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

What Will the Trump Economy Look Like?

AP Photo/Richard Drew
AP Photo/Richard Drew Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . Subscribe here . W hen the economy generated over 200,000 new jobs in January and again in February, Donald Trump suddenly decided that he respected the government statistical agencies. But when the economy produced only 98,000 jobs in March, the administration was uncharacteristically quiet. That same report revised the earlier numbers downward by about 38,000 jobs. Compared with a year earlier, job creation in February and March declined by 56.4 percent. So, what sort of economy will the Trump presidency produce and how will it affect the elections of 2018 and 2020? The stock market likes Trump. After a brief dip in stock prices following his election (financial markets famously hate uncertainty), stock traders decided they like Trump. With deregulation, tax cuts, infrastructure spending, weakening of trade unions, and Trump back-pedaling on a...

Corporate America and Donald Trump

Don't mistake the corporate embrace of diversity for defense of democracy. 

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez Demonstrators with Making Change At Walmart and the United Food and Commercial Workers protest Walmart's sale of Donald Trump products in Dallas. This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . A re big corporations among the firewalls protecting the Republic from Donald Trump? It would be comforting to think so. Silicon Valley has risen up against Trump’s anti-Muslim attacks. More than 100 of the most prominent tech giants, from Microsoft to Tesla, signed an amicus brief challenging Trump’s immigration orders. Starbucks made a point of announcing that the company would hire 10,000 refugees. The Super Bowl ads were a veritable festival of anti-Trump sentiment, some subtle, others surprisingly direct. Budweiser celebrated the dreams of its immigrant founder. An Airbnb ad declared, “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong.” 84 Lumber’s astonishing...

Needed: A Democratic Shadow Cabinet

(Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
(Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is joined by Senators Mark Warner and Elizabeth Warren while speaking at the Capitol on March 14, 2017. D onald Trump, precisely because his behavior is so outlandish and unpredictable, has dominated the news coverage. It’s unreality TV, and the media can’t stop covering it. The benefit is that Trump’s sheer craziness gets a lot of scrutiny. But the downside is that Democratic critics have trouble getting much airtime. If this were a parliamentary democracy, there would be a leader of the opposition, and a whole “front bench” of opposition spokespeople, issue by issue—a kind of Shadow Cabinet. Leading Democrats could both hold Trump accountable for his bizarre positions (and those of his Republican allies in Congress), and the Democrats could also offer more attractive alternatives. They could also show up Trump’s sheer ignorance of the issues, and his crazy inconsistency, and hold him accountable, item by item. Once...

How to Marginalize the Tea Party

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite House Freedom Caucus Chairman Representative Mark Meadows rushes to a caucus in the basement of the Capitol in Washington, Friday, March 24, 2017, before House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he is abruptly pulling their troubled health-care bill off the House floor. An earlier version of this article appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . H ow is it that the 37 most right-wing members of the House, the so-called Freedom Caucus, have disabled the Republican majority? The explanation is the relatively recent tradition that Republicans never make bipartisan agreements with Democrats, except in the rare cases when they can peel off a few conservative Democrats to totally capitulate to Republican terms. If Republicans could bring themselves to work with Democrats—the norm for most of American history—the outsized influence of the most extreme Republicans would collapse. The Republican posture of ultra-partisanship, which has now backfired, is...

No, We Don’t Need Higher Interest Rates

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee. An earlier version of this article appeared at The Huffington Post . Subscribe here . T he press is fairly slavering for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. You can hardly read an item in the business pages without some commentator declaring that, at last, the unemployment rate is low enough and the growth rate high enough that the Fed can tighten money… and choke off further progress. Hosannas! But the commentators have to strain to tell us how good things are. Yes, wages are up this year and unemployment is down, but as EPI’s comprehensive report makes clear, these gains have only begun to reverse several decades of rising inequality. Why does the financial community want higher interest rates? So that banks and other creditors can make more money, of course. And to head off inflation that for the moment is mostly imaginary. And to keep down worker pressure for higher...

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