Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the executive editor of The American Prospect and a columnist for The Washington Post. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org

Recent Articles

Americans See a Government Of, By, and For the Rich

Miker/Shutterstock An unidentified participant in a Occupy Minnesota protest holds up "I'm am the 99%" sign on October 29, 2011 in Minneapolis. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . A t first glance—and second, and third—Americans look to be marching off in two diametrically opposed directions. On immigration, Democrats and Republicans could not have more contrasting views; cities, which have become distinctly progressive bastions, are enacting a host of liberal ordinances, while the substantial number of states under Republican rule are moving well to the right of the GOP orthodoxy of just five years ago; and the federal government, its power divided between the two parties, has frozen into inaction. Most polling tends to confirm this view of the United States as a house divided. But a new survey of our compatriots’ beliefs from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) , which queried a far larger number of respondents than typical polls, has unearthed one...

Bernie Defines Socialism

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. D uring the 1930s, conservatives repeatedly alleged that Franklin Roosevelt was really a socialist. Today, Bernie Sanders said they were right. In a long-awaited speech heralded as providing his definition of “democratic socialism,” the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate on Thursday afternoon told a packed crowd of Georgetown University students—most of whom waited hours in a drenching rain to hear him—that by democratic socialism, he meant the economic and social principles laid down by FDR, most particularly in his 1944 State of the Union Address. In that speech, Roosevelt proclaimed that the nation needed a second, economic bill of rights. Sanders quoted the passage in which Roosevelt laid out the philosophic basis for such an expansion of rights: “True individual freedom,” Roosevelt said, “cannot exist without...

Why America Needs Another Trust-Busting Movement

(Photo: AP/Richard Drew)
(Photo: AP/Richard Drew) ABInBev, which makes Budweiser, reached an agreement last month to combine with SABMiller, and in a related deal this week, MolsonCoors announced plans to acquire SABMiller's majority stake in Miller Coors. This article originally appeared in The Washington Post . L ike immense amoebas on the prowl, America’s already huge corporations are combining like nobody’s business. In recent months, Walgreens bought Rite Aid , uniting two of the nation’s three largest drugstore chains; in beerland, Molson Coors is buying Miller ; mega-health insurers Aetna and Anthem, respectively, bought mega-health insurers Humana and Cigna ; Heinz bought Kraft , good news for those who take ketchup with their cheese; and American Airlines completed its absorption of US Airways, reducing the number of major U.S. airlines to four, which now control 70 percent of the air travel market. On Wall Street, the five biggest commercial banks hold nearly half of the nation’s bank assets; in...

Casino Capitalism, Part II

In olden times, when you read about the Nevada Gaming Commission looking into the ownership of Las Vegas casinos, the story was always about the commissioners sniffing around for evidence of organized crime’s hidden interests. As anyone who’s watched Martin Scorsese’s Casino (which sticks fairly close to Vegas’s actual history) can attest, the Mafia families that owned the hotel-casinos on the Vegas Strip had to find fronts—obliging attorneys, developers and the like—to serve as the ostensible owners and executives for the Sands, the Flamingo, the Stardust, the Tropicana, and so on. The agreed-upon fiction was that by enforcing a rule that convicted felons could have no role in owning or running the gaming tables, the Commission would keep Vegas clean.

Today, the Mafia is more a memory than a going concern, and its control of Vegas has long since ended. Recently, however, the Commission has been asked to look into the ownership of some Vegas casinos by a new shady character: the global financial behemoth Deutsche Bank. The Vegas local of UNITE HERE, the hotel workers union—a local I profiled for the Prospect back in 2004—has asked the Commission to determine whether Germany’s largest bank is a suitable owner for the city’s Station Casinos, a company that has thwarted its employees’ attempts to unionize, and in which DB has a 25 percent ownership share. As the union’s complaint correctly notes, DB paid a $2.5 billion fine this spring for its role in illegally manipulating the LIBOR interest rate on inter-bank loans to its own advantage and to the detriment of virtually everyone else. Its co-CEOs were compelled to resign as a result of the scandal. 

Out goes the Mafia, in come the banks. Won’t Vegas ever clean up its act?

Bibi's Fertilizer

Netanyahu meets with American progressives and dodges their questions.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Center for American Progress, Tuesday, November 10, 2015, in Washington. “ My father always said, ‘Conversation fertilizes thought,’” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said while wrapping up his comments at Tuesday afternoon’s meeting with American progressives at the Center for American Progress. Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, there was a lot more fertilizer than thought in his remarks. That assessment may be a touch unfair. Netanyahu has clearly given a lot of thought to how to evade questions that challenge the consequences, or even the rationality, of his policies. Asked how he envisioned Israel’s future absent a two-state solution—that is, an Israel with a Palestinian majority, an Israel that will inevitably emerge if it persists in occupying the West Bank—Netanyahu spoke instead of the need for Israeli troops to patrol the West Bank and Gaza. He invoked the specter of...