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News and stories from the campaign to reclaim individual responsibility and liberate Americans from bureaucracy and legal fear.

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Video: Rep. Jim Cooper on Obsolete Law

Among our guests at the Common Good/Bipartisan Policy Center forum on Obsolete Law was Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee, who argued that solving the obsolete law crisis is urgent if we want to end dysfunction in Congress. Watch highlights from his presentation:

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Video: Sen. Mark Warner on Obsolete Law

One of the distinguished panelists we were thrilled to welcome to last week's forum was Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. Watch the abridged or uncut video below to see his answer to the question: "Does government need a spring cleaning?"

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Video: Philip K. Howard Introduces Obsolete Law Forum

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Common Good and the Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a forum, "Obsolete Law: Does Government Need a Spring Cleaning?", to discuss the pervasive problem of obsolete law. In addition to legal and public policy experts, the forum featured enthusiastic presentations by Senator Mark Warner and Representative Jim Cooper.

In this clip, Common Good chair Philip K. Howard introduces the problem and sets the stage for the forum:

More after the jump...

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Daniel Kahneman on Leadership

Philip Howard recently hosted a conversation with psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, whose most recent work is Thinking, Fast and Slow. According to Kahneman, humans rely on two separate modes of thinking--System 1 and System 2--which have disparate effects on the choices we make. Take a look at the clips below in which Kahneman describes the two systems and their implications on leadership, loss aversion, and risk:

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What do values have to do with it?

Faith and Leadership, the online magazine of the Duke Divinity School, recently interviewed Philip K. Howard, Chair of Common Good, to explore the relationship between law, regulation, values, and personal responsibility. Howard observed:

What I’ve found is that [Americans] at every level of responsibility can’t do what they think is right because the legal system has become either so dense and thick, in the case of bureaucratic structures, or so random, in the case of litigation-related structures, that people more or less tiptoe through the day looking over their shoulders with their noses in rule books rather than striding forward to try to accomplish what they think they should be doing in their lives.

Read the whole transcript here, and watch a video excerpt below:

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Dirk Olin and Jim Maxeiner on Civil Justice

Common Good is committed to improving the reliability and fairness of civil justice, and too few people in the U.S. are talking about substantive ideas for improvement. At a recent event in New York, Philip Howard, Chair of Common Good, spoke with two authors and scholars who have provided lucid observations and analyses of our justice system and possible improvements.

Dirk Olin is the co-author, with Rebecca Kourlis, of Rebuilding Justice: Civil Cours in Jeopardy and Why You Should Care. Jim Maxeiner is the author of Failures of American Civil Justice in International Perspective. Watch the clips below to hear how they believe we can move forward:

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Video: A Federal Sunset Law

The accumulation of obsolete law ties the hands of lawmakers trying to meet today's challenges. On November 12, the Federalist Society convened a panel of experts in Washington, D.C. to discuss the problem and examine possible solutions.

One of the participants was Philip Howard, Chair of Common Good, who starts speaking at 16:40:

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Start Over with Common Good

Start Over has a bold agenda, but it isn't hard to say what we're all about. Here's Philip Howard, Common Good's Chair, presenting our vision for the country in less than three minutes.

Take a minute to watch and tell us what you think. Do you agree that we need a fundamental overhaul of government? Do you have an example of law crowding out common sense and impeding progress?

"The goal of Start Over is to build a public support for a fundamental overhaul of our government--not to change its goals, but to make it work so that we can meet our goals."

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Philip K. Howard and Phillip Blond discuss government reform

Philip K. Howard, Common Good’s Founder and Chair, and Phillip Blond, the British philosopher known as “guru” to David Cameron’s Big Society, met on October 14 for a provocative discussion of government reform in the United States and the United Kingdom. Phillip Blond is the author of Red Tory, a book that sought to redefine centrist politics in the United Kingdom, and the founder of ResPublica, a think tank whose core principal is the Common Good-like idea that “human relationships should once more be the center and meaning of an associative society.” The discussion was moderated by Sir Harold Evans, editor-at-large of the Reuters news agency and former editor of The Sunday Times of London. Watch the clip:

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One Year Ago: Ending Government Paralysis

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Common Good's "Ending Government Paralysis" forum, an event held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. In addition to Common Good Chair Philip K. Howard, participants included former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, NPR's Robert Siegel, former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, and Matt Yglesias of the Center for American Progress.

The forum--which served as an impetus for Common Good's Start Over campaign--aimed to expand the debate on government paralysis, looking beyond partisan finger-pointing towards addressing the structural flaws of a mature democracy.

Here is Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal and the Brookings Institution discussing the "public choice problem"--why small, determined groups often win subsidies and concessions at the expense of the general public:



And here is a 9-minute reel of additional highlights from the event:



One year later, the issues discussed at "Ending Government Paralysis" are as important as ever. Help Start Over by taking action now.

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