Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the executive editor of The American Prospect and a columnist for The Washington Post. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org

Recent Articles

The Gross Oversight in the Fed's Decision to Raise Interest Rates

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen closes her notebook after holding a news conference in Washington, Wednesday, December 16, 2015, following an announcement that the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by quarter-point, heralding higher lending rates in an economy much sturdier than the one the Fed helped rescue in 2008. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . T he Federal Reserve’s decision Wednesday to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 highlights a glaring weakness of conventional economic analysis: its failure to understand the role that power plays in shaping the economy. By all the usual metrics, wages should be bounding upward now that unemployment has been reduced to 5 percent and 13 million jobs have been added to the economy since the depths of the Great Recession. It’s to counter the inflationary pressures that such wage increases would engender that the Fed finally decided to hike rates. The only problem with...

Frank Sinatra, America's Definitive Voice

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AP Photo Frank Sinatra is shown on May 21, 1950. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . W hen it comes to the birth of American geniuses, 1915 was a very good year. This year marks the centenary of Orson Welles , Arthur Miller , Saul Bellow and, on Saturday, the guy who gave eternal life to the Great American Songbook— Frank Sinatra . Bellow and Sinatra also have something in common more important and remarkable than their birth year, their affinity for fedoras, their decades-long political drift from left to right and their tempestuous personal lives. It wasn’t until 1953 that each found his voice. “ The Adventures of Augie March ,” the Bellow novel published that year, marks the real beginning of Bellow’s distinctive contribution to literature. What “Augie” had that Bellow’s previous writing lacked was a voice new to American letters: serious, wiseass, street-smart, discursive, digressive—a New York intellectual and racetrack tout rolled into one. Bellow’s voice—...

How Hillary Clinton Can Shake the One Charge That Sticks to Her

AP Photo/Jim Cole
AP Photo/Jim Cole Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to employees during a tour and campaign stop at WH Bagshaw, a fifth-generation family-owned business Thursday, December 3, 2015, in Nashua, New Hampshire. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . H illary Clinton comes under lots of attacks. Most of the charges leveled at the former secretary of state range from the far-fetched (her alleged complicity in the Benghazi tragedy, for instance ) to the hard-to-discern-what-the-issue-is (her “ damn emails ”). However, the one line of attack that is substantial, and that she’s had the most trouble dispelling, is her closeness to Wall Street . Many of the economic policies of her husband’s presidency—the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, the refusal to regulate derivatives—were formulated by top aides who’d spent their lives on Wall Street, who were instrumental in the explosive growth of the financial sector, and who were trusted consiglieres to both...

Americans See a Government Of, By, and For the Rich

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Miker/Shutterstock An unidentified participant in a Occupy Minnesota protest holds up "I'm am the 99%" sign on October 29, 2011 in Minneapolis. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . A t first glance—and second, and third—Americans look to be marching off in two diametrically opposed directions. On immigration, Democrats and Republicans could not have more contrasting views; cities, which have become distinctly progressive bastions, are enacting a host of liberal ordinances, while the substantial number of states under Republican rule are moving well to the right of the GOP orthodoxy of just five years ago; and the federal government, its power divided between the two parties, has frozen into inaction. Most polling tends to confirm this view of the United States as a house divided. But a new survey of our compatriots’ beliefs from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) , which queried a far larger number of respondents than typical polls, has unearthed one...

Bernie Defines Socialism

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. D uring the 1930s, conservatives repeatedly alleged that Franklin Roosevelt was really a socialist. Today, Bernie Sanders said they were right. In a long-awaited speech heralded as providing his definition of “democratic socialism,” the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate on Thursday afternoon told a packed crowd of Georgetown University students—most of whom waited hours in a drenching rain to hear him—that by democratic socialism, he meant the economic and social principles laid down by FDR, most particularly in his 1944 State of the Union Address. In that speech, Roosevelt proclaimed that the nation needed a second, economic bill of rights. Sanders quoted the passage in which Roosevelt laid out the philosophic basis for such an expansion of rights: “True individual freedom,” Roosevelt said, “cannot exist without...

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