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 The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, and the New York Review of Books. 

Follow Bob at his site,, and on Twitter. 

Recent Articles

Birthday Greetings to Karl Marx

Harald Tittel/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images The Karl Marx Statue in Trier is revealed in a ceremony T his past weekend marked the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx, who was born in the German city of Trier on May 5, 1818. With more and more workers pushed aside by the latest brand of capitalism and more and more of the gains going to the top, it’s a good time to inquire if perhaps Marx might have been right after all. When I was first studying such things, Marx looked to me like an idiot. He was convinced that capitalism would collapse from its own contradictions, and then would give way to a workers’ paradise. But in postwar America and in much of the West, the proletariat was making steady gains. Far from turning revolutionary, workers were joining unions and supporting mainstream center-left political parties. Far from containing the seeds of its own destruction, capitalism in Europe and America had at last been harnessed in the broad public interest. The welfare state was spreading...

Is Trump Capable of Realism on North Korea?

Korea Summit Press Pool via AP North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in shake hands after signing on a joint statement at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . I n the afterglow of the summit between the leaders of North and South Korea, as we await the even more historic meeting between President Donald Trump and Pyongyang’s Kim Jong-un, there are three distinct risks. One is that a genuine breakthrough occurs and Trump reaps the political credit. The New York Times ’s Maureen Dowd, tongue only partly in cheek, imagines Trump getting the Nobel Peace Prize . An opposite risk is that Trump wants a deal so badly that he is willing to be played for a fool. A number of conservative commentators have warned about this. Steven F. Hayes, in The Weekly Standard , warned , “Trump’s comments last week suggest he’s a sucker waiting to be played. The...

How the Tax Bill Backfired on the Republicans

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy conduct a news conference in Washington D id you have a happy Tax Day? Are you feeling grateful for the Republican tax cut? Evidently most American taxpayers are not . In a sublime case of poetic justice, the so-called Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) is backfiring on the Republicans big time. Most voters are unimpressed, and Republicans themselves are ceasing to emphasize it in their campaign material. In the March 13 special election for the Pennsylvania 18th House district, where Democrat Conor Lamb narrowly beat Republican Rick Saccone, Republicans actually pulled ads that bragged about the tax act, because their polls showed that it was more of a target than an achievement. Republican strategists who wanted President Trump to emphasize the tax cut this spring were initially annoyed that Trump was talking about trade, immigration and Korea instead. Now they realize that Trump may be onto...

Trump’s Impotent Rage

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) President Trump walks off after speaking at an event on tax policy in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 12, 2018. S omething very fishy happened last week. On Friday, we were treated to almost hourly rumors that President Donald Trump’s firing of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was imminent. This was to be followed by a scheme to either fire or drastically limit the authority of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The cable channels went into overdrive and the newspapers picked up the story. Critics issued dire predictions. And then exactly nothing happened. So what was that about? Piecing this together, it’s clear that at midweek, my old pal Steve Bannon managed to get through to Trump, and pitched him on one more trademark Bannon scheme: Fire Rosenstein and cease cooperating with Mueller, citing executive privilege. Bannon also called on Trump to fire lawyer Ty Cobb. This was first reported by The Washington Post , and then other news media found...

The Failure of the Globalist Fantasy

Jason Lee/Pool Photo
Jason Lee/Pool Photo Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Beijing W hat does the sweeping re-election victory of the neo-fascist Viktor Orbán in Hungary have to with the escalation of trade conflicts between the West and China? Both are disastrous byproducts of a naïve faith that a push for free-market global capitalism would somehow increase the appeal of liberal democracy. This was the hope in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down and communism fell—a grand convergence of ever-freer markets and ever-stronger democratic institutions. This was also the hope when China was allowed to join the World Trade Organization in 2001, pretty much on in its own terms. China would become less totalitarian in its government and less statist in its economy. No less than Tom Friedman proclaimed , “China’s going to have a free press. Globalization will drive it.” Neither fantasy has come true. In Western Europe and the U.S., the more that political and...