Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Barbarians in Robes

The Committee to Defend Rich, Bigoted Old White Men (Preferably Patriarchal in the Pope Benedict Mode, and Zealously Republican)—otherwise known as the five Republican justices on the Supreme Court—is on a roll. The Committee is closing out this session with a bang, delivering a satchel of decisions that harks back in its economics to the Lochner court of 1905 (which struck down New York’s law that said bakers couldn’t be made to work more than ten hours a day or 60 hours a week, because it violated the free speech of employers) and in its racial attitudes to the Dred Scott court of 1857 (slightly updated for appearances' sake). This spring, the Committee ruled that employers could force their workers to resolve disputes with their employer by going through an employer-dominated arbitration process, rather than go to court via class-action suits. The decision flatly ignored the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which gives all employees, union or not, the...

Will Another D.C.-Based Government Disdain Democratic Norms?

trickle-downers_54.jpg When is a free and open election invalid? Apparently, when elected officials don’t like the result. That’s the philosophy of Maine’s Trumpier-than-Trump Republican Governor Paul LePage, who has refused to expand Medicaid in his state despite the legally binding vote of Maine’s citizens, who passed a Medicaid-expansion initiative. LePage has been ordered by the courts to implement the expansion, but still refuses. Mercifully, LePage is termed out of office at year’s end. Something like that could never happen in the nation’s most liberal jurisdiction, right? Well, maybe it could. On Tuesday, voters in Washington, D.C., passed an initiative that would raise the minimum wage of tipped workers—currently, only $3.30—to the same level as the city’s non-tipped workers: $15, to be phased in over the next eight years. Unlike the Maine initiative, this one (Initiative 77 by name) was only advisory, but avowed liberals...

The Democrats' Response

Far from giving Republicans bragging rights, the Tax Act presents Democrats with a potent line of attack. But can they stay united when they put forth their own alternatives?

This article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . On a summer day in 1981, a disconsolate House Speaker Tip O’Neill sat “slumped in a chair far to the rear of the House floor” (as Thomas Edsall recalled the scene in his 1984 book The New Politics of Inequality ) and watched his colleagues vote to end the New Deal order. The vote was on a Republican substitute to a tax bill sent to the floor by the Democratic majority on the House Ways and Means Committee; the substitute cut taxes by $749 billion, bringing down the rate on the highest incomes from 70 percent to 50 percent, lowering the capital gains tax, and reducing the inheritance tax—the first tax reduction since the 1920s, Edsall wrote, “skewed in favor of the rich.” To O’Neill, the unkindest cut was not that the Republican measure passed, but that it passed with the support of 48 of his fellow House Democrats. Most of them represented...

Want a Decent Immigration Policy? Deport Rupert Murdoch!

“All right, we are two nations,” John Dos Passos wrote in his USA trilogy, and it appears to be the primary mission of Rupert Murdoch and his minions to keep us that way. The polling on separating immigrant children from their parents makes our divisions dramatically clear (not that they already weren’t). Quinnipiac shows that Americans oppose the policy by a 66 percent to 27 percent margin; CNN shows they oppose it by 67 percent to 28 percent. But a majority of Republicans in both polls support it: 55 percent (against 35 percent opposed) in Quinnipiac; 58 percent (against 34 percent opposed) in CNN. The chain of bigoted lies and distortions that Donald Trump has spewed forth doubtlessly feeds into many rank-and-file Republicans’ pre-existing biases and fears. But Trump couldn’t do this alone. The key to his rise, and to sustaining GOP support for such obscene policies as family separation, has been the counterfactual “news” outlets online, on...

The California Jungle

C ONGRESS: At second glance, the numbers we have now from Tuesday’s primaries in California may look discouraging to Democrats. (At first glance, Democrats breathed a sigh of relief since they didn’t split their votes so badly in the swing congressional districts that they ran out of the money. In every one of those top-two races, a Democrat made it into the November runoff against a Republican.) But at second glance, in six of the seven House districts represented by Republicans that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, the total vote for the Republican candidates exceeded that for the Democrats. (The only race in which the aggregate Democratic vote exceeded the Republicans’ came in the 49th District, which Republican Darrell Issa barely carried in 2016 and where he prudently chose not to stand for re-election this time around.) Don’t those aggregate numbers look bad for the Democrats? Well, that’s why we need a third glance. To begin, it always takes...

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