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Prospect Debate: The Cost of Sanders’s Single-Payer Health Plan

An exchange including Gerald Friedman, Kenneth Thorpe, and Paul Starr over the costs, resulting taxes, and political implications of Sanders's health plan

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
I n “ The False Lure of the Sanders Single-Payer Plan ,” Paul Starr criticized the Sanders plan on a number of grounds, including its cost in new taxes. While arguing that even the cost estimates by the Sanders campaign would make the plan impossible to pass, Starr also cited the much higher estimates of the cost by Kenneth Thorpe. The cost of the Sanders plan has now become a national issue. Here Gerald Friedman, who made the cost estimates for Sanders, defends those numbers, while Thorpe provides the most detailed account he has yet provided of why the Sanders plan would cost almost twice as much as Friedman’s estimates. Starr elaborates on three additional reasons to be skeptical about the single-payer proposal. Gerald Friedman is professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts. Kenneth E. Thorpe is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University. Paul Starr is co-...

Prospect Debate: Should We Fight ISIS?

An exchange over whether the United States should try to press the fight against the Islamic State or abandon it entirely.

Olivier Douliery/Pool/Sipa USA/AP Images
I n “ Accelerating the Fight against ISIS ” in the Winter issue, the Prospect ’s co-editor Paul Starr called for several steps to bring about ISIS’s defeat in months rather than years. Jeff Faux argues the United States should consider the war “lost” and withdraw from the region. Starr responds. J EFF FAUX Response to Starr: The Case for Withdrawing From the War Against ISIS P aul Starr wants Barack Obama to accelerate the war on ISIS. Starr’s proposal would only prolong a war that we cannot win and that is unraveling the fabric of our democracy. Impatient with the pace of the president’s current re-escalation in Iraq and Syria, Starr echoes Hillary Clinton’s demand for “more, faster.” Read More . PAUL STARR Isolationism is No Answer I n his response to my article in the Winter issue, Jeff Faux calls for the United States to abandon the fight against ISIS and to withdraw from the Middle East. This is not a good idea. ISIS and al-Qaeda, it should be unnecessary to say, represent real...

Prospect Debate: The Illusion of a Minority Majority America

Four knowledgeable commentators respond to Richard Alba’s argument in the Prospect that America will continue to have a white majority. 

AP Photo/Orange County Register, Jebb Harris
I n his Winter 2016 article “ The Likely Persistence of a White Majority ,” Richard Alba argues that highly publicized projections by the U.S. Census have misled the public into thinking that whites in the United States are destined to become a minority by the middle of the century. That projection is incorrect, Alba suggests, for two primary reasons. First, the census data mistakenly assume that children of mixed marriages where one parent is white will identify as nonwhite. Second, the census sees the white “mainstream” as a fixed category even though the conception of whiteness has changed in the past and will likely change again. As a result, Alba contends, America will probably have a white majority for some time to come. Is that analysis correct? And what does America’s demographic future say about its political future? Four contributors respond to Alba: Kenneth Prewitt, former director of the Census Bureau and now Carnegie Professor of Social Affairs at Columbia University;...

Letter to the Editor

Ron Beit responds to "Can Affordable Housing Help Retain Teachers?"

We received the following letter from Ron Beit of the RBH Group responding to this article . The Prospect 's repeated efforts over several weeks to reach Mr. Beit while this article was being reported and written went unanswered. —Harold Meyerson To the Editor: Rachel Cohen’s article, “Can Affordable Housing Retain Teachers,” features Newark’s Teachers Village, an inner city project to provide affordable and market rate housing to teachers and administrators in a city struggling to revitalize. Unfortunately, the article paints a picture that is misinformed and full of inaccuracies about this exciting project. Ms. Cohen could not have visited the area and included many [quotations that were inaccurate], such as, “The problem is that (Newark’s Teachers Village) is clearly designed for white, young professional types…” and “It’s just becoming a little yuppie commercial district…”. In fact, 72 percent of all the residents in Teachers Village are minority, and close to 70 percent of all...

Daily Meme: The Immigration Merry-Go-Round

New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
It's been about a year—329 days, to be precise—since the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration-reform bill, but it seems we're no closer to seeing it become law now than we were then. Care to take a ride on the immigration merry-go-round? House Speaker John Boehner swears no one wants to see immigration reform get done more than he does, but Obamacare shows that we can't trust the president. Latino journalist Jorge Ramos, pointing out that immigration has nothing to do with Obamacare, tried to cut through the cant on Thursday: "Why are you blocking immigration reform?" he asked the speaker at a press conference. Boehner's response: "Me? Blocking?" Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour swears that Boehner is "trying very hard." But Brian Beutler at The New Republic says it's never been more clear Republicans are killing immigration reform. Now they have another excuse not to budge. President Barack Obama unilaterally designated the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico a...

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