Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is editor at large of The American Prospect. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Kinder, Gentler, Savage, Vicious Donald

Word is, Donald Trump’s speechwriters have never met one another or Trump himself, which is why his State of the Union addresses resemble nothing so much as the proverbial blind men describing an elephant. In one room (clearly much the biggest, for his section of the speech is the longest, requiring the tallest tales), a writer pens invective against immigrants at the border. In a smaller chamber, another writer comes up with an attack on abortion, putting in the president’s mouth the words that America must always be “a culture that cherishes innocent life.” You might think that this doesn’t quite describe Trump’s policy of snatching small children away from their parents at the border, but no effort is made in assembling Trump’s SOTU to square its various points or look for its gaping pitfalls. Ms. Abortion Deplorer and Mr. Immigration Vilifier have never met, haven’t even heard that the other is at work. Or take the guy who wrote the...

The Air Traffic Controllers Even the Score

On January 14, the Prospect ran a piece by Georgetown’s Joe McCartin, one of the nation’s leading labor historians, recommending that federal workers start staging sickouts as, perhaps, the one way to compel our deranged president to end the government shutdown. McCartin was uniquely qualified to offer such advice: As the author of Collision Course, he had written the definitive history of the air traffic controller strike of 1981, which ended calamitously when President Ronald Reagan abruptly fired the strikers, busted their union (PATCO), and hired permanent replacements, thereby encouraging many American corporations to lock out their workers and fire them as a way to bust their own unions. Since strikes by federal workers are forbidden by law, Joe suggested that sickouts from strategically situated federal workers who were compelled to work without pay would be a way to force President Trump to end the shutdown. And lo and behold, it was air traffic controllers at...

Trump Said Nothing New or True Last Night, but He Said It in Less Time Than It Usually Takes

On the one hand, President Trump’s Oval Office address last night, calling for a wall on the border lest he keep the government shuttered, lasted just a mercifully brief eight minutes. On the other hand, it was impressive how many lies and how much fear mongering he was able to pack into those few short moments. Shorn of the normal Trumpian digressions, the density of dissimulation may have reached an all-time high. From Trump’s talk, you’d never know that crime rates for immigrants lag those for the U.S.-born. You’d never know that the women and children who’ve trekked from Central America to our frontiers have come to escape the murderous violence of their homelands (the same reason, essentially, that once prompted Jews to flee Russia and Poland). You’d never know that the drugs that come into the U.S. from abroad come preponderantly through legal ports of entry, and certainly not carried by illegal immigrants. For that matter, you’d never...

Imperatives for Democrats

For all their differences, House Democrats need to unite around a pro-worker agenda. The party also needs a smart way to winnow its immense field of presidential prospects.

This article appears in the Winter 2019 issue of The American Prospect . Subscribe here . Of all the dogs that did not bark in the night during the 2018 midterm-election campaigns—the anticipated attack ads that never got aired—the loudest silence came out of Wisconsin. There, Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin, running for re-election, had authored a bill that would substantially alter American capitalism, not in a way that most American capitalists would particularly like. Her bill required corporations to set aside one-third of the seats on their boards for members elected by their employees. If enacted, the days of pure shareholder governance—and the shoveling of nearly all profits to shareholders rather than to workers—would be over. Surely, this was raw meat for the Republican attack whippets. Baldwin wasn’t out on this limb by herself. Her Democratic colleague, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, also up for re-election, followed her lead with a...

How to Compel Big Employers to Be Better Employers

Nick Hanauer, who may be the nation’s only venture capitalist who fully understands just how much havoc American capitalism since the 1970s has wreaked with all but our wealthiest citizens, and who’s put forth some of the most far-sighted remedies to spread the wealth Americans create to the hundred-plus millions who actually create it, is at it again. Yesterday, our friends at Democracy posted a new article by Hanauer that proposes a range of policies that would hold large employers to higher labor standards than the higher universal labor standards that Hanauer has proposed in previous articles in both Democracy and the Prospect. In earlier articles he wrote with labor leader David Rolf, Hanauer called for establishing a “shared security system” under which employers would be required to provide workers with portable, pro-rated and universal benefits, whether those workers were direct employees, sub-contracted employees, part-timers or independent contractors...

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