Joshua Green

Joshua Green is an editor at The Washington Monthly and a former staff writer at
The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Savage Business

F rank Savage's record is appalling, even by the standards of Enron board members. He is a director of the investment firm Alliance Capital Management (he also chaired one of its divisions), which until recently was Enron's largest institutional investor. Alliance was nearly the last to get out of Enron: The firm bought large blocks of stock on August 15, 2001 -- the day after CEO Jeffrey Skilling resigned -- and continued to buy even after Enron's October 22 announcement that it was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). By the time Alliance sold its 43 million shares of Enron stock, it had lost its investors hundreds of millions of dollars, including $334 million from the Florida state pension fund. On May 8, 2002, Governor Jeb Bush and state officials sued Alliance for negligence. Enron's board of directors long ago secured its place in the annals of poor business judgment. But Savage deserves special recognition: As a board member of both companies,...

Board Stiffs

One of the more frustrating Republican talking points is the politically advantageous assertion that Enron's collapse, far from being a scandal, actually vindicates the free-market system. "That companies like Enron go bankrupt," National Review lectured recently, "is a sign that markets work." Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill hailed its collapse as "the genius of capitalism." And as Ken Lay sat glumly before Congress recently, while news spread that six Enron directors would resign, it probably sounded like a reasonable point. After all, who would let Lay or Enron's directors run their business? You wouldn't trust Wendy Gramm to balance your checkbook, would you? They're finished, done, kaput, right? Wrong. The fallacy of the markets-punish-poor-performance argument is its implication that corporate executives are punished, too. But that's rarely the case. A look back at earlier "Enrons" -- other companies driven into disastrous bankruptcies -- reveals that even the most spectacular...

Ralph Burns Down the House

While the nation focuses on the still-contested presidential election Ralph Nader threw into question, the effect his campaign had on Democrats running for Congress has gone largely unnoticed. From the outset of his effort, Nader argued that even if his candidacy stole votes from Al Gore, it would mobilize progressive voters to support Democratic congressional candidates once they'd pulled the lever for Nader. "I would prefer a Democratic House," Nader assured voters as recently as September. "I really would." But Nader abandoned this message in mid-campaign and began attacking even the most liberal congressional Democrats with a vehemence that echoed his disdain for Gore. In the closing weeks of October, Nader declared "war" on all Democrats and voiced a desire to lead the Greens "into a 'death struggle' with the Democratic Party to determine which will be the majority party." The candidate went on to claim, bizarrely, that the best strategy for progressive reform...

The Salient Majority

Even as American voters have entertained the prospect of electing a "compassionate conservative" as president, there is little evidence the public is in a conservative mood. In fact, an unusual poll conducted this summer suggests that Americans hold liberal views on important taxing-and-spending issues. The nonprofit Center on Policy Attitudes joined with the Internet company Knowledge Networks to plumb voters' opinions on how the $460-billion federal discretionary budget should be spent. Rather than pose a series of simplistic questions, researchers used an Internet spreadsheet that allowed each of the 721 respondents to divide the budget into 12 categories: Space and Science Research, Environment, Job Training, Defense, Humanitarian and Economic Aid to Foreign Countries, Education, Military Aid, Transportation, the State Department, the UN and UN Peacekeeping, Federal Administration of Justice, and Medical Research. (This process of seeking informed opinions rather than...

Superstars Online

Last fall Harvard Law School professor Arthur Miller taped a series of 11 lectures and sold them to the Concord University School of Law, a virtual university founded by Kaplan Inc., the test-preparation company. Miller was stunned when Harvard administrators told him he had violated university policy by providing course material to another school without permission. He argued that he had done nothing wrong since he hadn't technically "taught" Concord students. Furthermore, he claimed, videotaping lectures was no different than publishing a textbook. As a Harvard professor, Miller had without conflict been the legal editor of Good Morning America , hosted his own public television show, sold taped lectures, and written textbooks, all for profit. But Harvard drew the line at Internet teaching. The university has since rewritten its guidelines to prevent others from following Miller online. Many professors, including Miller, were outraged over their sudden limitation. "This is a...

Pages