Michelle Goldberg

Michelle Goldberg is a senior correspondent at The American Prospect. She is also the author of Kingdom Coming and The Means of Reproduction.

Recent Articles


A few days ago, Matthew Yglesias and Ross Douthat were discussing the specter of declining population in Russia, and whether that posed a threat to Russia’s future. Ross quoted Nicholas Eberstadt’s article about Russia’s “relentless, unremitting, and perhaps unstoppable depopulation.” Matt wrote that he didn’t buy the hype about rapid population decline in Europe being a big problem, but that “I’m actually quite eager to be talked out of my position on this.” I’m going to try to oblige. Conservatives have been obsessed with European population decline for years now. A whole raft of apocalyptic books warn that selfish, anti-child secularists aren’t having enough children, and the continent is poised to be overtaken by more fertile, faithful Muslims. In America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, the deeply stupid but very popular Mark Steyn predicted “the demise of European races too self-absorbed to breed...

Is Foreign Aid a Bad Thing?

Dead Aid author Dambisa Moyo is right to be critical of the current state of foreign aid. But she's dead wrong in calling for it to be cut off within five years, which would be catastrophic for Africa.

It's not surprising that Dambisa Moyo has become an overnight intellectual celebrity, especially on the right. At a time when capitalism is in worse repute than it has been in decades, here comes a sharp, highly credentialed, and -- not incidentally -- gorgeous African woman hymning the salvific promise of free trade and international capital markets. Moyo, a Zambian economist with degrees from Harvard and Oxford and experience at Goldman Sachs and the World Bank, goes beyond offering a critique of foreign aid and the Western, liberal consensus that sustains it. Her short, polemical book, Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is A Better Way for Africa , blames aid for nearly every ill Africa has endured. "Millions in Africa are poorer today because of aid; misery and poverty have not ended but have increased," she writes. "Aid has been, and continues to be, an unmitigated political, economic, and humanitarian disaster for most parts of the developing world." Plenty of...

Ending the Compromise Era on AIDS

The removal of Mark Dybul as head of the federal AIDS program shows that the era of compromising with the religious right on global HIV prevention is over.

President Bush walks with Mark Dybul, his appointee to head PEPFAR, on Friday, Nov. 30, 2007. The Obama transition team had originally asked Dybul to stay on. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
When Mark Dybul, erstwhile head of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, was asked to clean out his desk late last month, it was a stark manifestation of the different styles that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton bring to governing. Initially, the Obama transition team had asked Dybul to stay on, and it's easy to see why it might have liked him. A gay man who had, in the past, donated to Democrats, Dybul seemed to pride himself on his ability to make common cause with conservatives. As global AIDS coordinator in the Bush White House, he often sided with allies like Rick Warren rather than with women's-health advocates on issues ranging from abstinence to sex-worker outreach to family-planning funding. This earned him feminist enmity, but others respected his ability to neutralize the right-wing opposition that had long hindered AIDS relief. As his defenders point out, he was able to build what the medical journal The Lancet called "the largest and most successful...

How Bush's AIDS Program is Failing Africans

The president's much-lauded AIDS initiative has succeeded in saving lives through treatment. But its abstinence- focused prevention programs have put many more lives in jeopardy.

NAIROBI, Kenya -- On July 5, Beatrice Were, the founder of Uganda's National Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS, stood before hundreds of other HIV-positive women in Nairobi's vaulted city hall and denounced the Bush administration's AIDS policies. Like many in attendance, Were contracted HIV from her husband, a common occurrence in a region where women make up the majority of new infections and marriage is a primary risk factor. For those like her, the White House's AIDS prevention mantra -- which prescribes abstinence and marital fidelity, with condoms only for "high risk" groups like prostitutes and truck drivers -- is a sick joke. "We are now seeing a shift in recent years to abstinence only," she said. "We are expected to abstain when we are young girls and to be faithful when we are married to men who rape us, who are not necessarily faithful to us, who batter us." The women in the audience, several waiting to share their own stories of marital rape, applauded. Were...