About Steven Hill

Steven Hill is Director of the Political Reform Program at the New America Foundation, which seeks to identify and develop the best opportunities for political and electoral reform, educate opinion leaders and the public about electoral alternatives, and encourage the formation of a broad-based coalition for reform. Mr. Hill is the former senior analyst and cofounder of the Center for Voting and Democracy/FairVote. He is author of the recently published Ten Steps to Repair American Democracy (PoliPoint Press, May 2006). His previous books include Fixing Elections: The Failure of America's Winner Take All Politics (Routledge Press, 2002) and Whose Vote Counts (co-author, Beacon Press, 2001). Mr. Hill's articles and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, and other leading publications. Mr. Hill has appeared on national and local radio and television programs, and has lectured widely in the United States and Europe. He was campaign manager in San Francisco for the successful effort that passed instant runoff voting for electing local offices, and was one of the organizers of successful efforts to pass public financing of elections for local campaigns. Mr. Hill received a B.A. from Yale University.

Why Does the US Still Have So Few Women in Office?

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Women in Office: At the current rate of progress, it will take nearly 500 years for women to reach fair representation in government.

Divided We Stand: The Polarizing of American Politics

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Divided We Stand — There appears to be no end in sight to the bare knuckles partisanship that substitutes for politics today.

So the Voting Rights Act Is Gutted: What Can Protect Minority Voters Now?

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Steven Hill: The most encouraging option for voting-rights advocates to pursue is automatic voter registration (sometimes known as universal voter registration).

Memo to President Obama: Expand Social Security, Don’t Cut It

White House Photo: Pete Souza

Steven Hill: The White House says its 2014 budget will propose cuts to the retirement program. Not only is that unnecessary, the U.S. could and should expand it.

If Obama Wants America to Be Like Germany, What Does That Mean?

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Steven Hill: Want a smarter workforce? A stronger manufacturing sector? Germany seems to offer a blueprint for Obama’s middle-out economic agenda — if we take away the right lessons

Don’t Cut Social Security: Double It

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Steven Hill: An expansion of the Social Security retirement system — one of the most successful and popular social programs in American history — that converts it into a more robust retirement system would build upon the most stable component of the current system.

Europe’s Youth Employment Is Bad, But Not As Bad As We’re Told

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ardly a day goes by without a new headline screaming about the scandal of youth unemployment, which has been pinned at the outrageous levels of 50 percent in Spain and Greece and above 20 percent in the eurozone. There’s just one problem – those numbers are derived from a flawed methodology, which misrepresents the true [...]

The Latest Act of Romania’s Drama

Steven Hill: The key is having a prolonged period of peace and stability so that the slow march toward prosperity can gather steam. Fortunately the European Union provides that space for Romania, despite the current challenges of the eurozone.

Don’t Let Doom Merchants Obscure True European Picture

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Steven Hill: Fearful headlines hide success stories such as Poland, which show Europe is taking the right steps to economic recovery.

Was Rahm Right (about Progressives)?

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Steven Hill: At this point, any progressive leader who does not pursue political reform relentlessly is a faux leader, and she or he should get off the stage and hand over the microphone to someone else.

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Can Krugmanomics Be Saved?

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Steven Hill: So according to Krugmanomics, taking on too much debt is not the problem – it’s not being able to pay the debt that is the problem. And Krugman’s solution, apparently, is to be able to depreciate your currency and/or default on your debts, leaving the creditors holding the bag.

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Economic Powerhouse Germany

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Steven Hill: Germany has evolved a social capitalism which has proven to be more stable and efficient than America’s Wall Street capitalism, not to mention more ecologically sustainable.

Istanbul: Ancient City, Throbbing Metropolis

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Steven Hill: Muslims, Christians, and Jews live in relative harmony here, yet it’s as if its too-jumbled history pulses within the walls, the monuments, the winding streets, indeed within each individual Turk now inhabiting this ground zero zone.

From the Top of the Acropolis: How Greece’s Economy Imploded

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Steven Hill: When the true size of Greece’s deficit was revealed to the world, the bonds markets went berserk. The interest rates on Greece’s sovereign debt spiked to unheard of proportions, threatening the solvency of the government, and the rest is history.

