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

America's White Working Class Is a Dying Breed

After decades of economic and social decline, the group's rising death toll should come as no surprise. 

AP Photo/Charles Krupa
AP Photo/Charles Krupa Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wait in line as the sun sets prior to a campaign rally in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, Friday, October 16, 2015. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . T he news this week that the death rate of middle-aged American whites—more particularly, working-class middle-aged American whites—is rising, while that of all other Americans continues to fall, is appalling. But it should come as no surprise. A study released Monday by Princeton economists Angus Deaton (the 2015 Nobel laureate in economics) and Anne Case documented that the number of deaths by suicide, alcohol use, and drug use among working-class whites ages 45 to 54 has risen precipitously since 1999—so precipitously that the overall death rate for this group increased by 22 percent . Death rate increases in the modern world are so rare that economists and public-health scholars have been groping for equivalent instances. “Only...

Creating a Conflict of Interest

AP Photo/Reed Saxon
AP Photo/Reed Saxon A group of people enter the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 in Los Angeles. L ike most American newspapers, The Los Angeles Times has had a rough go of it. Over the past 20 years, as readers abandoned the print edition either outright or for digital versions, ad revenues decreased. Those revenues shriveled even more as the share of English-speaking residents in the L.A. metro area declined, and were altogether tanked by a steady stream of idiotic business decisions from the paper’s owners once the Otis Chandler wing of the Chandler family lost control of the paper to its benighted cousins in 1990. Since then, the paper’s owners—successively, the Let’s-Cash-Out wing of the Chandler family; the Chicago-based Tribune Corporation to whom the Chandlers sold the paper; real estate wheeler-dealer Sam Zell, who bought Tribune with other people’s (including its employees’) money and plunged it into bankruptcy (and who holds the distinction of being the...

Now That They're Together, Can Bernie Sanders's Volunteers Build a New Left?

(Photo: AP/Kevin Wolf)
(Photo: AP/Kevin Wolf) Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a town hall meeting at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, on Wednesday, October 28. This article originally appeared in The Washington Post . B ernie Sanders’s presidential campaign is different. He has refused to establish a super PAC. He shuns personal attacks. And, not incidentally, he proclaims himself a democratic socialist. But there’s one further way in which his campaign fundamentally differs not just from those of the other candidates but also from any in many years: While striving to win votes, it also has to morph into an enduring left-wing movement. When Sanders says—as he does in every speech—that he’s seeking to build “ a revolution ,” that’s not just rhetoric. What Sanders understands in his bones is that every period of progressive reform in U.S. history has come as a result of massive street heat, of energized movements that push policymaking elites to the left. Abolitionists...

The GOP Debate: When Ted Cruz Met Piketty and Saez

(Photo: AP/Mark J. Terrill)
(Photo: AP/Mark J. Terrill) Ted Cruz, center, talks about the mainstream media, while Carly Fiorina, left, and Chris Christie look on during the CNBC Republican presidential debate on October 28. D oes anyone really listen to this crap? (I assume since Ben Carson characterized liberal beliefs as “crap” during Wednesday night’s debate, it’s permissible to characterize what the debate participants actually said as crap, too.) Consider Carly Fiorina’s response when asked about those Americans who aren’t offered 401(k)s: “There is no constitutional role for the federal government in setting up retirement plans.” Um—so what’s social security? To which, clearly on a roll, Fiorina added, “There is no Constitutional role for the federal government to be setting minimum wages.” To these observations, there were no follow-up questions from the moderators or demurrals from the other candidates. Did anyone actually hear what Fiorina said? Did she hear it herself? Or does the constant din of...

Why Democrats Need Both Clinton and Sanders

AP Photo/John Locher
AP Photo/John Locher Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, listens as Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, speaks during the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, October 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . I n the fall of 1991, a Democratic presidential candidate I was covering as he campaigned across New Hampshire had a line in his speeches that surprised me. He commended to his listeners something called the “Swedish active labor market”—a program, established by Sweden’s Social Democrats as part of their full-employment policy, that trained unemployed workers at the government’s expense and linked them up with available jobs. That candidate was Bill Clinton. On Tuesday night, I was forcefully reminded of the then-Arkansas governor’s unanticipated endorsement of Scandinavian democratic socialist policy by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s takedown of Senator Bernie Sanders’s invocation of Denmark as a model for progressive...