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

Quiet Desperation and American Fascism

AP Photo/The Advocate Messenger, Clay Jackson
AP Photo/The Advocate Messenger, Clay Jackson Voting precinct booths are empty early Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Danville, Kentucky. This is an updated version of an article that ran in The Huffington Post . T here’s a must-read article if you want to understand why Democrats are losing the support of low income people who benefit from government programs like Medicaid and food stamps and logically should vote for Democrats based on pocketbook interests. Alec MacGillis of ProPublica , writing in The New York Times Sunday Review, observes that for the most part, the poor aren’t defecting to Republicans— they are not voting at all . His exhibit A is eastern Kentucky, one of America’s poorest and most government-dependent regions. But the poor are so marginalized and disaffected that they are disconnected from civic life entirely. Looking more broadly, MacGillis reports that non-voters are far more likely than voters to have incomes under $30,000, not to have health insurance, not to have...

A Grand Bargain with Putin Against ISIS?

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media during his news conference after at the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, Monday, November 16, 2015. This is an update of a piece that ran at The Huffington Post . W hat follows is not very pretty. But it may be the best option available in a crisis without good options. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made no secret of the fact that he would like some kind of political settlement with the West. The German magazine Der Spiegel has just published a leaked official Russian memo outlining a proposed grand bargain in which Putin eases out its close ally, Syrian President Assad, in favor of a still pro-Russian regime that at least stops killing its own people. In return the West acknowledges what has been an open secret for several decades—that Syria is Russia’s sphere of influence in the Arab world. Then the U.S., Russia, Iran, and the rest of the grand coalition can get on with the urgent business...

French Connections: The Knock-On Effects of the Paris Attacks

How might the terrorist attacks affect civil liberties, U.S.-Russia relations, Israel, and the 2016 election?

(Photo: AP/Craig Ruttle)
(Photo: AP/Craig Ruttle) An NYPD police car sits in front of the French consulate in New York after the attacks in Paris. T he Paris attacks signal a new and far more challenging phase of the era that began on September 11, 2001. As awful as that day was, Al-Qaeda was centrally directed and could be centrally disrupted. Not ISIS. After 9/11, most of us felt that this was the beginning of a new normal; that daily life would never be the same. And then weirdly, life did return to something close to normal—until ISIS. Despite the revelations of the Snowden files of a disturbing and far-flung surveillance apparatus that often combined overreach with ineptitude, the new national security state did not touch the vast majority of Americans the vast majority of the time. But the new wave of attacks on seemingly random soft targets, by an array of home-grown, freelance terrorists who are unknown to police, and inspired but not necessarily managed by ISIS, really does signal a new normal, in...

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...