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Robert Kuttner
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Entries by Robert Kuttner

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

(30) 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.

The...

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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 Airbnb.com -- 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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Obama and the Lingering Significance of Race

(144) Comments | Posted April 6, 2014 | 9:45 PM

In the sixth year of the Obama presidency, how much has the president's race contributed to the implacable opposition he has faced?

As readers of these posts will recall, I have not been shy about criticizing Obama's frequently disappointing leadership. A New York Times Sunday editorial put it almost painfully,...

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How to Save Obamacare -- and the Senate

(251) Comments | Posted March 30, 2014 | 10:28 PM

As readers of these posts will recall, I'm not the biggest fan of the Affordable Care Act. My view is that the legislative compromises needed to get the ACA through Congress made it an unwieldy mess; that the bungled roll-out was a logical outcome of its Rube Goldberg structure. The...

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Can Obamacare Catch a Break?

(521) Comments | Posted March 23, 2014 | 10:02 PM

In campaigning for the Affordable Care Act, President Obama famously promised that if you like your current health insurance, you can keep it. Republicans have had a field day with the relatively small number of cases where an insurance policy fails to meet the ACA's minimum standard and a consumer...

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The Democrats' Obama Problem

(363) Comments | Posted March 16, 2014 | 10:52 PM

With the loss of a close House special election in Florida, the entry of several strong Republican contenders in close Senate races, and continuing fallout from flaws in the Accordable Care Act, Democrats are in a panic about their president dragging down the Democratic ticket in this November's mid-term elections....

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Hanged For A Lamb

(75) Comments | Posted March 9, 2014 | 7:32 PM

President Obama's new budget includes a very mild provision to increase tax benefits for low- and moderate-income working people without children. The provision, the Earned Income Tax Credit, is already available to workers with children. Obama proposes to pay for the new tax benefit for workers by raising taxes very...

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Wall Street's Tea Party

(131) Comments | Posted March 2, 2014 | 8:27 PM

Governor Jan Brewer's veto of a bill that would have allowed discrimination against gays on religious grounds is only the latest example of the tension between the corporate and fundamentalist right. She acted because business elites feared that the measure would be bad for the state's economy.

The alliance between...

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'Trade' Deals on the Ropes

(60) Comments | Posted February 23, 2014 | 8:47 PM

The globalization agenda of American financial elites that has dominated both parties' trade policy for three decades is on the verge of crashing and burning. There is escalating, perhaps fatal, opposition to the proposed Pacific and Atlantic deals in both the U.S. Congress and among partner nations.

House Democratic Leader...

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Overcoming the Six Year Jinx

(172) Comments | Posted February 16, 2014 | 9:00 PM

It is a staple of American history that the president's party loses seats six years into his term. Voters are weary of the incumbent and receptive to change. In the past century, even the beloved Franklin Roosevelt lost seats in his sixth year, 1938, before going in to win two...

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The New American Hustle

(63) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 8:31 PM

The Oscar favorite (10 nominations), American Hustle, begins with the words "Some of this actually happened." And it did.

What actually happened, beginning in 1978 with an FBI sting operation, is that the mayor of Camden, New Jersey, six U.S. congressmen and one senator, took bribes from agents posing as...

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Hopeless Inequality (or Feeble Politics)?

(164) Comments | Posted February 2, 2014 | 8:42 PM

Though President Obama's State of the Union said the right things about the disgrace of growing inequality in America, his remedial measures are mainly gestures. Yes, they are gestures in the right direction, but not an effective politics.

Obama's plea, "Give America a raise," was the most effective applause line...

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