Athens, Birthplace of Democracy

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Steven Hill: While democracy can be noisy and messy, and can sometimes result in confusion and inefficiency, if implemented fairly with the right institutions the human experience shows that it is capable of fostering remarkable things.

Greece: Epicenter of the Debt Earthquake?

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Steven Hill: One of the qualities holding Greece back from enjoying the benefits of a more modern economy is its reliance on an informal economy of family and social networks which too often translates into nepotism, back room deals and tax dodging. But during an economic crisis like this, those networks become valuable

Reconsidering Japan…Reconsidering Paul Krugman

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Steven Hill: No one has been more influential in defining this narrative than New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

The Myth of the Overtaxed Europeans

Comedy Congress

Steven Hill: In return for their taxes, Europeans get valuable support systems like childcare, senior care, university tuition and healthcare. Americans must pay exorbitantly, out-of-pocket, for these support services often going without because the cost is prohibitive.

Amazing Germany’s Declining Unemployment: How Do They Do It?

Chancellor Angela Merkel

Steve Hill: the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel not only pursued different economic policies than the Obama administration, but Germany also has a greater degree of economic democracy than the U.S.

Europe Ponders U.S. Election Results

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Steven Hill: Europeans are puzzled by the success of the populist Tea Party movement, which seemingly wants to roll back the last two years and return to how things were at the end of the Bush-Cheney years.

How’s Europe Doing?

Taksim Square

Steven Hill: When puzzled Europeans ask me to explain the American voter, the best metaphor I can give for understanding the American electorate right now is that of a coyote with its leg caught in a trap, suffering in pain, so now it is chewing off its own leg to get out of the trap.

The Plight of the Roma Minority: Signs of Hope Amidst This Challenge to Rainbow Europe

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Steven Hill: Ironically, the overblown stridency over new Muslim immigrants only has served to obscure the failure of Europe to integrate its longstanding ethnic minorities, most of whom are the children or grandchildren of immigrants and have resided there for years.

French Protestors: “Where Are You Americans?”

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Steven Hill: “Where are you Americans? Why aren’t Americans out in the streets? If Americans are angry, why aren’t they out in the streets like we are?” He said something quickly to his comrades in French, then reverted back to English. “It’s like Americans have gone to sleep or something. You used to have many protests.”

Slash Social Security? No – Double It

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Steven Hill: Social Security Plus would provide a stable, secure retirement for every American and contribute greatly toward a solid foundation from which to build a strong and vibrant 21st century U.S. economy.

Europe’s Challenge: “Out of Many, One”

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Steven Hill: Perhaps the challenge for Europe is to reinvent what “union” means, fashioning suitable institutions for the 21st century.

Shorting Economists: The ‘Experts’ Keep Getting it Wrong

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Steven Hill: So when the authorities say “a recovery is under way” or “stimulus rather than deficit reduction” or “deficit reduction instead of stimulus,” remember: These are the same experts who are unsure of how to measure, who too often substitute ideology and partisanship for broken theory, and usually have been flat wrong in their assessments.

Angela Merkel: The World’s ‘Most Valuable Leader’

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Steven Hill: Forget Barack Obama. Forget the Hu Jintao/Wen Jiaboa duo, or David Cameron or Vladimir Putin. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is the world’s most important leader.

The Economic Fallacy of ‘Zombie’ Japan

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Steven Hill: Paul Krugman and others have got Japan wrong: Americans should be so lucky as to get a Japanese-style lost decade

Europe’s Post-Copenhagen View of Obama

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Steven Hill: Mr. Obama isn’t delivering because he can’t deliver. The majorities needed for major policy changes are too high a threshold, even for someone with Mr. Obama’s political gifts.

Senate “Minority Rule” Is the Disease, Not the Cure, for Health Care Reform

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So it’s not just the senators’ credibility on the line if they fail to provide to all Americans a similar level of health care benefits that they themselves enjoy as senators. It’s the very democratic legitimacy of the body in which they serve.

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