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

Will Democrats Win the Turnout War?

Things are looking pretty hopeful again, but it isn’t over until it’s over.

(Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP)
(Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP) Shirley Brozell holds a sign near a voter-registration booth in Erie, Pennsylvania, on National Vote Registration Day, September 25, 2018. M idterm elections for the House are usually major defeats for the party of a newly elected incumbent president, and that bodes poorly for Trump and the Republicans, right? Well, sort of. But there are lots of crosscurrents that could swamp this basic rule of American politics. For starters, Trump is no ordinary Republican president. He is unpopular in the country as a whole, but wildly popular among his base. More than most presidents, Trump is trying to turn the midterms into a referendum on himself. Normally, that would be a dubious idea for a president whose popularity has never broken 50 percent. But it’s probably a smart idea for the Republicans this year, since it could spike the crucial variable of Republican turnout. Turnout in midterms invariably falls relative to presidential elections. But...

It Was Vulture Capitalism that Killed Sears

AP Photo/Matt Rourke A Sears department store in Norristown, Pennsylvania I f you’ve been following the impending bankruptcy of America’s iconic retailer, as covered by print, broadcast, and digital media, you’ve probably encountered lots of nostalgia, and sad clucking about how dinosaurs like Sears can’t compete in the age of Amazon and specialty retail. But most of the coverage has failed to stress the deeper story. Namely, Sears is a prime example of how hedge funds and private-equity companies take over retailers, encumber them with debt in order to pay themselves massive windfall profits, and then leave the retailer without adequate operating capital to compete. Part of the strategy is to sell off valuable real estate, the better to enrich the hedge fund, and stick the retail company with costly rental payments to occupy the space that it once owned. In the case of Sears, the culprit is a hedge-fund operator named Edward Lampert, once a senior merger guy at Goldman Sachs. In 2005...

The Fraudulence of Susan Collins

When it counts, the supposedly independent Maine senator is a reliable McConnell vote.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File Senator Susan Collins walks on Capitol Hill P eople who expected Senator Susan of Collins, allegedly one of two remaining Republican moderates in the Senate, to save us from the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, have not studied Collins’s record with sufficient care. The Maine senator has reduced the choreography of legislative head-fakes to a sublime art, in order to preserve her bogus reputation as an independent minded centrist. When a contentious issue arises, Collins will elaborately explain that she hasn’t made up her mind yet. She needs to give the issue careful study. And then, wondrously, after very careful and well advertised research, the senator almost always votes with Mitch McConnell. Funny how her study leads to that conclusion. She is especially loyal to her party when her vote counts. She has voted to confirm virtually all Trump nominees. Collins also voted for the Trump tax bill (which passed 51-49) and for the...

Will the Republicans Dump Kavanaugh?

Tom Williams/Pool Image via AP Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in by Chairman Chuck Grassley before testifying during the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill T hat depends on whether the FBI is Trump’s toady—or whether the bureau does its job. If the FBI has a shred of independence and integrity, Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination could be in big trouble. With every passing day, more and more witnesses are coming out of the woodwork to contradict this or that aspect of Kavanaugh’s story. There are now multiple people who knew him well who say he was a much more reckless drinker than he claimed. There is one date on his calendar, July 1, that increasingly looks as if it could be the date of the infamous party that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford described. But if the FBI takes an obvious dive, then Republicans risk losing the votes of Senators Flake, Murkowski, and Collins. To believe otherwise, you have to believe that these Republican senators were just looking for a...