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

Bernie Sanders Is About as Radical as Harry Truman

AP Photo/Cliff Owen
AP Photo/Cliff Owen Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders walks on stage to speak to supporters during a campaign rally at Prince William Fairground in Manassas, Virginia, Monday, September 14, 2015. This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post . T he mainstream media continues to be shocked that Bernie Sanders keeps gaining traction against frontrunner Hillary Clinton. However, if you look at what Sanders actually stands for, it is well within the mainstream of what used to be the Democratic Party. Ever since Jimmy Carter, it has been evident that much of the Democratic electorate, and for that matter much of the country, is more progressive in its core values than what Democratic presidents have been offering. As big money has crowded out grassroots democracy, the policies that people crave are simply not on offer. There is also the historical accident of which leaders arise at what moments. We have not had a large number of plausible progressives with...

Et Tu, Janet Yellen?

(Photo: AP/Jessica Hill)
(Photo: AP/Jessica Hill) Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Thursday, September 24, a week after the Fed decided to not raise interest rates. This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post . B arely a week after Fed Chair Janet Yellen cheered her many admirers by fending off pressures to raise interest rates in a weak recovery, Yellen reversed course. In a long, dense, technical lecture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on Thursday, Yellen concluded by indicating that the Fed is likely to raise rates by the end of 2015 after all. So what's at work here? Obviously, economic conditions did not change between September 17 and September 24. Workers' wages continue to be flat, despite a gradual reduction in the official unemployment rate. The inflation rate continues to be well below the Fed's official target of 2 percent, with indications that it will go lower. Economic conditions outside the United States continued...

The European Prospect (Fall Preview)

Rex Features via AP Images
Rex Features via AP Images Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, and Alexis Tsipras at the European Union Emergency Summit, EU Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015 This article appears in the Fall 2015 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . T he European project after World War II was among the most noble in modern history. Germany, twice the cause of catastrophic wars, would not be punished but rebuilt, rehabilitated, and contained within a larger democratic European whole. The memory of the Great Depression, on which fascism had fed, would be forever banished thanks to a social contract that brought economic security to ordinary people. A united, secure Europe would never again go to fratricidal war. Western Europe, threatened physically and ideologically by Soviet Russia, was not strong enough to resist militarily without American help, but could offer a model far more attractive than communism—a splendid case of soft power. Christian Democrats called it a...

America’s Collapsing Trade Initiatives

AP Photo/Greg Baker, Pool
AP Photo/Greg Baker, Pool U.S. President Barack Obama, left, returns to his seat as Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds after drinking a toast at a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Wednesday, November 12, 2014. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . C hinese President Xi Jinping will be in Washington this week on an official state visit. President Obama had hoped to impress Xi with an all but sealed trade deal with major Pacific nations called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to demonstrate that America is still a force to be reckoned with in China's backyard. But Obama's trade policy is in tatters. The grand design, created by Obama's old friend and former Wall Street deal-maker, trade chief Mike Froman, comes in two parts: a grand bargain with Pacific nations aimed at building a U.S.-led trading bloc to contain the influence of China, and an Atlantic agreement to cement economic relations with the European Union. Both are on the verge...

Is Trump Inevitable?

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump reacts during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, California. I t is beginning to dawn on Republican Party operatives that Donald Trump may well be their nominee. Three reasons: First, no matter what he says he keeps gaining support. As a populist rather than a conservative, he articulates the raw anger that a lot of voters feel, and the details don’t matter. He has said things that would sink an ordinary candidate, but that’s not who he is or the basis for his appeal. Second, the fragmented Republican field plays to Trump’s advantage. Nobody else can get traction. And third, recent changes in the GOP party rules favor Trump. Under provisions mandated in 2014, states with primaries after March 15 may operate winner-take-all elections. That means Trump doesn’t have to win a majority; he just has to get...