Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Imperatives for Democrats

For all their differences, House Democrats need to unite around a pro-worker agenda. The party also needs a smart way to winnow its immense field of presidential prospects.

This article appears in the Winter 2019 issue of The American Prospect . Subscribe here . Of all the dogs that did not bark in the night during the 2018 midterm-election campaigns—the anticipated attack ads that never got aired—the loudest silence came out of Wisconsin. There, Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin, running for re-election, had authored a bill that would substantially alter American capitalism, not in a way that most American capitalists would particularly like. Her bill required corporations to set aside one-third of the seats on their boards for members elected by their employees. If enacted, the days of pure shareholder governance—and the shoveling of nearly all profits to shareholders rather than to workers—would be over. Surely, this was raw meat for the Republican attack whippets. Baldwin wasn’t out on this limb by herself. Her Democratic colleague, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, also up for re-election, followed her lead with a...

How to Compel Big Employers to Be Better Employers

Nick Hanauer, who may be the nation’s only venture capitalist who fully understands just how much havoc American capitalism since the 1970s has wreaked with all but our wealthiest citizens, and who’s put forth some of the most far-sighted remedies to spread the wealth Americans create to the hundred-plus millions who actually create it, is at it again. Yesterday, our friends at Democracy posted a new article by Hanauer that proposes a range of policies that would hold large employers to higher labor standards than the higher universal labor standards that Hanauer has proposed in previous articles in both Democracy and the Prospect. In earlier articles he wrote with labor leader David Rolf, Hanauer called for establishing a “shared security system” under which employers would be required to provide workers with portable, pro-rated and universal benefits, whether those workers were direct employees, sub-contracted employees, part-timers or independent contractors...

Unions, Millennials, and Their Ostensibly Liberal Elders

Young people like and want unions. Both the Gallup and the Pew polls released this summer show public support for unions at its highest levels in many years, and in both polls, it’s the young who give unions their highest approval ratings. In Pew, 68 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 had a favorable view of unions; in Gallup, 65 percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 approved of them. But given the risks of being fired that most young workers (like all workers) face if they attempt to unionize (and given the failure of the much-weakened National Labor Relations Act to protect them), few young workers have a realistic opportunity to form or join unions. The exceptions to this rule are increasingly found in newsrooms and on university campuses, where highly skilled workers are not easy to replace. Journalists and graduate student teaching and research assistants have been unionizing in droves over the past couple of years. Just yesterday, the staff of New York magazine voted to...

The Myth of the Benevolent Postwar Corporation

Much as the presidency of Donald Trump has contributed to the retrospective appreciations of George H.W. Bush, so the conduct of American corporations over the past four decades—not to put too fine a point on it: pocketing revenues for their shareholders while stiffing, if not altogether abandoning, their workers—has cast a rosy glow over the American corporations of the post-World War II era. One commentator bathed in that glow, based on the evidence of his column Monday in The New York Times is David Leonhardt. His column quite rightly bangs the drum for Elizabeth Warren’s bill to require corporations to set aside 40 percent of their board seats for representatives selected by their workers—a slightly watered-down version of German co-determination, but a significant step forward, if ever enacted, in the battle to make corporations responsible not just to their largest shareholders (among whom are their top executives, who are usually compensated in stock)...

Want a Democrat in the White House? Reform the Primaries

This article originally appeared at The Los Angeles Times. Subscribe here . The Democrats are flying high right now, but they’re headed for a crash. Fifteen or 20 or, good God, maybe even 30 of them are lining up to run for president two years hence, and the party—and the American electoral process more generally—has no good way to select a nominee when so many aspirants split the vote. In a field of 10 or 12 candidates, it doesn’t take much to come out on top. The winner of the first contests, before the field has been winnowed, will be anointed as the frontrunner, with all the electoral advantages that conveys, even though in a field that crowded, he or she may have won only 15 percent of the vote. Say, for instance, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who can easily spend billions on his campaign, takes the early contests with that 15 percent, while Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Sherrod Brown lag narrowly behind...

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