Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

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...

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...

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