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Harold Meyerson

Obama's economic proposals: Okay, as far as they go

America, President Obama emphasized in his State of the Union address, must really be open for business. It must create growing markets for the alternative energy industry. It must generate more scientists and engineers. It must build high-speed rail and Internet to compete with other nations'. It must adjust corporate taxes so they're more in line with our global competitors'.

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Murdoch's Fox propagandists, degrading journalism

Amid the recent hubbub over the violent and paranoid rhetoric that stems from much of the American right, one name has been conspicuously absent. We've heard a great deal about Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly - the usual suspects. We've heard very little about the man who employs many of them for his financial and political gain: Rupert Murdoch.

Most coverage of Murdoch for the past couple weeks, in fact, suggests a very different story. The Good Rupert has been hard at work with Apple's Steve Jobs developing a digital newspaper, to be called the Daily, for the iPad. Veteran journalists have been hired. For a modest fee, reports the New York Times, readers will be able to subscribe and have the Daily pop up on their iPad tablets every morning.

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Dangerous outcomes from a culture of paranoia

Last October, Glenn Beck was musing on his radio show about the prospect of the government seizing his children if he didn't give them flu vaccines. "You want to take my kids because of that?" he said. "Meet Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson."

Last April, Erick Erickson, the managing editor of the right-wing RedState blog and a CNN commentator, was questioning the legality of the Census Bureau's American Community Survey on a radio show. "We have become, or are becoming, enslaved by the government. . . . I dare 'em to try to come to throw me in jail. I dare 'em to. [I'll] pull out my wife's shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door."

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Corporate America, paving a downward economic slide

The city on a hill and the last, best hope of mankind has entered a new period in its history. We are now America, the downwardly mobile.

The problem isn't due to the recession. Would that it were. The decade just concluded is the first in which Americans, on average, have seen their incomes decline. Median household income increased by about $4,000 per decade in the 1980s and '90s: from $42,429 in 1980 to $46,049 in 1990 to $50,557 in 2000 (in 2007 dollars). In 2009, the most recent year for which we have figures, it had declined to $49,777 - but 2009, of course, was a year of deep recession. If we go back to the peak year of the last decade, 2007, we find that median household income was just $50,233- roughly $300 less than it had been in 2000.

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Stimulus on the slow track

When Democratic senators and representatives voted to approve the $787 billion stimulus package nearly two years ago, the ones who came from swing states and districts knew they were taking a political risk. What they didn't know was that the economic benefits of the stimulus would become so entangled in red tape that even today, much of that money remains unspent.

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Obama's legacy hinges on the economy

With Republicans poised to take control of the House, Barack Obama has come to the end (at least, until 2013) of the progressive-reform period of his presidency. It's time to ask how he measures up when compared with his Democratic predecessors who had a kindred opportunity.

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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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