Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Bernie, Son of FDR

Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
In 1916, amid the carnage of World War I, the great German-Polish socialist Rosa Luxemburg wrote that humanity was facing a choice between socialism and barbarism. Earlier today, speaking at the George Washington University, Bernie Sanders noted that we live in a time of rising authoritarianism, citing the regimes of Putin, Xi, Orban, Duterte and Trump as indices of the growing threat. His speech was billed as offering his definition of socialism, which, a la Rosa, was said to be the alternative to oligarchy and authoritarianism. Socialism as Sanders proceeded to define it is indeed an alternative to oligarchy and authoritarianism. What his speech left hanging was whether his socialism was in fact socialism. In 2015, as his campaign was just taking off, Sanders came to a different D.C. university—Georgetown—to deliver what was also then billed as his definition of socialism. Before a crowd of wildly cheering college students, he reeled off a series of social democratic...

The God-Damnedest Policy Paper of the Year

Last week, an in-depth analysis of what’s gone wrong with the American economy was released, chockfull of arguments that Prospect readers and others who’ve followed the work of progressive scholars would find very familiar. Its basic contention is that our corporations no longer invest in the domestic economy as they once did, electing instead either to sit on their profits or distribute them to shareholders. The corporate sector, the report reads, “has gone from a system marked by free enterprise to one that is more broadly ‘enterprise-free.’” Not surprisingly, the report relies heavily on the work of William Lazonick, who, in articles for the Prospect and numerous other publications, has outlined how shareholders came to extract money from corporations rather than fund their increasingly few investments. It cites other authorities on this shift in corporate purpose—Andy Grove and Marianna Mazzucato, among others—who have either written...

The Writers Guild’s Dispute Had a Prequel. Lew Wasserman and the Feds Were the Stars.

This article originally appeared at The Los Angeles Times. Subscribe here . If you’re following the kerfuffle between Hollywood writers and their agents , you may have a sense of déjà vu—well, if you’re old enough and have a good memory, or are steeped in the industry’s history. Over the past month, film and television writers have fired their agents , instructed to do so by the Writers Guild of America to protest the fact that the agencies have branched out into “packaging” productions. Instead of simply representing writers (and directors and actors and producers), many agencies now prefer to assemble all the talent for a project and take a fee for it. In some cases, the agencies actually produce the movies and shows themselves, thereby employing the very writers they are pledged to represent. As the WGA has pointed out, when an agency sits on both sides of the bargaining table, that doesn’t work to the writers’ advantage...

With Uber’s Stock Tanking, Trump’s NLRB Rides to Its Rescue

Richard Drew/AP Photo
Uber Has Poisoned an IPO Market That Was Sick Anyway,” a Wall Street Journal headline proclaimed this morning. When the market closed Monday, two days after the company had first listed its stock, Uber’s shares had declined by 18 percent from its IPO listing of $45. To deter Uber’s owners from hurling themselves off of Airbnb high-rises, however, the Trumpified National Labor Relations Board endeavored to come to their rescue today. With stories like the Journal’s declaring that Uber ownership was a fool’s errand, the Board chose today to release an April 16 “Advice Memorandum” from the office of its general counsel which emphatically concluded that Uber drivers were independent contractors with no right to form a union or bargain collectively. For a company like Uber, which has never yet shown a profit, a guarantee that it will never need to give its drivers a raise is as close as the company can get to something resembling good news. To...

Biden’s Bipartisan Illusions

If Joe Biden wants to focus his campaign on getting rid of Donald Trump, there is, I concede, some electoral logic to that theme. But to assert that once Trump is gone, the Republican Party will be susceptible to bipartisan appeals and respect empirically verified reality—which Biden assures us it will—is dangerous folly. So dangerous, if he actually believes it, that it should disqualify him for the Democratic nomination. “History will treat this administration’s time as an aberration,” Biden told an Iowa ballroom-full of supporters last week. “This is not the Republican Party,” he continued, noting his longstanding ties to “my Republican friends in the House and Senate.” Indeed, as The New York Times has reported , “in the Obama White House, he was known as the ‘McConnell whisperer’ for his skills in striking agreements with the often recalcitrant Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell.” And how well...

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