Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, as well as a distinguished senior fellow of the think tank Demos. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week and continues to write columns in The Boston Globe. He is the author of Obama's Challenge and other books.

Recent Articles

Enronomics, Anyone?

Many economists and Bush administration officials are declaring the recession over. Their evidence is a slight improvement in some economic indicators, such as unemployment and business inventories. But my bet is that the economy will be weak for the remainder of the year and that it will be many years before we return to the prosperity of the 1990s.

Ordinarily, this reality would seriously hurt an incumbent president. But here's a second bet: Unless the Democrats radically shift their campaigning style and themes, Bush's halo effect from the Afghan war could insulate the Republicans from damage on economic issues in the mid-term elections this fall.

What Voters Really Want

What do voters really want from government? Despite years of government-bashing, several recent polls suggest that voters still count heavily on government for social and economic security. And, while the Bush administration wins broad support for its antiterrorism program, liberal economic themes on other issues resonate with voters.

Pollster Celinda Lake, in a new series of polls sponsored by the Ms Foundation for Women, found that 76 percent of voters thought government should do more to help working families, 84 percent want a higher minimum wage, 87 percent want government help for health insurance to laid off workers, 82 percent want extended unemployment benefits.

Comment: Second Thoughts

When the World Trade Center was attacked, some
progressives went, almost reflexively, into antiwar mode. Most, however,
supported military action, because the incineration of innocents in the heart of
Manhattan was so appalling; because the Taliban regime was so brutal;
and--somewhat less nobly--because dissent in a time of national outrage courted
political isolation. After nearly six months, however, the Taliban is gone,
policy is a mess, and the president should be fair game.

A Time for Dissent

After Sept. 11, nearly all Americans rallied round our president. The act was so barbaric that we had little choice.

Yet some of us supported military action against the Taliban with grave forebodings. Among our concerns were these:

Treating the World Trade Center attacks as an act of war rather than a criminal conspiracy would have global and domestic repercussions that could not easily be foreseen or contained. One worry was wider war. Another was the risk of civilian casualties and political chaos in Afghanistan and elsewhere in South Asia. Another was the effect on the fragile Arab-Israeli peace process. Another was the erosion of civil liberty and tolerance at home.

Nader Had It Right All Along

If one political figure looks prophetic these days, it is Ralph Nader.

The Enron collapse is having a ripple effect on the rest of Wall Street, reflecting years if not
decades of corporate balance-sheet abuses, insider enrichments at the expense of workers, pensioners,
and communities, and bipartisan regulatory defaults.