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Robert Kuttner
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Entries by Robert Kuttner

The German Menace

(55) Comments | Posted August 2, 2015 | 7:36 PM

At the end of World War II, a bloody horror that cost 80 million lives worldwide, American leaders were determined that Germany must never again rise to massacre its neighbors. So the allies created a plan to strip Germany of its industrial might and turn it into a "pastoral" economy...

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Why Social Security Beats All Rivals -- And the Case for Expanding It

(242) Comments | Posted July 26, 2015 | 8:48 PM

This is the season when we hear calls to cut Social Security. That's because of the annual trustees report on the system's financial condition.

Last week, the trustees reported that Social Security can pay all of its projected obligations through about 2034. To keep faith with today's...

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Why Liberals Have to Be Radicals

(213) Comments | Posted July 19, 2015 | 8:03 PM

Just about nothing being proposed in mainstream politics is radical enough to fix what ails the economy. Consider everything that is destroying the life chances of ordinary people:

  • Young adults are staggered by $1.3 trillion in student debt. Yet even those with college degrees are losing ground in terms of...
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Delusion in the Desert

(50) Comments | Posted July 12, 2015 | 8:37 PM

LAS VEGAS -- I'm here at Planet Hollywood as the token liberal to participate in two debates -- one on what is killing the American Dream; the other a mock trial of the Federal Reserve. Paul Krugman is also here, debating the cause and cure of inequality. We're outnumbered about...

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Just Say No

(169) Comments | Posted July 5, 2015 | 8:57 PM

The No vote to austerity by a margin of 62 to 38 is a stunning vindication of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's tactical gamble and political savvy. However, the Greeks and the austerity-mongers, most notably in Germany, remain as far apart as ever.

The press and the European financial elite...

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A Good Week for America

(41) Comments | Posted June 28, 2015 | 9:07 PM

What an extraordinary week in the political and spiritual life of this nation.

It was a week in which President Obama found the voice that so many of us hoped we discerned in 2008; a week in which two Justices of the Supreme Court resolved that the legitimacy of...

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Are the Dems Being Sucker-Punched on Trade?

(122) Comments | Posted June 21, 2015 | 8:00 PM

Thanks to a last-minute deal last Thursday between President Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress, the fast-track bill is still alive. Its passage depends on whether a handful of Senate Democrats can be persuaded to go along.

Quick recap: The trade negotiating authority that Obama needs to complete his...

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The Real Meaning of Obama's Trade Defeat

(135) Comments | Posted June 14, 2015 | 9:52 PM

The labor movement won big in the defeat of the trade package Friday. But a lot of the commentators are somewhat mystified.

After all, the labor movement is a smaller fraction of the workforce than it was when NAFTA was approved over labor's opposition in 1993. And the industrial...

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The Tenure Conundrum

(424) Comments | Posted June 7, 2015 | 7:56 PM

Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, thinks he's hit political pay dirt with his proposal to gut faculty tenure protections at his state's public universities, notably the flagship University of Wisconsin, long one of the nation's best state universities. His idea is to remove tenure protection from...

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Needed: Prophetic Voices

(31) Comments | Posted May 31, 2015 | 10:04 PM

Last week, I went back to Oberlin for my 50th reunion (!) where much of the weekend was a celebration and retrospective of our graduation ceremony in 1965, whose commencement speaker was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was one of his greatest speeches.

Oberlin was not just the...

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Os robôs estão chegando! Os robôs estão chegando!

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 6:18 PM

Os robôs vão acabar com a maioria dos empregos humanos? Esse ciclo de automação será diferente de todos os outros?

Recentemente, muitos comentários têm sido feitos nesse sentido, incluindo vários livros.

Não há nada que possamos fazer?

Os...

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로봇이 침공한다! 로봇이 침공한다!

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 2:52 AM

로봇이 인간의 직업 대부분을 대체하게 될까? 자동화의 이번 물결은 예전 것들과는 다를까?

이런 취지의 말들이 최근 많이 나왔고, 책도 몇 권 있었다.

우리가 할 수 있는 일이 없는 걸까?

로봇은 공장의 일을 대량 줄였고, 제품 디자인, 의료 진단, 연구, 교직, 회계, 번역, 카피 에디팅 등...

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The Robots Are Coming! The Robots Are Coming!

(192) Comments | Posted May 24, 2015 | 5:14 PM

Are robots destined to wipe out most human jobs? Is this round of automation somehow different from all previous ones?

There has been a lot of commentary lately to that effect, including several books.

Is there nothing to be done?

Robots have indeed eliminated a great deal of...

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Grand Theft Automated

(33) Comments | Posted May 17, 2015 | 8:55 PM

The day after the New York Times published its stunning two-part exposé of labor conditions in New York City's nail salons, New York governor Andrew Cuomo, nobody's idea of a radical, discovered that he was sitting on power that he didn't know he had. Cuomo ordered...

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Women as the Loyal Opposition

(16) Comments | Posted May 10, 2015 | 3:59 PM

Long ago, when I began writing newspaper columns, a wise editor advised me that a column is about one thing. I am about to violate that rule. This piece is about three different things (which are connected if you look hard.)

One is a 25th anniversary; the second is...

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Some More Radical Ideas for Hillary

(48) Comments | Posted May 3, 2015 | 10:00 PM

I am going to periodically suggest ideas that Hillary Clinton might consider -- both to establish that she is a real-deal progressive and to rally political support from voters whom the economy is leaving behind. Clinton might even outflank some leading progressives by going beyond what is considered politically safe...

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Obama's Trade Deals: A Test for Hillary Clinton

(96) Comments | Posted April 26, 2015 | 10:05 PM

Opposition to the Administration's proposed major trade deals is getting firmer among Democrats in Congress. Both chambers must approve trade promotion authority, better known as fast-track, in order for the deals to move forward.

One Democrat who has avoided taking a position is Hillary Clinton. In the past, she has...

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Hillary Clinton: From Symbolism to Specifics

(67) Comments | Posted April 12, 2015 | 9:21 PM

We progressives should feel pretty good about ourselves after watching Hillary Clinton's launch video. The core economic theme was there -- most American's aren't getting ahead; the top is taking too much. And the social theme was stunning--a heavy emphasis on the racial and ethnic mosaic that is America, the...

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Our Corporate Saviors

(42) Comments | Posted April 5, 2015 | 9:16 PM

What are we to make of the fact that some big corporations are turning out to be the relative good guys, on issues as varied as same-sex marriage, the environment and even (to a limited extent) workers' wages? Last week, the governors of Indiana and Arkansas were forced to back...

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5 Radical Ideas Hillary Should Support

(141) Comments | Posted March 29, 2015 | 8:58 PM

I've argued that Hillary Clinton is at risk of being a weak presidential nominee -- on several counts. She seems like yesterday's news rather than tomorrow's. The excitement of a having a breakthrough woman president is blunted by the fact that her husband got there first. She will raise a...

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