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, robertkuttner.com, and on Twitter. 

Recent Articles

Why Dems Should Make a $15 Wage Their First Order of Business

Let’s make the increasingly likely assumption that Democrats take back the House in November. Nothing symbolizes concern for working people better than a higher minimum wage. And nothing jams Republicans quite as starkly as making them take a vote on this.

Do you doubt that? Here is a true fact. In the election of 2004—that’s the one where John Kerry booted a winnable election—activists in Florida qualified a ballot initiative raising that state’s minimum wage by one dollar, from $5.15 to $6.15

Well, you might say, that doesn’t affect all that many people, right? John Kerry was asked to come down and campaign for it. He declined.

How do you think the initiative did in this quintessential swing state, which George W. Bush carried in that election?

The minimum-wage initiative won overwhelmingly, with 71 percent of the vote. It carried every single Florida county, including some very conservative ones where the sort of working people who later voted for Donald Trump care about their paychecks.

The minimum-wage initiative won by three million votes. It received about two million votes more than Kerry did, and a million votes more than Bush did. If Kerry had accepted the invitation to go out on street corners and campaign for the minimum-wage hike, he might have been elected president.

So as I was saying, when Democrats take back the House, they should make a vote on a $15 minimum wage their first order of business. Any questions?

Yes, a Big Blue Wave Is Likely in November

Luke Harbur /The Kansas City Star via AP Senator Bernie Sanders speaks in support of Kansas Democrat Brent Welder at Jack Reardon Convention Center in Kansas City, Kansas C an we really expect a blue wave election in November, with Democrats taking back the House and even possibly the Senate? On the one hand, there are some encouraging portents. Since the 1840s, the president’s party has lost seats in 41 of 44 midterm elections. The pattern has been for the out-party to pick up something like 25 seats in the first off-year election after a new president takes office. Trump is of course far less popular than most. And Democratic activism is at a fever pitch. On the other hand, we have an unprecedented level of voter suppression—purges of the rolls, needlessly stringent ID requirements, games played with polling places and their hours, extreme gerrymandering, and questions about whether systems will be hacked—either by the Russians or by Trumpian locals. According to the Brennan Center...

Yes, Democrats Need to Run Left -- on Economics

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana Senator Bernie Sanders with Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous at a campaign rally in Silver Spring H ave you noticed the irritating spate of articles in the mainstream press expressing alarm that the Democratic Party may be moving too far to the left? This has become a trope among commentators. The lead piece in Sunday’s New York Times , for instance, is headlined, “Democrats Brace as Storm Brews to Their Left.” So right from the headline, the progressive energy that is bringing new people into politics and challenging Republican incumbents is condemned as some kind of threat to “Democrats.” The reporter, Alexander Burns, goes on to quote party leaders warning of the possible ill-effects: “‘There are a lot of moderate and even conservative Democrats in Michigan,’ Mr. Brewer (the former state party chair) cautioned.” Note the use of the loaded verb, cautioned. This is a classic sort of piece in which the writer has a point of view that he wants to...

History’s Most Incompetent Demagogue

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hand at the beginning of a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland No one likes us I don't know why We may not be perfect But heaven knows we try But all around Even our old friends put us down Let's drop the big one And see what happens —Randy Newman, “Political Science,” 1972 S inger, songwriter, and satirist Randy Newman, almost half a century ago, was channeling the know-nothing sentiments that eventually produced a President Trump—a figure who didn’t know much about history or geography, but who knew only that the rest of the world was failing to respect the United States. Trump’s famously thin skin reflects what psychiatrists call a narcissistic wound , a deep sense of rage that is triggered by anything that seems like a slight. Trump in turn channels Americans who feel slighted, disrespected, or disdained as citizens and as patriots—by the turn that the...

Putin Must Love Having Trump on His Side

It must be nice to have Washington on your side.

Vladimir Putin has to be heading home scratching his head. His meeting with Trump was choreographed to be cordial. But why on earth did Trump need to repeat, in even stronger terms, that he believes Putin’s denials over the extensive investigations of the entire U.S. intelligence establishment?

“They said they think it’s Russia; I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Mr. Trump declared at the joint press conference—right after the Putin admitted that he had favored Mr. Trump in the election because of his promises of closer relations with Moscow.

Why did Trump not even go through the motions of asking Putin to keep his mitts off the American election process?

This makes no sense, either in domestic political terms or in terms of Trump’s tactical effort to discredit the special counsel. And it strengthens the case for what will be the strongest count in the impeachment of Trump—namely, treason.

Trump's mission to Finland is a political catastrophe for him, capping his buffoonish performances at NATO and in Britain. There is no good explanation for any of it, except a psychiatric one.

Those Democrats who say that raising impeachment will set back their chances of taking the House in the November elections are profoundly wrong. Impeachment just became inevitable.

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