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

When a National Champion Crashes and Burns

Matt York/AP Photo
Many large corporations play the role of so-called national champions. They help their home countries maintain good jobs, technological leadership, and exports. National champions include Toyota, Siemens, Samsung, Apple, Citigroup, Fiat, Airbus, Intel, Volkswagen, an increasing number of Chinese companies, and—until now—Boeing, the source of a huge U.S. trade surplus in commercial airliners that helps offset the rest of our massive trade deficit. But what happens when a national champion crashes and burns? Nothing good. Boeing, having been caught selling thousands of not quite airworthy 737 MAX planes, is now vulnerable to a mountain of lost orders and lawsuits. Why would customers choose to fly on a plane that has been demonstrated to be unsafe because of bad corporate cost-cutting decisions, cover-ups, and patches? This, in turn, will harm airlines that bought the 737 MAX. Get ready for their lawsuits. Boeing will face losses, and conceivably a bankruptcy, as airlines...

Warren’s Astonishing Plan for Economic Patriotism

I have been a fan of Elizabeth Warren for a long time . Her combination of deep knowledge of how American capitalism works, her capacity to narrate the lived experience of American working families and tie it to radical reforms, and her sheer integrity are unsurpassed. Her rollout of one brilliant policy proposal after another and her ability to connect those to a political understanding of the American situation has been just stunning. But Warren’s latest plan is in a class by itself, even for Warren. She calls it an Agenda for Economic Patriotism . Warren’s proposal does nothing less than turn inside out the globalist assumptions pursued by the past several administrations, Democrat and Republican alike. Where they have pursued more globalization of commerce as an end in itself (and as a profit center for U.S.-based multinational corporations and banks), Warren’s goal is to bring production and good jobs home. Even better, she knits it all together with a coherent...

How Trump Stole the Dems’ Clothes on Deficits and Trade

Donald Trump has stolen the Democrats’ clothes in two key policy areas with huge political implications. One is the issue of budget deficits and economic growth. The other is trade, specifically China trade. Recent Democratic presidents have only themselves to blame. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama embraced the idea that budget deficits were ruining the economy. Supposedly, budget balance would reassure financial markets, produce low interest rates, and higher growth would follow. Clinton and Obama both delivered policies to match. Clinton actually moved the budget to surplus by 1999. Obama shifted the emphasis from stimulus to deficit reduction in his 2010 State of the Union address, long before the economy was in a strong recovery. These policies reflected the advice of the orthodox economists around both presidents, and also of Federal Reserve chairs Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, as well as other Wall Street notables who were phobic about the slightest risk of...

Elizabeth Warren’s Unifying Race Narrative

Elizabeth Warren has been getting a lot of attention for her smart, creative policy proposals. She deserves praise for something else. Warren talks about race better than any candidate, certainly any white candidate, we’ve seen for a long time. This is crucial because Trump once again will use racism to deflect attention from the real issues of class that are leaving Americans of all races so vulnerable. It’s also crucial because voters of color are still experiencing extreme whiplash in the aftermath of the abrupt transition from Obama to Trump—and expect a candidate who will keep faith with them. And Democrats need both blacks and whites to turn out, big-time. The challenge is to define and narrate the top-down class war in today’s America in a way that bridges over race, while also acknowledging the more damaging impact on black Americans. Warren is just about pitch-perfect on that. Here is Warren at Netroots Nation last August: In Trump’s story, the...

A Conversation with Sherrod Brown

Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Susan Walsh/AP Photo Senator Sherrod Brown speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing. S enator Sherrod Brown of Ohio disappointed many Democrats when he announced in March that he would not be a candidate for president. Brown was re-elected to the Senate last November in a race where other Democrats running statewide in Ohio were defeated. He is especially effective at reaching working class voters based on pocketbook issues—voters who are otherwise attracted to rightwing racist nationalists. Yet Brown does so without sacrificing leadership on progressive social issues. Though he is not running for president, his voice is an important one. We were curious to explore how he might continue to exercise influence in the campaign. Sherrod Brown spoke with Prospect co-editor Robert Kuttner. Robert Kuttner: In the upcoming campaign, how do we make Donald Trump vulnerable for having failed to deliver for the kind of people who voted for him? You must have a lot of insights on...