Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Walmart To Go Union! Exxon To Abandon Fossil Fuels!

Charles Dharapak/AP Photo JPMorgan Chase Chairman, President and CEO Jamie Dimon (second right) listens as President Barack Obama addresses business leaders, March 12, 2009. This article is a preview of the Fall 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The list of signatories to the Business Roundtable’s revised statement of corporate purpose—replacing its devotion to the primacy of shareholders with a new commitment to customers, employees, and communities as well—makes for some discombobulating reading. Here are the CEOs of American and United Airlines, companies that have reduced the experience of standard air travel to a scrunched, benumbed ordeal; of Boeing, whose inattention to safety took hundreds of lives; of Johnson & Johnson, whose sales of opioids took thousands of lives; of Comcast, whose regional cable monopolies routinely and inexplicably hike their prices; of Abbott, Allergan, and Pfizer, whose drug oligopoly makes Comcast...

In the First Debates, the Candidates Didn’t Get Enough Time to Answer. Last Night, They Got Too Much.

David J. Phillip/AP Photo Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden during the Democratic presidential debate at Texas Southern University in Houston, September 12, 2019. Until last night, the main problem with the Democratic presidential debates was that they were too short. The candidates were asked to respond to snap questions, and if they strayed over their allotted 45 or 30 seconds, the moderators cut them off. During last night’s debate, there were times—lots of them—when I yearned for moderators who’d browbeat them into silence. Past the 90-second mark, some of the responses amounted to recycling the first 20 seconds, or in Joe Biden’s case, occasional free association (though less than in the earlier debates). Whether that was because our soundbite age has trained even the ablest debaters to make their point in 60 seconds and anything longer doesn’t even rise to the level of commentary, or because the candidates were treading well-worn fields—or...

Bargaining for More

AP Photo
On Labor Day 2019, both the pro-union and anti-union forces in this nation are going into overdrive. On the anti side last week, President Trump’s National Labor Relations Board released a diktat stating that misclassifying a worker as a non-employee doesn’t violate the nation’s labor laws, but firing her if she protests the misclassification does. If you want to experience the security that the National Labor Relations Act currently affords workers, that is, you first must be fired. On the pro side, however, there is ferment and creativity—if not yet any growth. In some sectors and industries, the strike is back, as the successive and successful strikes of teachers and hotel workers clearly demonstrate. Good thing: Historically, strikes have proved to be the most effective way to reduce economic inequality. During the supposedly somnolent Eisenhower ’50s, the United States was home to more than 300 major strikes every year, which, in a nutshell, is what...

What the Socialists Just Did—and Why

It’s a good thing that organizations don’t have children or grandchildren. If they did, you could envision little tykes (well, little infant prodigies) 50 years from now asking their grandparent—the Democratic Socialists of America—“What did you do in the war against the neofascist Donald Trump?” only to be met by an awkward pause. At its biennial convention last weekend in Atlanta, DSA (which, with 56,000 members, is now the largest American socialist organization in the memory of anyone under 80) passed a headline-grabbing resolution declaring that it would not endorse any Democrat save Bernie Sanders in next year’s November presidential runoff. The vote on the resolution was actually fairly close, though support for Sanders in the primaries is overwhelming within the organization. And its proponents provided a number of qualifications and caveats, making clear that DSA members are free to campaign for the eventual Democratic nominee if they...

Biden Didn’t Dodder, and Other Observations

Wednesday’s debate having proceeded in minute-length chunks, I’ll try to convey my reactions with similar brevity. First, Joe Biden was considerably more caffeinated this time than in his first go-round. He passed the normal candidate test, which is the ability to answer questions about (in his case, the many) questionable positions he’s taken by changing the subject. Far from the best debater on stage, he was nonetheless wide awake and not notably doddering. Fending off more progressive proposals, though, he did occasionally call to mind Alexander Pope’s sometimes-reassuring, sometimes-not line, “Whatever is, is right.” Second, Kirsten Gillibrand managed in her closing statement to claim that she was both a liberal and a moderate. Why, though, did she stop there? Why not also a conservative, a libertarian, a Trotskyite, or a longtime auto mechanic from Salt Lake City? Third, what was Tulsi Gabbard up to? After Joe Biden made his one (because...

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