Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Impeachment Imprudence

This may be my mother's doing. About 20 months ago, in a column I wrote at the time of her 90th birthday, I noted that Estelle had been peppering me with questions about why we weren't impeaching the president. I gave her what I thought were sufficient reasons: He could be ousted in the coming election; grotesque misconduct in office was not necessarily a high crime or misdemeanor; the Republicans controlled Congress; Dick Cheney was the guy on deck -- that sort of thing. None of it took. At her house one afternoon, talking on the phone, I reached for a pad of paper to jot down some notes and found her handwritten agenda for the day. There was a list of vegetables. Then it said, "Coca-Cola." Then it said, "Impeach Bush." Underlined. Nearly 92 now, Estelle hasn't really slowed down very much, and she must still be preaching the gospel of impeachment to her friends in her Democratic club and, I can only conclude, her Improv group as well. Because, damn -- this impeachment stuff is...

The Life and Times of Otis Chandler

In the middle of the past century, Los Angeles was both America's fastest-growing big city and a tight little town. Every year, miles of farmland were transformed into housing tracts for the immigrants who'd come west to work in the aerospace and auto plants and studios. And the immigrants weren't coming predominantly from the Midwest anymore; the new Angelenos included Jews from New York, African Americans from the South and Democrats from all over. The people who ran the town were anything but thrilled by their new neighbors. A self-appointed committee of Republican businessmen vetted elected officials and fretted about the liberals in their midst. The police department treated blacks, Latinos and the occasional Democrat as enemy aliens. And the city's main newspaper, at first glance, seemed the adjunct of the right wing of the Republican Party. On closer inspection, it was the other way around: California conservatism, and its Republican standard-bearers, were the creation of the...

Wanna Buy a Port?

We're selling our harbors to an Arab government. Our biggest Internet companies are complicit in the Chinese government's censorship of information and suppression of dissidents. Welcome to American capitalism in the age of globalization. Here the market rules. National security and freedom of speech are all well and good, but they are distinctly secondary concerns when they bump up against our highest national purpose, which is maximizing shareholder value. This is a uniquely American value. Other nations designate certain industries as too strategic to ship abroad or sell to foreign interests. Only in the United States is the corporation answerable only to its shareholders -- not to its employees, its host communities, its home nation. It wasn't always this way, of course: In the decades following World War II, you could speak, without undue smirking, about corporate responsibility. A sense of national solidarity, high rates of unionization, and a labor force that did not extend...

Doing Good Jobs, But Losing Them

WIXOM, Mich. -- From the outside, the Ford assembly plant here, about 40 minutes west of Detroit, isn't much to look at -- a sprawling, bland mid-1950s monument to an architecturally forgettable decade. On the inside, though, Wixom is a thing of beauty, a marvel of American production. Most auto factories turn out the same basic car, though at the end of the line different grillwork and a different name may be slapped on in a desperate attempt at brand differentiation. At Wixom, three fundamentally different kinds of cars rolled off the line simultaneously. Working in small groups that are directly responsible for the cars they turn out, Wixom's employees simultaneously built cars with front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive, convertibles, sports cars, luxury vehicles, even cars with the steering wheel on the right for foreign markets. "No other plant built three different cars at the same time," says Dave Berry, president of the plant's United Auto Workers local. Some years ago Ford...

NAFTA and Nativism

Everybody talks about globalization; nobody ever does anything about it. The world labor market looms over every horizon with its promise of cheaper goods and lower pay. The public is skeptical, rightly, about the benefits of globalization, but the process of harnessing it, of writing enforceable rules that would benefit not just investors but most of our citizens, is hard to even conceive. And so globalization is experienced by many Americans as a loss of control. Manufacturing moves to China, engineering to India; que sera, sera. Except on our borders. With the number of immigrants illegally in the United States estimated at 11 million, the tensions between Americans and Mexicans -- chiefly, working-class Americans and working-class Mexicans -- are rising. And those are tensions that congressional Republicans, who don't look to have a lot of other issues they can run on this fall, are eager to stoke. In December the House approved a bill by Judiciary Committee Chairman James...

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