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 Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? In addition to writing for the Prospect, he writes for HuffPost, The Boston Globe, and The New York Review of Books. 

Follow Bob at his site, robertkuttner.com, and on Twitter. 

Recent Articles

The Face(book) of Big Brother

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File
Imagine that Jimmy Wales and the other good people who built Wikipedia had also created a free, non-commercial version of Facebook; call it Wikiface. People could use it to stay in touch with family and friends, to pass along items that they found interesting, and create networks of common interest. But there would be no commercial exploitation of people’s data, no political use of data other than voluntary self-directed groups, and limits to using artificially amplified posts for orchestrated hype. Nobody would get filthy rich from selling your confidential information. Just as Wikipedia is policed for accuracy and for abuses, by a kind of peer-review, so would be this new nonprofit social medium. This was the original dream of social media. There have been a few halting attempts to create nonprofit social networking platforms, but they have gained little traction. A for-profit competitor to Facebook called MeWe emphasizes total privacy and makes its money by offering optional...

Pete Peterson Meets St. Peter

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File Peter G. Peterson, Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, attends a meeting of the Economic Club of New York Editors' Note: Peter G. Peterson passed away on March 20. Sign up here to receive exclusive, daily writing from Bob Kuttner and Harold Meyerson straight to your inbox. N ame, Please? Peter G. Peterson. And what makes you think you deserve admission to the Pearly Gates? I’ve led a virtuous life, made billions, and gave most of it to charity. What sort of charity? Well, I gave over $1 billion to create the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, to warn Americans about the dangers of deficits and debts, and the excesses of Social Security and Medicare. Yes? And where’s the charity part? Too much spending will bankrupt America, especially the dreams of the young. I’m just a saint, not an economist. But are you saying that it’s Social Security and Medicare that are destroying the life chances of the young, rather than—oh, I...

Putin, Trump, and Cold War II

Sergei Chirikov/Pool photo via AP
In the past month, we’ve learned that 13 Russian officials and three Kremlin-linked agencies were involved in 2016 election trolling and hacking, to a sufficient degree to indict them; that the Kremlin was almost certainly behind the assassination attempt on a Russian former double agent living in Britain; and that Russian cyber-war agencies penetrated vital US electrical and other infrastructure systems, and could have shut them down. That latest finding, reported last week by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, was sufficiently alarming that even the Trump White House bleated a mild protest, for the very first time. And the Trump administration joined Britain and other allies in condemning the attempted hit job. Three things are now clear. First, Vladimir Putin has crossed a bright red line and is waging an aggressive Cold War II against the U.S. and the West, using multiple forms cyber-warfare as well as assassinations using nerve agents banned by treaties...

How the Globalists Ceded the Field to Donald Trump

Unless the mainstream offers something better, he will be the voice of economic nationalism.

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/Sipa via AP Images
This article appears in the Spring 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . When it comes to grasping the dynamics of globalization and the backlash against it, the media depiction of Donald Trump’s tariff wars revealed that the trade mainstream is as crackpot in its own way as Trump is—and that Trump is the beneficiary of their myopia. Let me explain. For three decades, the presidential wing of both U.S. parties, cheered on by orthodox economists and financial elites, has sponsored a brand of globalization that serves corporations and bankers but ignores the impact on regular people. This disparate impact is invariably swept aside with the usual platitudes about free trade being efficient and protectionism being narrow-minded and economically irrational. We were treated to those homilies, ad nauseam, after Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum. What’s forgotten is the fact that there is more than one form of globalism. In contrast to...

Donald Trump's Good Week

Is Donald Trump some kind of feral genius whose intuition takes him into policy realms where lesser leaders fear to tread? He takes willful pleasure in not reading briefing books or checking with experts, but in trusting his ample gut. Exhibits A and B, which dominated the news last week, were his ordering of tariffs on aluminum and steel, to the horror of every orthodox trade expert (and the joy of his base); and his even more abrupt decision to accept the invitation of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un for a face to face meeting. Might either of these impulsive decisions produce policy breakthroughs, proving the conventional view of both substance and process wrong? Take the case of Korea first. Ever since the Clinton administration, the North Koreans have tried to pull the United States into a process that would result in security guarantees for themselves and lifting of sanctions, in exchange for some kind of limits on their nuclear program. But those limits never quite materialize...

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