Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Race Relations, Hunky-Dory. Economy, Not So Hot

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File
An earlier version of this story appeared at The Los Angeles Times . Subscribe here . On the 25th anniversary of the Rodney King riots, Los Angeles is glowing with racial amity—and festering with economic disparity. As King himself might have put it, we all are getting along just fine—but by the way, many of us are very poor, even though we work as hard as we can. That’s the take-away from the remarkable poll released last week from Loyola Marymount University’s Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles. Fully 76 percent of respondents said that racial and ethnic groups in LA are getting along well. In 1997, when the Center first polled Angelenos, only 37 percent said racial and ethnic relations were good. LA’s progress, however, has been strikingly uneven. As the Times noted in its report on the poll, the city’s unemployment rate may be half that of 1992, but Angelenos’ median income is actually lower than it was when the riots broke out,...

Flying the Bloody Skies

Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto/Sipa via AP Images
While the videos of security cops dragging a bloodied physician down the aisle of a United Airlines plane clearly shocked the millions of people who viewed them, my guess is that, at some level, it didn’t surprise them. Indeed, the reason the videos were so damaging to United—and at some level, to the entire airline industry—is that everyone who’s flown in coach during the past several decades knows that the welfare of airline passengers, save for those who fly first- or business-class, is the least of the airlines’ concerns. The systemic abuse of those who fly coach has become the sine qua non of the airlines’ business model, as the incessant shrinkage of the seats and legroom afforded passengers clearly attests. “The roomiest economy seats you can book on the nation’s four largest airlines,” according to Consumer Reports ’ Bill McGee, “are narrower than the tightest economy seats offered in the 1990s.” Maverick...

The GOP Debacle and the New Poor

(Photo: AP/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
“Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression,” says the eponymous hero of Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March . “If you hold down one thing, you hold down the adjoining.” Well, everybody except today’s Republican Party. The GOP’s problem is that the world they knew has changed, but their strategy hasn’t. For decades, Republicans have attacked Democratic efforts to expand or merely defend social insurance by depicting such insurance as benefiting presumably shiftless minorities at the expense of white workers who weren’t all that prosperous themselves. That’s why Ronald Reagan told stories about a Chicago “welfare queen” who lived high on the public dole. That’s why Rush Limbaugh and others who opposed the Affordable Care Act as it moved through Congress in 2010 portrayed it as a program designed for the almost exclusive benefit of minorities. The Republican attacks had an economic...

How California Hopes to Undo Trump

America’s mega-state is now clearly its leftmost, too—and on social insurance, climate change, and immigrant rights, it has more capacity and desire to defeat Republican reaction than any other institution.

Ronen Tierny/Sipa via AP Images
This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Spasms of fear often shake California, a state prey to earthquakes, fires, and floods. One such spasm—a manmade one—is shaking the state today. Business is down at groceries featuring Mexican and Central American food, and at other stores catering to an immigrant clientele. The possibility of stakeouts by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents has led thousands of Angelenos to abbreviate their daily rounds. “Since Election Day, children are scared about what might happen to their parents,” says Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles. “And parents for their children. We fill out at least ten guardianship letters every day for [undocumented] parents who fear for their [U.S. citizen] kids if they—the parents—are deported.” The fear is rooted in the grim reality of the new president...

The Cosmological and Temporal Implications of the GOP Tax Cut in the AHCA

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
We fail to appreciate the depth of thought that has gone into House Speaker Paul Ryan’s bill repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, which may be brought to a vote today if there are enough Republican votes to pass it. Well, not the original, pre-amendment bill, which would reduce the number of Americans with health insurance by 24 million and cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans by nearly half a trillion dollars over the next decade. No, what’s elevated the bill to the forefront of contemporary physics is an amendment pushed by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican. Ryan’s original legislation repealed the 3.8 percent tax that Obamacare imposed on capital gains, dividend, and interest income for individuals with annual incomes of $200,00 or higher, or families with annual incomes of $250,000 or more, which Obamacare’s authors put into the legislation to help fund the ACA subsidies and Medicaid expansion. In the original...

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