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Harold Meyerson

Half-Right Brooks

David Brooks’ column today is one of his better ones—noting that the U.S. is plagued by two kinds of inequality, that which divides the top one percent from everyone else, which is prevalent in our major cities, and that in smaller cities and rural areas, where college grads are doing OK but where the bottom has fallen out for those Americans who don’t complete college or, worse, high school. The gap between the lives of college grads and others has widened not just in terms of income but health, diet, marriage stability, and the percentage of children born and raised out of wedlock.

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Here’s to the makers of fabulous things

Is innovation enough? Is cultivating America’s inventive genius the way we can restore our economic leadership?

The outpouring of grief over the death of Steve Jobs has raised the presumably redemptive power of innovation to understandable, if unsustainable, heights among many within the commentariat (and many outside it). But innovation alone won’t reverse our economic decline. Indeed, without U.S. manufacturing, we’re likely to lose U.S. innovation too.

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What Americans Make

Last Friday, the Social Security Administration released its figures on how much money Americans made in 2010 from wages, salaries, and tips (but not from capital gains, dividends or rents). Turns out that the 150,398,796 Americans for whom employers issued W-2 forms made just over $6 trillion in net compensation. If you calculate the raw mean average, that comes out to $39,959.30 per worker. But 66 percent of wage earners actually made less than that (or that amount exactly)—which means, the high level of pay for upper-income workers produced a much higher mean average than the average American worker actually makes. The median wage—the dollar amount that 50 percent of wage earners made more than, and 50 percent made less than—was $26,363.55.

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Unions investing in America’s infrastructure

Who will rebuild America? Despite the indisputable decay of our roads, bridges, ports, airports and schools, no one has come forward to patch them up, much less build their more efficient and attractive successors.

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Steve Jobs and the Chinese Wall

Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs hit the bookstores on Monday (or, worse, the websites that have replaced bookstores as the place where people go to buy books), and the more piquant details have already started popping up in the press. Among those details—actually, it’s a good deal more than details—is Jobs’s Manichean view of humankind (at least, those elements of humankind with whom he came into contact).

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It’s hard to hate these occupiers

By the hoary conventions of American politics, Americans should fear and loathe Occupy Wall Street. The occupiers are vaguely countercultural, counterculturally vague. They are noisy. They are radical. They offer no solutions, though they are prey to the damnedest ideas. (Anti-consumerism! Anti-leaderism!) They are an extra-parliamentary menace, mocking the very possibility of liberal reform. They are anarchists or, worse, McGovernites. Some of them appear genuinely nuts. For all these reasons and a hundred more, real Americans should hate their guts.

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Harold Meyerson Named One of Nation’s Top 50 Columnists!

awardIn September, 2009 Atlantic Monthly named Harold Meyerson one of 50 Most Influential Columnists. Calling its list “its all-star team,” Atlantic Monthly’s Top 50 are the most influential commentators in the nation – the columnists and bloggers and broadcast pundits who shape the national debates. Harold Meyerson is honored to be in their midst.

To get a complete list of the country’s Top 50 Idea-meisters, click here.

Harold Meyerson's Book

Harold Meyerson's Book
Who Put the Rainbow in the Wizard of Oz?
Yip Harburg, Lyricist

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