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Robert Kuttner

Entries by Robert Kuttner

Two Cheers for Obama

(71) Comments | Posted September 14, 2014 | 8:23 PM

It took President Obama a long time and multiple stumbles to back into a foreign policy role that looks something like leadership.

If Russian President Putin is agreeing to a cease-fire in Ukraine that just might hold, the U.S.-led combination of pressure and restraint deserves much of the credit. Putin...

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Free Scotland, Free New England!

(66) Comments | Posted September 7, 2014 | 8:37 PM

Until recently, few people took seriously the possibility that Scotland might actually secede from the United Kingdom. However, with a referendum scheduled for September 18, the latest polls show secession in the lead for the first time, and gaining dramatic momentum.

The British government is frantically scrambling...

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Labor Day: The Beginning of a Breakthrough

(17) Comments | Posted August 31, 2014 | 9:16 PM

This Labor Day, working families do not have much to celebrate when it comes to wages and job security. But we can celebrate the fact that the deteriorating conditions of work are finally breaking through into broad political consciousness.

Item. Last week, the board of directors of Market Basket, one...

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Trade Deals from Hell

(23) Comments | Posted August 24, 2014 | 8:02 PM

The latest reports from Europe indicate that the continent is slipping back into recession. The U.S. is doing only slightly better, with positive economic growth but scant progress on the jobs front, and no growth in the earnings of the vast majority of Americans.

Meanwhile, global climate...

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Lousy Work: Will it Break Through as a Political Issue?

(55) Comments | Posted August 17, 2014 | 7:36 PM

For decades, the increasing precariousness of work has been a source of mass frustration for tens of millions of Americans. But the issue has been largely below the political radar.

Politicians ritually invoke good jobs at good wages, yet presidents have been unwilling to name, much less remedy, the...

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The Obama Paradox

(168) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 9:50 PM

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman's extended interview with President Obama shed some light on how Obama can be well-informed, thoughtful, prudent -- yet still be seen as faltering as a foreign policy president.

If you compare Obama with George W. Bush (okay -- a low bar),...

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Goldilocks and the Bear Market

(21) Comments | Posted August 3, 2014 | 10:17 PM

The economy grew at an impressive rate of four percent in the second quarter of this year, according to a government report released on Wednesday. But the stock market promptly tanked. The Dow lost more than 317 points Thursday and another 70 points Friday.

What gives? Financial...

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The Limits of American Power: A Letter to the Left

(49) Comments | Posted July 27, 2014 | 8:53 PM

When I was young, a mantra among progressives was that America had to stop operating as global policeman. Vietnam was the signal episode of arrogant and ultimately self-defeating American overreach. But there were plenty of other cases of the U.S. government doing the bidding of oil companies and banana barons,...

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Obama and the World's Ills

(208) Comments | Posted July 20, 2014 | 10:29 PM

It's hard to recall a time when the world presented more crises with fewer easy solutions. And for the Republicans, all of these woes have a common genesis: American weakness projected by Barack Obama.

People in the Middle East, former Vice President Dick Cheney said recently, "are absolutely convinced that...

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The World Financial Cup

(43) Comments | Posted July 13, 2014 | 9:17 PM

If there were poetic justice in the world, Argentina would have beaten Germany in the last three minutes of play instead of vice versa. Germany represents everything that's wrong with the world financial system. Argentina is the epic case of countries whose economies are screwed by policies championed by Germany...

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Damaged Democrats: Can They Recover?

(304) Comments | Posted July 6, 2014 | 10:09 PM

When you consider what has been happening to the average working person since the era of Ronald Reagan, it's amazing that the Republicans have fought the Democrats about to a draw.

The recipe of Reagan and both Bushes has been to weaken government, undermine the regulation of market excesses,...

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Needed: A Drastic Economic Transition

(31) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 9:49 AM

The shocking thing about the financial collapse of 2008 is not that Wall Street excesses pushed us into the worst economy crisis since the Depression. It's that the same financial system has been propped back up and that elites are getting richer than ever, while the effects of that collapse...

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Reforming the Federal Sweatshop

(27) Comments | Posted June 22, 2014 | 9:13 PM

The White House is holding a summit Monday, June 23 on working families. The summit is intended to call attention to the fact that President Obama wants to raise wages and job opportunities for working Americans, especially for working women. This is a welcome initiative, though there is a great...

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The Greatest Generation and the Stunted Generation

(46) Comments | Posted June 8, 2014 | 6:33 PM

The D-Day commemorations this past week put me in mind of my father, who got a very raw deal in the Depression and World War II, whose son got the opportunities that his generation strived for, and whose great-grandchildren are at risk of being the stunted generation.

My dad, Pfc....

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The Party of Denial

(148) Comments | Posted June 1, 2014 | 9:56 PM

Can the right continue to succeed as the party of unreality? In the recent past, conservatives have denied climate change, as well as evolution. Now, their strategy is to deny the reality of increasing concentration of income and wealth.

When Thomas Piketty's book appeared, providing new documentation on increasing capital...

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Reparations and Obama

(252) Comments | Posted May 25, 2014 | 10:12 PM

The writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has rendered a remarkable service to Americans with his essay in the June Atlantic Magazine, "The Case for Reparations." I don't think a white American of decent conscience can airily dismiss the issue of reparations for the descendants of slaves after reading Coates.


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The Road to Euro-Fascism

(260) Comments | Posted May 18, 2014 | 8:22 PM

As Europe's depression continues six years after the financial collapse of 2007-2008, watch for far-right parties to make big gains in this week's elections to the EU's European Parliament. And why not? The establishment parties of Europe's center-right and center-left have put austerity policies and the interests of banks ahead...

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Second-Guessing Obama's Foreign Policy

(49) Comments | Posted May 4, 2014 | 9:46 PM

I've not exactly been shy about criticizing President Obama when I felt criticism was warranted. But the pile-on by Republicans and the media on his foreign policy challenges is excessive. I mean, what would you have him do that is more sensible than what he's doing?

Let's take the big...

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Share Economy or Bare Economy?

(111) Comments | Posted April 27, 2014 | 10:16 PM

The digital economy has given us new ways to be both part time entrepreneurs and consumers, in what enthusiasts call the Share Economy. Have a spare room? You can rent it out to strangers via -- or use Airbnb to find cheap lodging. You'll meet fascinating new friends, and...

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Can Democrats Go Long?

(291) Comments | Posted April 20, 2014 | 9:39 PM

For more than 30 years, the right has been throwing long passes. The Democrats, with some fine individual exceptions in the Senate and House, have been playing an incremental game, eking out gains of a few yards at a time and often being thrown for big losses.

Guess which side...

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