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

Raising Rates: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come

The Fed has signaled that it is likely to hike interest rates next month, but major labor-market reforms are still needed.

(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik)
(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik) Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on banking supervision and regulation on November 4. W hat is it with the Federal Reserve? Anticipating a decent job-creation rate, Chair Janet Yellen told Congress Wednesday that the central bank is likely to hike interest rates next month after all. According to the Labor Department's latest jobs report released Friday , unemployment ticked downward in October to 5.0 percent and wages actually increased a tad—by 0.4 percent—after eight years of flat or declining wages for most workers. Terrific—this is the kind of benign inflation we need more of! Surely Yellen knows—and has said—that these monthly numbers bounce around, and that the economy is nowhere near experiencing the kind of inflationary pressures that would justify slowing a recovery that is finally, belatedly, getting into a higher gear. But even though Yellen is far more sensitive to the need for job...

Who Will Be Hillary's Economic Team?

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Saturday, October 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . E ver since she faced a stronger than expected challenge from her left, Hillary Clinton has been sounding more progressive than expected on economics. Let's hope she means it. She has come out against the Keystone Pipeline, against the really dubious Trans-Pacific Partnership, in favor of substantial debt relief for college students. Her July speech on economic issues at the New School, calling for significant increases in public investment and regulation of corporate excesses was exemplary. However, there is one key area that could undercut all of what she has offered. That is her choice of a senior economic team. The recent history of Democratic presidents is not reassuring on that score. Ever since the administration of her...

Racism Hidden in Plain View

(Photo: AP/Stephen B. Morton)
(Photo: AP/Stephen B. Morton) Cal Morrison of Charleston sits outside the Charleston Courthouse on September 10, awaiting the verdict of a bond hearing for Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer who fatally shot Walter Scott after a traffic stop. O ne of the odd things about our era is that 50 years after the great civil rights era, ugly realities that the black community knows all too intimately are finally being recognized by the broader society. The question is whether constructive change will result. This Sunday, The New York Times , based on its own exhaustive study of tens of thousands of traffic stops, reported that blacks are far more likely to be stopped, and then arrested and sometimes brutalized, for minor traffic infractions than are whites. The piece, focusing on the relatively moderate city of Greensboro, North Carolina, provides more detail than has ever been reported in a major press account. This was no surprise to the black community, which lives...

Hillary: Not Out of the Woods Yet

Clinton's real vulnerabilities have less to with her positioning on the issues than with the unexploded bomblets that may or may not go blow up her candidacy.

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum, Tuesday, October 6, 2015, in Davenport, Iowa. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . W henever it appears that frontrunner Hillary Clinton has finally caught a break, along come reminders of the unexploded time-bombs that still lie waiting, just up the campaign trail. Take the email scandal (please). As Bernie Sanders pointed out during the CNN debate, in an uncharacteristic moment of courtliness, people are sick of it. The Republican use of it becomes more blatantly political by the day. So it's over, right? Well, not quite—because it's still not clear what exactly was legal or illegal, and who is vulnerable to prosecution for what. We do know, however, that this question is being actively pursued by the FBI. As The New York Times reported Saturday, when President Obama went on CBS's 60 Minutes last Sunday and sought to downplay the email affair—...

What to Watch for in Tuesday's Debate

AP Photo/Steven Senne
AP Photo/Steven Senne Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a forum on substance abuse, Thursday, October 1, 2015, in Boston. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . T uesday's Democratic debate is a very big deal, especially for frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders will probably exceed expectations because many viewers will be seeing him for the first time, certainly for the first time against Clinton. The other three candidates will likely find themselves far back—this is narrowing to a two-person contest. Clinton needs to get out of a self-infecting cycle of bad publicity, in which everything she does is dismissed as calculating and contrived, even when it represents creative movement on issues. Sanders merely needs to take care to come across as fighting for the forgotten American on the issues, as he nearly always does, but not too radical in his personal style. In the past few weeks, Clinton has made several dramatic...