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 The Stakes: 2020 and the Survival of American Democracy. In addition to writing for the Prospect, he writes for HuffPost, The Boston Globe, and The New York Review of Books. 

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Recent Articles

Ignoring Health Care At Our Peril

I am at the age where my family and friends all seem to be coping with aging relatives. And I can tell you that something has gone terribly wrong with both the health care system and the system of nursing care. People in their 80s and 90s, when their health starts to deteriorate, tend to have multiple things wrong with them. From a doctors point of view, they are very time consuming to treat. They often tend to be fearful and forgetful. All of this means that either a family member, or a very conscientious doctor, needs to be carefully coordinating their care, or disastrous mishaps will occur. But middle aged sons and daughters are nearly all in the workforce, without much time to spend with frail and aging parents. And despite the promise of managed care, they one thing doctors are not paid to do is spend a lot of time with patients or on the phone. Indeed, managed care has become a parody of its original aspirations. Back in the days when HMOs were nonprofit, prepaid group health...

Poking holes in the Constitution

The biggest menace to the personal security of Americans may not be terrorism but government's response to it. The administration has already rammed through an antiterrorism bill that allows normal due process and privacy protections to be waived if a prosecutor thinks some potential suspect has some remote connection to terrorism. Now the president has decided that terrorism suspects can be tried before special military tribunals, which do away with the inconvenience of constitutional niceties. The CIA, which is not supposed to use third-degree tactics itself, has been collaborating with foreign governments all too willing to use torture, such as Egypt and Albania. The CIA has knowingly turned terrorism suspects over to the agents of such governments to keep its own hands nominally clean. Here at home, at least a thousand legal foreign residents have been rounded up and detained, often without formal charges being lodged against them. This would be illegal for US citizens. But...

Only Connect

The New York Times Book (sic) Review for March 6, 1994 ran a feature piece reviewing a CD-ROM. "Microsoft Art Gallery," an interactive digitized catalog of Britain's National Gallery collection, won a rave. Just point and click, and you can pull up paintings by artist, period, or genre; you can also get spoken critical commentaries and painter biographies; you can zoom in or print out, all for $79.95. The Times' s treatment of a CD-ROM as a virtual book has to be a kind of cultural watershed. The information revolution, decades after predictions of its imminence, has finally reached a popular critical mass. Or, perhaps, a critical elite? Tens of millions of people now use electronic mail, computer bulletin boards, libraries and databases, or "telecommute" from home. Tens of millions more, many in such relatively humble jobs as checkout clerk and bank teller, routinely use computers at work. And after decades of rather pedestrian use of Macs and PCs in the classroom as adjuncts of rote...