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Robert Kuttner

Cofounder and Co-Editor of The American Prospect

Cofounder and Co-Editor of The American Prospect

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Robert Kuttner Biography

Robert Kuttner is one of America’s most important political and economic analysts and commentators. He offers jargon-free analysis and commentary on politics and the economy that is relevant to the layperson, businessperson, policymaker, and economist alike. His work treats the intersection of economics, politics, policy and ideology, and the boundaries between state, market and society.

 He is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect magazine and is an award-winning author of six books.

His latest book, Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets, discusses how the emergence of a hyper-competitive global economy affects government, politics and American prosperity.

He is currently working on a book on deregulation and the stock market.

Robert is a co-founder of the Economic Policy Institute and serves on its board. He has served on two federal committees and is a regular guest on ‘Firing Line,’ ‘Nightline,’ ‘The News Hour’ and other television programs. He is widely published in the mainstream press.

Robert Kuttner is a lively and entertaining speaker with a talent for assessing how current economic issues affect specific industries and audiences.

co-founded with Princeton author and sociologist Paul Starr and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, The American Prospect is a liberal quarterly about politics, policy, and ideas dedicated to the renewal of America’s democratic traditions. As co-editor, Robert writes regularly for the magazine on a variety of issues, often focusing on domestic and international economic policy.

This book explores how actual markets work in practice, distills some tentative principles from these real-world patterns, and applies these principles to policy questions. It makes a powerful case for the mixed economy, in which government steps in to override markets for a variety of reasons: to stabilize monetary forces, to promote growth, to temper inequalities, to cultivate civic virtues. This is the system that produced a quarter-century of unprecedented expansion and prosperity in the wake of depression and war and a system that holds the greatest hope for a flourishing twenty-first century.

Robert Kuttner Speaking Topics

  • The Attack on the Middle Class

    For at least three generations, Americans have looked forward to passing along a better life to their children. But today's young adults face a double whammy. For more than two decades, the costs of making it into the middle class have been outstripping incomes--the costs of college, homeownership, decent health insurance and the expenses of raising kids--have soared while incomes have been nearly flat. Since 2007, on top of that trend we've had a severe jobs recession, again concentrated among the young. So is the Millennial Generation just fated to be a lost generation? Are young Americans victims of unlucky timing? Not at all--they are victims of bad politics and bad policies. Broadly shared postwar prosperity did not just happen. It was the result of deliberate measures during boom years that created ladders into the middle class. Those ladders can be re-created if we change our politics.

  • Don't Count America Out

    A recent article in the magazine Foreign Policy was titled, "American Decline: This Time it's Real." In the 1930s, democracies mired in depression were said to be no match for efficient dictatorships. We all remember the 1970s, when stagflation, high unemployment, and the rise of Japan led to proclamations of America's "imperial overstretch" and inevitable decline. Then came the abrupt end of communism, the Japanese financial collapse, and two decades of rising US prosperity and job-creation. Today, pessimists point to the rise of China, the looming national debt, persistent unemployment, partisan blockage, and the dwindling influence of Washington to control events on the Arab street. But don't count America out. We still out-innovate the rest of the world. There is no currency on deck to replace the U.S. dollar. Our problems are serious, but all have solutions. The question is whether we have the national resolve and political will make those solutions happen.

  • The China Playbook

    China has a formula for displacing the United States as the world's economic leader, but it takes America to play along. The Chinese system is a hybrid that, in theory, is not supposed to work--one part aggressive, entrepreneurial capitalism, one part totalitarian communism. The Beijing regime offers American industry subsidies, docile and well trained workers. As a condition of entry, China demands that US-based companies share proprietary technology with Chinese partners. The whole system violates the trade norms of the World Trade Organization, but many American corporations have made their separate peace with China, and the US government is reluctant to play hardball to change the terms of engagement. In the short run, this co-dependency is good for corporate earnings. In the long run, it divorces the interests of American firms from the American economy. A more balanced strategy of trade with China is possible, but it will take more US leadership.

  • Austerity is Bad Economics

    Both political parties are outdoing each other to cut the budget deficit. It's true that deficits do need to come down over time, but a deep recession is not the time for austerity. That course only throws more people out of work. In World War II, we went much deeper into debt in order to defeat the Nazis. As a side effect, we invested massively in science and technology, recapitalized American industry, and re-employed American workers. All that investment finally ended the Great Depression, and powered the postwar boom. After the War, the nation grew its way out the debt. Today, we need the same scale of national commitment, without the war. Making the issue deficit-reduction, rather than robust recovery, puts the cart before the horse, and could prolong the recession. This is a time to invest in America's people and its competitiveness. Deficit reduction is much easier when you have a prosperous and growing economy.

  • Student Debt

    In this talk, Kuttner argues that we are destroying the life chances of the next generation by saddling students and graduates (and dropouts) with what is now a trillion dollars of college debt. The system makes college success and life success more a matter of whether you come from an affluent family that pays the freight so that you can graduate debt free, than your own merit and determination. Kuttner offers concrete solutions to the ballooning student debt issue, such as a debt amnesty for people who’ve made ten years of payments and a college debt refinancing program at the government’s own low borrowing rate. My making these and other changes, Kuttner says, we could save students and debtors tens of billions of dollars a year, and ensuring that the next generation isn't straddled with life-altering debts.

  • The Double Standards of Debt

    Corporations can shed their debts by going through bankruptcy. And big banks have unloaded trillions of dollars of toxic debt onto the Federal Reserve and the taxpayers. But homeowners who have mortgages worth more than the value of the house can’t lighten their load through the bankruptcy system. Nor can college students. Nor can small countries. In this talk, Robert Kuttner explores the bizarre double standards of debt, and suggests ways to fix our broken system. The public debt gets all the publicity, but government has plenty of capacity to finance its debt, and at low interest rates. It is private debt that is strangling the recovery. If debt relief is good enough for big corporations and banks, argues Kuttner, it’s good enough for regular people.

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  • What topics does Robert Kuttner speak about?

    Robert Kuttner is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Political Speakers, Virtual Speakers.
  • Where does Robert Kuttner travel from?

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Robert Kuttner is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as The Attack on the Middle Class, Don't Count America Out, The China Playbook, Austerity is Bad Economics, Student Debt and The Double Standards of Debt. The estimated speaking fee range to book Robert Kuttner for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Robert Kuttner generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Rosita Najmi, Elizabeth Crofoot, Wilma Liebman, Price Fishback and Mark Duggan. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Robert Kuttner for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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