Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

What the Teacher Strikes Mean

(AP Photo/Adam Beam)
trickle-downers_35.jpg Around seven years ago, I had a standard wisecrack to explain the standing of workers in the world’s two dominant economies: “China has strikes but no unions; America has unions but no strikes.” Seven years later, it’s clear we’re becoming more like China every day. The remarkable upsurge of teachers in Republic-run, largely non-union states that has swept through West Virginia and is now sweeping through Oklahoma and Kentucky, and is poised to descend on Arizona, has returned the mass strike to the United States after decades of relegation to the history books. In each of these states, the teachers unions have something between limited and no legal rights to bargain collectively, and, correspondingly, represent just a hard core of members whose commitment to their union is more a matter of belief than of anticipated reward. And yet, able to mobilize even in non-union terrains through the use of social media, and outraged at their...

What Now for Unions?

This article appears in the Spring 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . For conservatives, the much-anticipated Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case may be coming eight years too late. If, as expected, the five Republican justices on the Court rule for the plaintiff, which would end public employee unions’ ability to collect dues from all the workers they represent, they will significantly weaken the nation’s largest unions, among them the two teachers unions, as well as AFSCME and SEIU. These are also among the most significant organizations in Democrats’ voter-mobilization programs and, more generally, in supporting progressive groups and causes. Even more fundamentally, the right plainly hopes such a ruling will also drive the final nail into the coffin of the American labor movement. While a pro- Janus ruling could strengthen the Republicans electorally, when it comes to killing unions, the right is simply too late. The...

National Security Agencies Have Spoken: Private Equity Ownership Imperils America

(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
By the normal standards of U.S. national security, the government’s ruling on Tuesday to delay and potentially derail the acquisition of high-tech company Qualcomm by the Singaporean company Broadcom was startlingly smart and gobsmackingly wonderful. It was smart because it extended its definition of U.S. security interests to maintaining our advantage in the development of the most advanced forms of technology, in this case, the 5G communications systems that will be critical to both driverless cars and network security in coming decades. The government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS for short) wrote that it feared that if Qualcomm, the nation’s leading developer of 5G technology, were purchased by Broadcom, its research would suffer and a Chinese high-tech company, Huawei, would likely surge past it to become the global leader in security technology. In the past, CFIUS has blocked several Huawei attempts to purchase U.S. tech...

There Are Echoes of the Fugitive Slave Act in Today’s Immigration Debate

Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP, File
This article originally appeared at The Los Angeles Times . Subscribe here . Last week, Libby Schaaf, mayor of Oakland, took the logic of so-called sanctuary cities and states one step further by warning that Immigration and Customs Enforcement had planned a raid on immigrants in the country illegally. Over the weekend, roughly 150 immigrants were apprehended in Northern California. Predictably, the backlash from Trump supporters, immigrant haters, and ICE authorities has been intense. Was Schaaf impeding law enforcement? What was she thinking? It was probably a good deal like what the leaders of pre-Civil War Northern cities and states were thinking when they resisted the federal government's efforts to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act, which a Southern-dominated Congress had enacted in 1850. In case you don't remember your U.S. history : An 1842 court ruling absolved states of any duty to cooperate in the recapture of former slaves who'd freed themselves by fleeing to the North. In...

Spoiling for Spoils

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
It may still be going on, this first Trump State of the Union. Surely, there are people in the gallery he hasn’t introduced yet. And has he finished talking about MS-13? That was the second longest part of his speech, second only to taking credit for the economy. (Having become president in Year Seven of the recovery, Trump taking credit calls to mind Ann Richards’s line about George H.W. Bush: “He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.”) SOTUs should be watched closely to discover what it is that the president thinks Americans should fear, or at least cast a watchful eye on. Trump devoted one sentence to Russia and China. Not one sentence each; one sentence for them both. ISIS drew a couple of minutes. MS-13 probably took up around eight minutes. Plainly a greater threat than the spread of Chinese authoritarianism or Russian anti-liberalism, not to mention climate change, which, in fact, Trump didn’t mention. Inflating MS-13 to the status of...

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