One should view such a pronouncement with caution. It’s noteworthy, however, that the administration ex- pects no more than a weak recovery, with a growth rate …