Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is executive editor of The American Prospect. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Global Safeguards for a Global Economy

The FDA's failure to keep us safe from tainted goods produced abroad is a reminder that it's time to better regulate the global economy.

With our nation just having celebrated its birthday, I'd like to make a modest proposal for a project that might occupy us for the next century or so: Taking the regulated, more-social capitalism that created mass prosperity in this nation and Western Europe in the second half of the 20th century and re-creating it on a global scale. At present, our debate over how best the United States should relate to the rest of the world isn't very fruitful. On one side are the realists who believe that advancing our interests may require abandoning many of the values we espouse. On the other are those who believe our interests are better served when we seek to advance these values, either in tandem with our allies (the liberal viewpoint) or by ourselves and by force (the neoconservative viewpoint). None of these viewpoints focuses on the dominant social reality of our time: that a unified global economy has emerged that is ending our economic sovereignty, and that this brave new world imperils...

Globalization's Stir-Fry

How the new global economy flips, reverses, scrambles, and perverts long-accepted notions and arguments about American business.

Globalization scrambles everything -- not least long-held beliefs about how our economy should work. Let's look for a moment at the argument made by people in our pharmaceutical industry and their chums at the Food and Drug Administration: that imported drugs from Canada imperil Americans' health. Then let's review the venerable conservative argument that the government should keep its mitts off, and surely never buy into, American business. Problem is, the realities of globalization have gummed up these arguments. Drugs first: According to a report by Marc Kaufman in the June 17 Washington Post , about 20 percent of generic and over-the-counter drugs and 40 percent of the active ingredients for pills sold here by the major pharmaceutical companies -- all proclaimed safe by the FDA, all sold at usual American prices -- come from factories in India and China that are more likely to be struck by lightning than inspected by the FDA. Yet the FDA's record shows concern over the safety of...

Card Check's Reality Check

Why the Employee Free Choice Act would do a whole lot more to address Americans' economic anxieties than a fence on the border.

This week, just before it turns again to immigration, the Senate takes up the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would restore to America's workers the right to join unions. Depending on how you look at it, the Senate's timing -- moving to bolster middle- and working-class incomes before it alters our immigration policy -- is either impeccable or 30 years too late. For those adamantly against the efforts to legalize the 12 million or so undocumented immigrants among us, opposition has become the vehicle to express a range of anxieties that go far beyond the question at hand. Some of those anxieties are racial and cultural. Others are economic -- the fear that immigrants take jobs from native-born Americans, the fear that they drag wages down. There is, as those of us who support the legalization of the undocumented must admit, some -- though by no means universal -- validity to these fears. Immigrants are not employed solely as farmworkers, gardeners, and nannies. One look at...

At the Justice Department, Stuff Happens

A shrug in the face of condemnation, and a refusal to act on behalf of swindled Enron shareholders. Just another day at the DoJ.

Monday was just a day like any other at our Department of Justice. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he wasn't paying close attention to the fact that 53 senators had in essence voted that they had no confidence in him as the nation's chief law enforcer. At the same time, Solicitor General Paul Clement declined to file a friend-of-the-court brief on the side of the plaintiffs in an upcoming Supreme Court case that will determine whether Enron's shareholders can receive any damages from the banks and brokerage houses that supplied the matches when Enron cooked its books. In choosing not to file a brief, Clement turned down a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission to have the government intervene on shareholders' behalf. The SEC's petition had been something of a surprise, since its chairman, former representative Christopher Cox, had generally shown more solicitude to the concerns of financial institutions than to those of litigious investors. But at the heart of the...

Iraq as South Korea?!

Desperate times breed desperate analogies -- and comparing an indefinite U.S. occupation of Iraq to the American presence in South Korea is at once daft and revealing.

So it turns out that Iraq is like South Korea. It took the Bush administration more than four years from the time U.S. forces invaded Iraq to formulate this thought -- or, more precisely, to promulgate it. There's substantial evidence that the administration has actually envisioned, and been building, permanent, large-scale U.S. military bases in Iraq for two years. But until the past couple of weeks, it denied it had plans for permanent bases there. As reporter Spencer Ackerman noted in a Prospect article last fall documenting the plans for permanent bases in Iraq, the official response of administration officials when asked about a permanent U.S. occupation was to deny any such desire. Early last year, Zalmay Khalilzad, then the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told Congress, "We have no goal of establishing permanent bases." But that was then. With public tolerance for the president's war in Iraq about at its end, the White House is compelled to come up with a less costly (in lives, limbs...

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