Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the executive editor of The American ProspectHis email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

What CEOs Do for a Living

(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock) W hat do CEOs do to earn their pay? Presumably, something very valuable, since the average CEO pay at Fortune 500 companies in 2014 was a cool $13.8 million . Yet even as CEO paychecks have ballooned to roughly 300 times that of their median employee (up from just 20 times 50 years ago), their achievements have become harder and harder to discern. Time was when CEOs put their companies’ capital into projects that produced new technologies that bettered their compatriots’ lives, and that employed vast numbers of workers at middle-class wages. Yet as their incomes soared, CEOs stopped doing that.To be sure, the tech sector—Silicon Valley, et al.—has indeed invested in innovation and generated new products that have revolutionized communications, the distribution of entertainment, and a lot of what was formerly back-office paperwork. But as Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon documents in his lightning bolt of a new book, The Rise and Fall of American...

Bernie and Hillary, the Hedgehog and the Fox

AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton
AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders gestures towards Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton during the NBC, YouTube Democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center, Sunday, January 17, 2016, in Charleston, South Carolina. A nother three-day weekend, another time for the Democratic National Committee to bury its very good candidates’ very good debate. And a good—not great—debate it was. Hillary Clinton delivered what is probably the best answer any candidate has offered at any presidential debate this year. Asked at the evening’s end what topic she wanted to raise that hadn’t come up, she responded by bringing up the plight of Flint, Michigan, and its poor, largely African-American residents, condemned by their completely indifferent Republican governor to drink and bathe in tap water with dangerously high levels of lead. Clinton noted that it was only after she highlighted their predicament last week that that governor...

President of the Disunited States

Evan Vucci/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Evan Vucci/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, January 12, 2016. C ould Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt have done a better job than Barack Obama in bringing together the fiercely polarized United States of 2009 to 2016? President Obama suggested in his State of the Union Address last night that they may well could have. “It's one of the few regrets of my presidency,” Obama said, “that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. I have no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide….” I doubt it. Neither Lincoln nor FDR was able to bridge the gaps that their own policies created. Their triumphs, rather, were to prevail over their opponents. Simply by winning the 1860 election, months before he took the presidential oath, Lincoln prompted South Carolina and six other...

Friedrichs: Son of Bush v. Gore

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin People participate in a rally at the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, January 11, 2016, as the court heard arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case. S o, what’s changed in the 39 years since the Supreme Court last considered public-sector unionism? In 1977, the Supreme Court justices were feeling their way to a decision in the landmark case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education , in which they upheld without dissent the right of public-sector unions to compel workers covered by their contracts to pay dues to that union even if they chose not to be members. Workers, the justices ruled, could withhold the portion of their dues that went to the unions’ political activities. But when it came to the bargaining of contracts, the representation of workers in grievance procedures, and all the activities that unions are obligated to perform for all the workers—members or not—whom they represent for those services, the non-members still had...