Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Outsourcing in the Dark

A new Congressional inquiry into outsourcing may shed some light on how well the federal government monitors the performance of its contractors.

You don't trifle with Robin Smith when it comes to keeping America safe. Smith is a former airman first class who won a Sharpshooter badge and was one of 125 women selected by the Air Force for a test combat training program. She comes from a family that was almost a stranger to civilian life; until her brother retired from service in the mid-'90s, she says, "there was a member of my family on active military duty for over 100 consecutive years." Smith is black; her forebears joined up in the days of the Buffalo Soldiers. Since she left the service, Smith has worked for several private security contractors, which is how she came to be stationed at the Department of Homeland Security headquarters here in Washington, in the employ of Wackenhut Services, the company that provides security at a multitude of nuclear, defense and other highly sensitive federal facilities. For a time she was stationed in the building where Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff worked, and she saw him...

The GOP's Spineless Sages

When it comes to getting us out of Iraq, top Republican Senators are all talk and no action.

Anyone searching for the highest forms of invertebrate life need look no further than the floor of the U.S. Senate last week and this. These spineless specimens go by various names -- Republican moderates; respected senior Republicans; Dick Lugar, John Warner, Pete Domenici, George Voinovich. They have seen the folly of our course in Iraq. The mission, they understand, cannot be accomplished. The Iraqi government, they discern, is hopelessly sectarian. In wisdom, they are paragons. In action, they are nullities. Perhaps they are simply farsighted. They have seen the problem with Nouri al-Maliki's administration in faraway Baghdad. They seem unable to see the problem with the Bush administration at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The Lugars and the Warners seem to share with many of their Democratic colleagues a common assessment of our presence in Iraq: It has become an unfocused and costly occupation in a land beset by civil war. We should, in good order, pull back, leaving...

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...

Pages