Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Leader of the Unfree World

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci President Donald Trump speaks to U.S. military troops and their families at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy. H e’s cool with the Saudis, he’s down with Duterte, he’s effectively a Putin pal. With Western Europe, not so much. It may be a fool’s errand to try to discern an actual foreign policy from President Donald Trump’s tweets, pronouncements, phone calls to foreign leaders, and encounters with them on his recent jaunt through the Middle East and Europe. But after so many tweets and phone calls and pronouncements and encounters, we’re obligated to try. When we do, three distinct tendencies emerge. The first is an economic nationalism that ranges from reasonable and long overdue to just plain cockeyed. The one commendable part of Trump’s foreign policy is his elevation, if largely rhetorical, of the interests of American workers (to be sure, chiefly white male workers in manufacturing) over the economic interests of other nations (which are often really the...

Why Do Billionaires Care So Much About Charter Schools?

For the 1 percent, combating inequality is all about individual achievement, not systemic change.

AP Photo/Richard Vogel
AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File Eli Broad poses for a photo at his new museum called "The Broad" in downtown Los Angeles. This article originally appeared at The Los Angeles Times . Subscribe here . T he billionaires, apparently, we shall always have with us—even when we decide how to run the state-funded schools where they rarely send their own kids. In the Los Angeles school board elections earlier this month, a number of billionaires, including Eli Broad , Netflix founder Reed Hastings, and two Walton family siblings, poured millions into the campaigns of two charter-school advocates. These billionaire-sponsored candidates defeated two badly outspent opponents who took a more cautionary stance on expanding charters, lest they decimate the school district’s budget. In total, pro-charter groups outspent teacher unions, $9.7 million to $5.2 million. (In the 2016 state legislative campaigns, the charterizers outspent the unions by a far larger margin, $20.5 million to $1.2 million.) Though...

Tricky Dick and the Donald

AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File
AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File President Nixon tells a White House news conference that he will not allow his legal counsel, John Dean to testify on Capitol Hill in the Watergate investigation and challenged the Senate to test him in the Supreme Court on March 15, 1973. Y ou might think Donald Trump was studying the Watergate tapes to see how best to recreate Richard Nixon’s crimes. On the June 23, 1972, tape—the one that, when its transcript was released, caused every Republican on the House Judiciary Committee to announce they’d vote to impeach Nixon, and which led, two weeks later, to his resignation—Nixon discussed with his chief of staff, Bob Haldeman, how to get the CIA to call off the FBI, which was investigating who was behind the Watergate break-in. “The way to handle this now,” Haldeman told Nixon, “is for us to have [Deputy CIA Director Vernon] Walters call [FBI Director] Pat Gray and just say, ‘Stay the hell out of this, ah, business here, we don’t want you to go any...

The Poor Die Younger

Nito/Shutterstock
Nito/Shutterstock trickle-downers_35.jpg I ncome and wealth don’t trickle down. Neither do health and longevity. Last week, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report on the life expectancy of Americans, and what that means for Social Security. What the CRS reported is that just as economic inequality is increasing, so is lifespan inequality. For men born in 1930, for instance, 50-year-old individuals in the highest income quintile (the wealthiest 20 percent) could expect to live 5.1 years longer than men in the lowest quintile. For men born in 1960, however, 50-year-olds in the highest quintile could expect to live 12.7 years longer than men in the lowest. Apparently, all the advances in medical science and healthy living that occurred during this rolling 30-year interval were visited upon the rich a lot more than on the poor. It’s the same story for women. For those born in 1930, the lifespan differential at 50 between rich and poor was 3.9 years. For those born in...

Trump, Comey, and the Rest of Us

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh Former FBI Director James Comey. T here’s a very good reason why President Trump’s inner circle and his apologists have had trouble defending their chief’s firing of James Comey: Neither the stated reason for the firing nor the real reason is actually a prudent case to make if you don’t want to undercut the president—and, in the case of administration officials, if you don’t want the Donald to fire you, too. Suppose you defend the firing on the grounds stated in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s brief: Comey trampled over Hillary Clinton’s rights when he trashed her last summer, violating Justice Department rules. Then he rode roughshod over those rules again when he announced the FBI was reopening the case last October. That’s a dicey case to try and defend when you land on CNN, because Trump applauded Comey’s October announcement. It only invites further discussion of whether Comey’s misdeeds actually, and unfairly, gave the election to Trump. Your boss...

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