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,, and on Twitter. 

Recent Articles

Davos Man

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
The annual Davos event has become a gathering of the very people responsible for a perverse version of globalization—one that has undermined the livelihoods of ordinary people—and stimulated a mass nationalistic backlash that has brought to power people like Donald Trump. Will Trump use his speech to bash the plutocrats? Or to make it clear that he is their friend? Will he try to pose as economic nationalist and lecture them on all the ways that bad other countries hurt America? Rhetorically, Trump (“America First!”) is anti-globalization. He is for re-negotiating trade deals that outsource of America jobs, and bringing back American manufacturing. A few of his officials, notably the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, are taking this vow seriously and trying to fashion policies to match. There are, however, three problems. The first is that trade issues are blindingly complicated, and Trump has no patience for detail or nuance. Mainly, he is...

How Do You Say Shithole in Norwegian?

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
In disparaging desperately poor countries whose “wretched refuse,” in poet Emma Lazarus’s eloquent lyric, seek refuge on our shores, Donald Trump urged America to seek more immigration of the “best and the brightest,” specifically mentioning Norway. The problem, of course, is that few Norwegians want to come. In fiscal year 2016, exactly 362 Norwegians became permanent legal residents of the United States. Short of kidnapping Norwegians and using extreme rendition to coerce them to enter our shores, there is no way to increase Norwegian immigration. And why should they come? Norway has full employment, a competitive private economy, one of the world’s most comprehensive welfare states, paid parental leave of a year after a child is born, universal health insurance, and free higher education. Its life expectancy far exceeds ours, its GDP per capita is $70,912, compared to $57,638 in the U.S. Citizen satisfaction surveys rate Norway as the world...

Bannon and Trump: Still the Odd Couple

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
When you think about it, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump have a lot in common. Both are reckless, impulsive, bombastic, narcissistic, demagogic. Both are among the world’s great bullshitters. But one of them is president of the United States and the other isn’t. Thus, it was only a matter of time before Bannon would make himself persona non grata with Trump. Surprisingly, Bannon’s contemptuous comments to me, back in August, were enough to help get him fired from the White House, but not sufficient to cause a rupture with Trump. The two continued to speak regularly, Bannon later told me (unless that was also so much BS). Bannon’s latest comments crossed a line. They were, in Michael Kinsley’s famous definition of a gaffe, a blunder not because they were false but because they were true. They really didn’t tell us, and the rest of the Trump entourage, anything that we didn’t already know, but they were candid to the point of cruel and they came...

The Democrats: Exorcizing Ghosts and Looking Forward

AP Photo/Steve Helber, File
This article appears in the Winter 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The Democrats’ stunning success in the November 7, 2017, Virginia state elections, and more recently, Democrat Doug Jones's election in Alabama, portends a great blue wave in 2018. Or does it? The good news is that dozens of new groups mobilized thousands of volunteers and candidates, many of whom were new to politics. With a lackluster and centrist gubernatorial candidate in Ralph Northam, Virginia also produced a rare case of coattails in reverse. The down-ticket campaigns increased turnout, which improved the margin in the governor’s race. Most of the new groups that contributed to the Virginia wins have been created only since Trump’s election in 2016. They range from groups devoted to candidate recruitment and training for state and local races, such as Run for Something, to full-service organizations like the Arena, to specialized outfits like Sister District,...

Could the U.S. Pass the EU’s Democracy Test?

The EU’s basic treaty requires its members first and foremost to be democracies.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . You’ve probably read that the European Union, after years of trying to duck the plain reality of Poland and Hungary ceasing to be democracies, has taken the first step towards denying Poland a vote in the European Commission. The EU’s basic treaty requires its members first and foremost to be democracies. Here’s the backstory. Since Poland’s Law and Justice Party took power in 2015, the Polish ultra-nationalist leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has felt stymied by the independent judiciary. In July 2017, the government drafted legislation to give Kaczynski control of the courts. Other EU leaders warned of dire consequences, and Poland’s President, Andrzej Duda, a close ally of the government, surprised all by refusing the sign the law. Cynics said this was just a ploy to buy some time for a kinder, gentler version of the same scheme—and they were right . The government went back to...