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

Grading Larry Summers

Larry, Here are some comments on your seminar presentation dealing with the underrepresentation of women in math and the sciences. Your grade, I regret, is a C-plus. As you know, this is a low grade at Harvard. I do hope that when you develop this into your term paper and as you mature as a scholar, you will take these comments to heart: Pages 1 and 5 of the transcript : You offer three possible explanations for the underrepresentation of women scientists: Women have a harder time succeeding in ''high-powered jobs" because of the demands of intense work schedules and their own preferences. Second, women have lesser innate aptitudes. Third, women suffer the effects of discrimination and prior role expectations. What's missing is an empirical discussion of the immense gains women have in fact made in the past three decades as barriers have fallen and expectations changed. Women PhDs went from 0.6 percent to 17.3 percent in engineering, 2.9 to 15.5 percent in physics, 2.3 to 22.8 percent...

Axis of Allies

"America supports a strong Europe, George W. Bush told an appreciative audience at his first major European speech in Brussels Monday, "because we need a strong partner in the hard work of advancing freedom in the world." This seemed a good beginning for some overdue fence-mending. But many of Bush's own core supporters disagree, and there is strenuous infighting over the shape of the Administration's Europe policy. Gerard Baker, writing in the current Weekly Standard , criticizes the administration's olive branch and warns that Europe is seeking to become a counterweight to the U.S. in world affairs. The real European goal, writes Baker, is to undermine NATO, America's greatest source of trans-Atlantic influence, and to initiate policies of its own that are less bellicose than Washington's. A prime example is the joint German-British-French initiative on Iraq, which would offer economic incentives in exchange for Iran's agreement to dismantle nuclear weapons capabilities. American...

The Liberal Uses of Power

It is a shame there will never be a debate about foreign policy between the George W. Bush who ran for president in 2000 and the one who now occupies the office. As a candidate five years ago, Bush said that the United States should act as a “humble nation” toward the rest of the world and avoid any involvement of our armed forces in nation building. He could have had a lively argument with the current president over the use of the military for nation building in Iraq, and he might have raised an eyebrow over the president's declaration, at his second inauguration, that it is American policy to “seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” The original Bush appealed to an insular Americanism with a constricted conception of the national interest; the new Bush appeals to a missionary vision of America's role. As much as the first understated America's obligations, the second risks...

Bush's Tipping Point

The great Social Security battle of 2005 could well be remembered as the tipping point that ended George W. Bush's remarkable winning streak. It's now clear that Democrats are not about to provide Bush bipartisan cover for privatization. Even usually reliable Republicans are putting some distance between themselves and the president. Bush and his allies control the legislative calendar, but for once, time is not on Bush's side. Privatization might have won a quick legislative victory had Bush just rammed a bill through Congress on the momentum of his election win. But the longer the privatization proposal twists in the wind, the more the media, wavering Republicans, and ordinary voters become conversant with the details -- and the worse the plan looks. The Democrats had put their post-election grief behind them by late February and recovered some energy, and the prospect of defeating Bush on a signature proposal has been quite a tonic for them. After a slow start, the AFL-CIO, AARP,...

Bush's Tipping Point

The great Social Security battle of 2005 could well be remembered as the tipping point that ended George W. Bush's remarkable winning streak. It's now clear that Democrats are not about to provide Bush bipartisan cover for privatization. Even usually reliable Republicans are putting some distance between themselves and the president. Bush and his allies control the legislative calendar, but for once, time is not on Bush's side. Privatization might have won a quick legislative victory had Bush just rammed a bill through Congress on the momentum of his election win. But the longer the privatization proposal twists in the wind, the more the media, wavering Republicans, and ordinary voters become conversant with the details -- and the worse the plan looks. The Democrats had put their post-election grief behind them by late February and recovered some energy, and the prospect of defeating Bush on a signature proposal has been quite a tonic for them. After a slow start, the AFL-CIO, AARP,...

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