Inflation is under control and unemployment is at a 25-year low. Corporate profits and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have, at least until recently, been soaring. Despite the spreading "Asian Flu" and the stock market's recent queasiness, many economists and politicians believe the national economy remains in fundamentally good health. So why did more Americans than ever file for bankruptcy last year?
he Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) is probably one of the least known victims of federal downsizing, but the effect of its elimination at the end of September 1996 was significant. Without the ACIR, local, state, and federal officials have less contact with each other, and there is a shortage of data about the impact of federal programs on state and local governments.
lthough the Republic's Founders dreaded the divisiveness of
"faction," political parties have proved essential to the promise of American
democracy. Parties bridge the structural bias against government activism in the
constitutional separation of powers and allow ordinary citizens who lack
economic influence to aggregate political power. Hence, a strong party system is
more crucial to liberals than conservatives.