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

Are We Asking Too Much of the Federal Reserve—or Too Little?

How the Fed can jump-start much-needed public investment. 

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, from left, with Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, and the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System, presides over a meeting in Washington on July 20, 2015. This is an expanded version of a piece that first ran on Huffington Post . T here has been obsessive chatter about whether the Federal Reserve will, or should, raise interest rates this fall. At the Fed’s annual end-of-summer gabfest at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the issue was topic A. Advocates of a rate hike make the following claims: Very low rates were necessary when the economy was deep in recession. Now, with growth up and unemployment down, the near-zero rates are creating speculative bubbles . They are not really stimulating the economy much, as corporations put cash into stock buybacks and bankers park spare money at the Fed itself. So let’s get on with a more normal borrowing rate. Opponents of a rate hike counter that the economy is a lot weaker than...

2016: The Coming Train Wreck

The Republican demolition derby is worrying. But even more worrying is where that leaves the Democrats. 

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File In this June 25, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama walks with Vice President Joe Biden back to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington after the president spoke speaking in the Rose Garden. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . S ix months ago, the 2016 election looked to be predictable and boring: Clinton II vs. Bush III. Advantage: Clinton. Well, forget about that. The Republican demolition derby has been getting most of the publicity lately, but one should worry more about the Democrats. Consider: Hillary Clinton is sinking like a stone. She's falling in the polls. Conversations with her longtime friends and admirers indicate grave worry. She is not generating the excitement that the first prospective woman president should; the email mess is not going away; even the money advantage is not what was anticipated. And a self-declared socialist could defeat her in Iowa and New Hampshire. Even as she tacks left...

Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter, and the Power of Disruption

Trump, like BLM, is upsetting business as usual for party leaders. BLM's intervention just happens to be much more constructive. 

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson Marissa Johnson, left, speaks as Mara Jacqueline Willaford stands with her and Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders stands nearby as the two women take over the microphone at a rally Saturday, August 8, 2015, in downtown Seattle. An earlier version of this article appeared at The Huffington Post . I t was a good week for disruptive innovation. Three protestors very loosely affiliated with Black Lives Matter shut down Bernie Sanders yet again , this time at a Seattle rally Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, Donald Trump escalated his disruptive impact on the Republican presidential field, with a post-debate remark implying that Fox reporter Megyn Kelly was menstruating when she asked him provocative questions, fittingly, about his coarse put-downs of women. The two forms of disruption invite comparison. Protestors invoking BLM are disrupting the most progressive candidate in the Democratic field. Why? Because in the year since the murder of...

Boosting Low Pay

A look inside the Summer 2015 cover package on new fronts in the labor movement.  

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
AP Photo/Seth Wenig Protesters rally for higher pay in front of a McDonald's, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in New York. W idening inequality in America has its roots in several trends but is driven primarily by unequal earnings. In this package of articles, five authors address the pressure on middle- and working-class income—and strategies for reversing the trend. In a highly original essay, Harold Meyerson assesses the chilling parallels between the role played by the slave South in both the 19th-century global economy and the U.S. political economy—and the similar, wage-depressing influence of the South today. Robots are one more threat to jobs and pay levels. As economist Jeffrey Sachs explains , automation in a laissez-faire economy indeed produces that result. However, with the right public policies, robots can relieve a lot of human toil and spread wealth and leisure. Three companion pieces focus on organizing. They explore the rise of unions in three key sectors, two of them...

The German Menace

Forgetting its history, Germany's obsession with austerity and debt threatens to derail the project of European union. 

Rex Features via AP Images
Rex Features via AP Images Alexis Tsipras and Angela Merkel European Union Emergency Summit, EU Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2015. This story originally appeared at The Huffington Post . A t the end of World War II, a bloody horror that cost 80 million lives worldwide, American leaders were determined that Germany must never again rise to massacre its neighbors. So the Allies created a plan to strip Germany of its industrial might and turn it into a "pastoral" economy with a GDP well below its level of 1938. In addition, the reparations from the previous damage created by Germany during World War I, which were levied at the Versailles peace conference but never paid, were made due and payable over ten years. The combined cost of the reparations and the loss of its industry were deemed a fitting punishment for the Germans, who pretended not to know what was going on but were fully culpable for the rise and the grotesque atrocities of the Hitler regime. Germany,...