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Laboratories of Democracy: A New Breed of Governor Creates Models for National Growth

Laboratories of Democracy: A New Breed of Governor Creates Models for National Growth

by David Osborne

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Osborne, a freelancer who frequently writes for the New Republic and Atlantic, maintains that the real ferment and innovation in politics today is taking place at the state level. In argument, he offers mini-case histories of six governorsMichael Dukakis (Mass.), Mario Cuomo (N.Y.), Bruce Babbitt (Ariz.), Bill Clinton (Ark.), James Blanchard (Mich.) and Richard Thornburgh (Pa.). He applauds their sundry efforts to create venture-capital funds, restructure welfare, spur technological advances and build partnerships between the public and private sectors. But his insistent claim that a number of these governors are ``neoprogressives'' whose ideas go well beyond traditional party politics is arguable, judging from his own pointed critiques of their spotty administrations. Drawing up a balance sheet, Osborne recommends decentralized community-development programs that would invest in the capacity of the poor to hold jobs and create businesses. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
According to journalist Osborne, as the federal government in the Reagan era has retreated from experimentation in social and economic policy, state governments have stepped into the breach. This is not a new phenomenonmany New Deal reforms originated at the state level. Osborne profiles several of these present-day ``laboratories of democracy''five states with Democratic governors; one with a Republican. He examines how these governors have fostered innovations in economics, education, and social policy. Most were accomplished through unique combinations of state government power and private expertise. Though not all were unqualified successes, the pragmatic approaches these governors took to major economic and social reforms could serve as models for federal actions as we head into the 1990s.Pamela R. Daubenspeck, Warren-Trumbull Cty. P.L., Warren, Ohio

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Harvard Business Review Press
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5.90(w) x 9.13(h) x 1.11(d)

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