Re-Building America Starting Now

From Helen Cox Richardson’s Nov. 5 dispatch: “At about 11:30 p.m., the House of Representatives passed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) by a vote of 228–206. Biden promised to pass a bipartisan measure and after nine months of hard work, he did it: thirteen Republicans voted in favor of the… Read More

Is Governance the Issue? Do We Care?

Our nation, according to media reports, is as divided as it has been since the Civil War. But it is hard to know what divides us. Are our agencies of government causing the problem? Or do we have conflicting understandings of what governance, the process of implementing our laws and policies, is? Do our country’s… Read More

Infrastructure Returns to USA ….But Not Maintenance

Maintaining our infrastructure is expensive. ITDP estimates the cost to maintain the public’s built infrastructure at 1.4% of the cost to build the infrastructure. What this $1 Trillion infrastructure bill is intended to cover are the one time renovations required in our most essential infrastructure systems. The money will address the renovations needed for roads, bridges, electric and water systems, etc. for the decades of neglect. The money does NOT address the cost of maintaining our infrastructure. Read More

Rediscovering Capitalism

Whether we call large tech companies that regulate and shape the stream of private business models that might use them capitalist free enterprise corporations or utilities, it is clear that they have the unregulated, unreviewed power to make decisions, much like the early Robber Barons, that shape the business models that reward their interests and kill business models that do not. Nor are there any clear remedies for enabling public interests or private companies to engage in inquiry about policy decisions by these companies that shape the way our economy, as well as our society, functions.

In the spirit of “asset stewardship”, it is time, as President Biden said, to encourage “the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies.” .

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Our Common Purpose: Dramatically Expand Civic Infrastructure Capacity

This article is based on a report, OUR COMMON PURPOSE, produced in June, 2020, by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In his New Yorker article of 11/16/20, Evan Osnos likened the report to the civic equivalent of the 9/11 Commission Report. It offers bipartisan recommendations in the form of six Strategies, with between two and eight… Read More

Our Common Purpose: Ensure the Responsiveness of Political Institutions

This article is based on a report, OUR COMMON PURPOSE, produced in June, 2020, by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In his New Yorker article of 11/16/20, Evan Osnos likened the report to the civic equivalent of the 9/11 Commission Report. It offers bipartisan recommendations in the form of six Strategies, with between two and eight… Read More

Our Common Purpose: Empower Voters

This article is based on a report, OUR COMMON PURPOSE, produced in June, 2020, by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In his New Yorker article of 11/16/20, Evan Osnos likened the report to the civic equivalent of the 9/11 Commission Report. It offers bipartisan recommendations in the form of six Strategies, with between two and eight… Read More

Our Common Purpose: Achieve Equality of Voice and Representation

The debate over the electoral college, which in recent history, has resulted in three presidents taking office with a lower actual vote count than their competition, has raised the question of who gets to be heard in the selection of a president. The weakening, in 2013, of the protections in the national Voting Rights Act raises questions about voice and representation, as does the expanding range of methods to disenfranchise eligible voters. Read More

Performance Reporting – Who Cares?

y Jeff Tryens, former Deputy Director for Performance Mangement, New York City under Mayor Michael Bloomberg Call it what you will – performance management, managing for results, data-driven decision making – it‘s what good government managers aspire to these days. We true believers are convinced that reliable, timely data on inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes… Read More

Race and Governance: Some Protest Is Required

“Asset Stewardship” can refer to city building, transit, power grids, school buildings.  It can also refer to governance.  Like physical assets structured on behalf of the citizenry, good governance is an asset needing stewardship, as well. With nightly protests in Portland, Oregon now heading into the third month (July 2020), the Federal government has sent… Read More

IRS Can End Child Poverty

This year the US government will lose $207 BILLION because the government made a policy decision to allow rich people to pay significantly less taxes, dividends and long term capital gains are taxed a a lower level than regular income.  You have to be really rich to get taxed less.  That’s a lot of money… Read More