Try Common Sense: Replacing the Failed Ideologies of Right and Left

Try Common Sense: Replacing the Failed Ideologies of Right and Left

by Philip K. Howard


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Award-winning author Philip K. Howard lays out the blueprint for a new American society.

In this brief and powerful book, Philip K. Howard attacks the failed ideologies of both parties and proposes a radical simplification of government to re-empower Americans in their daily choices. Nothing will make sense until people are free to roll up their sleeves and make things work. The first steps are to abandon the philosophy of correctness and our devotion to mindless compliance.

Americans are a practical people. They want government to be practical. Washington can’t do anything practically. Worse, its bureaucracy prevents Americans from doing what’s sensible. Conservative bluster won’t fix this problem. Liberal hand-wringing won’t work either. Frustrated voters reach for extremist leaders, but they too get bogged down in the bureaucracy that has accumulated over the past century. Howard shows how America can push the reset button and create simpler frameworks focused on public goals where officials—prepare for the shock—are actually accountable for getting the job done.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781324001768
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 60,243
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Philip K. Howard is the founder of Common Good, a nonprofit that advocates for simplifying government. His book, The Rule of Nobody, was a finalist for the Manhattan Institute’s Hayek Book Prize. He lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Part I Replacing A Failed Philosophy 19

1 America the Practical 25

2 The Fixation on Correctness 30

3 Back to Basics: Allocate Scope of Responsibility 37

4 How Correctness Causes Failure and Alienation 43

5 Forty Years of Marginal Reforms 50

6 Unworkable Political Ideologies 57

Part II Four Principles For Practical Government 69

7 Give Responsibility to Identifiable People 71

8 Restore Accountability to Public Culture 85

9 Governing Institutions Must Govern 110

10 Revive the Moral Mandate 130

11 Profile of a Practical Society 146

12 Who Has Responsibility for Change? 154

Appendix Ten Principles for a Practical Society 159

Acknowledgments 167

Notes 171

Selected Bibliography 221

Index 231

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