Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, and professor at Brandeis University's Heller School. His latest book is Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. He writes columns for The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe and the New York Times international edition. 

Recent Articles

Sanders, Trump, and Economic Populism

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong Supporters hold up signs while listening to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally, Saturday, January 9, 2016, in Ottumwa, Iowa. An earlier verison of this article appeared at The Huffington Post . T he economy generated almost 300,000 jobs last year and cut the nominal unemployment rate to 5 percent. But family incomes for most people are still deeply depressed. No wonder voters are in a state of simmering rage. Yet a lot of experts seem to think this is the best the economy can do. The Federal Reserve last month actually voted to raise interest rates on the premise that growth would soon pick up, and inflation might be a threat. Meanwhile, slowing growth has made fools of the Fed’s experts. Family income is soft. The collapsing stock market in China has produced reverberations around the world and projections of slower growth at home and abroad. The U.S. economy is relatively strong compared to the rest of the world (faint praise). But as the...

Thinking Harder about Political Correctness

AP Photo/Steve Nesius
AP Photo/Steve Nesius Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters after arriving for a campaign rally Saturday, November 28, 2015 at Robarts Arena in Sarasota, Florida. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . D onald Trump and the rest of the Republican presidential pack have had a field day disparaging political correctness as an affliction of liberals that is resented by regular Americans. Some liberal commentators have suggested that political correctness has become a serious albatross for Democrats. Columnist Thomas Edsall, in a piece for The New York Times online, cited polls showing that large numbers of Americans, Democrats as well as Republicans, agreed that “political correctness” was a big problem. But what exactly is political correctness? The term was first used by lefties to make fun of themselves. I've been hearing it used ironically since the 1970s. As in: “This may not be politically correct, but may I buy you a drink?” This...

Democracy Trumped

(Photo: AP/Steven Senne)
(Photo: AP/Steven Senne) GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is greeted by supporters in New Hampshire on December 28, 2015. I ’ve been having incessant conversations with friends, family, and colleagues about politics, and they all boil down to the same question. Could Donald Trump be our next president? Here is an amalgam of the conversation. See which side you’re on: —I think Trump might actually win. —You mean the Republican nomination? —No, I mean the election. —Get serious. For starters, the Republican leaders would never allow that. They’d be much better off with Rubio-Kasich or Kasich-Rubio. —Maybe they would. But there are no smoke-filled rooms anymore. Leaders don’t make these decisions. Primary voters do, and they love Trump. The more outrageous he is and the less connected to facts, the more his support grows. —Yeah, but he’s a media phenomenon. He is such an egomaniac that he hasn’t even bothered to build an organization. He has no ground game. That’s why Cruz has...

Movies of the Year: A Bracing Dose of Reality

This year's most powerful movies all draw on actual events and tackle big public issues and ethical dilemmas.

(Photo: Courtesy of Open Road Films)
(Photo: Courtesy of Open Road Films) Michael Keaton as Walter "Robby" Robinson and Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes in Open Road Films' "Spotlight." The most powerful movies of the year were based on actual events. All combined big public issues with private ethical dilemmas, and provided vehicles for terrific thrillers as well. The fact that we knew the outcome in advance did nothing to detract—the suspense was in how the protagonists found their way to the conclusion. Even better, these movies offered career-topping performances for several of the leads. Start with the amazing “Spotlight.” In January 2002, Boston Globe readers picked up their newspapers to learn that a Catholic priest had engaged in serial episodes of sexual child abuse. But this was just the beginning. The four-person team reporting the story had discovered that close to 200 Boston area priests had been serial abusers, that the Church hierarchy—right to up the unctuous Cardinal Bernard Law—knew all about the...

Gunfight at the GOP Corral

(Photo: AP/CQ Roll Call/Bill Clark)
(Photo: AP/CQ Roll Call/Bill Clark) A rally for gun control in Washington, D.C., in 2013 R epublicans, despite the fact that easy purchase of assault weapons makes America far more vulnerable to terrorist attacks, continue to take an absolutist view of the Second Amendment. But, over time, this posture is likely to become a political liability. The case for AK-47s as weapons of self-defense looks increasingly absurd. Then there is the case of open-carry laws. Egged on by the NRA, Republicans have promoted the right of citizens to show off and bring their weapons virtually anywhere, including to schools, sporting events, bars, hospitals, and public buildings, just like gunslingers of the Old West. (Meanwhile, Disney World has prohibited toy guns at its theme parks, as well as real ones, in order to reassure its customers.) But what will the Republicans do about guns at their upcoming national nominating convention in Cleveland? Ohio is an open-carry state. If Republicans have the...

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