Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is editor-at-large of The American Prospect. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

NO CALIFORNIA MISCHIEF.

With its portent of more Florida-like electoral chicanery, it had shaken my buddies in the liberal commentariat to their core: The proposed Republican-backed initiative to change the way California counts it electoral vote -- shifting from the winner-take-all method in place in 48 of the states to the one-congressional-district-one-vote method in place in Maine and Nebraska -- could have split the mega-state’s electoral vote in a way only a Republican could love. Instead of rewarding all of the Golden State’s 55 electoral votes to the victor (that is, to the Democratic nominee), the measure would have siphoned off 19 electoral votes -- roughly, the numerical equivalent of Ohio -- to the Republican, presuming he could carry the congressional districts that have Republican representatives. The initiative would go on the June primary ballot next year, when few Californians would bestir themselves to vote, and could just squeek through. And with that, the Republicans would...

The Rise of the Have-Nots

The American middle class has toppled into a world of temporary employment, jobs without benefits, and retirement without security.

Last week over lunch, a friend in his 30s prodded me to explain how my generation, the boomers, had botched so many things. While not exactly conceding that we had, I said that the one thing none of us had anticipated was that America would cease to be a land of broadly shared prosperity. To be born, as I was, in mid-century was to have come of age in a nation in which the level of prosperity continued to rise and the circle of prosperity continued to widen. This was the great given of our youth. If the boomers embraced such causes as civil and social rights and environmentalism, it was partly because the existence and distribution of prosperity seemed to be settled questions. Nor were we alone in making this mistake. Our parents may have gone through the Depression and could never fully believe, as boomers did, that the good times were here to stay. They remembered busts as well as booms. But the idea that the economy could revert to its pre-New Deal configuration (in which the rich...

Cashing in on Chinese Surveillance

How Wall Street is pouring money into the Chinese government's Big Brother-like surveillance of its citizens.

The American economy may be teetering on the brink of a recession, but there's an industry our hedge fund gurus believe has an almost limitless future: the Chinese police state. In a stunning report in The New York Times last week, correspondent Keith Bradsher documented the rise of China's electronic surveillance industry, whose leading companies have incorporated themselves in the United States and obtained the lion's share of their capital from U.S. hedge funds. Though ostensibly private, these companies are a for-profit adjunct of the Chinese government. Li Runsen, technology director of the government's ministry of public security and the top cop policing China's Internet usage against the occasional appearance of a dangerous idea, now also moonlights as a director of China Security and Surveillance Technology, a company soon to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. CSST, according to Terence Yap, its chief financial officer, produces security cameras and computer software...

TODAY IN TAP...

TODAY IN TAP ONLINE . In the second week of Bill Clinton's presidency, Paul Starr—then on leave from both his job as a Princeton sociology professor and his calling as the Prospect 's co-editor so that he could serve as a White House senior health-policy advisor -- met with First Lady Hillary Clinton, whom the president had just named to chair his health-care reform task force. As Starr writes in today's lead story , Hillary spoke of her "husband's plan," which it certainly was, since Bill Clinton had essentially laid out the plan during his 1992 campaign. In fact, though the media created an entire mythology of "Hillarycare," much of it demonizing the first lady, it was Bill who devised and fine-tuned both the plan and the campaign that the administration waged on its behalf. With Hillary now a leading candidate for president and with the media recycling old stories about how Hillary doomed universal health care, Starr decided it was time to set the facts straight about the...

New Plan, Same War

Americans don't trust that the Bush administration will be able to resolve the Iraq war. So why is Bush going on television tonight to claim the Petraeus plan as the way forward?

If you believe what you read in the papers, President Bush will go on television tonight to announce that he will adopt the Petraeus plan as his own, if for no other reason than it really is his own. I'm not in the business of offering tactical advice to the administration, and it's not in the business of taking it. But if I were Josh Bolten (I think he's still in the White House; I can't vouch for anyone else), I'd try mightily to keep the president off the tube. The whole point of the Petraeus PR offensive, after all, is to decouple the war from the president. If it's the president's war, no one will vote to keep it going. Respondents to the New York Times-CBS News poll released Monday were asked whom they'd trust most "with successfully resolving the war in Iraq." Fully 68 percent said military commanders; 21 percent said Congress. A mind-boggling 5 percent said the Bush administration. Five percent? Five? More Americans believe that Elvis walks among us than trust Bush to get us...

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