Niskanen Center: How Distrust Breeds Dysfunction


(February 7, 2019) America’s current governing system, created after the 1960s, dictates governing choices out of a huge legal machine, programmed with about 150 million words of federal law. Its one virtue, at least to people in Washington, is that …

The American Interest: Bureaucracy vs. Democracy


(January 31, 2019) The daily detonations from the White House are diverting our attention from deeper flaws in modern American government. Donald Trump was elected for a reason: many Americans are fed up with Washington.…

New York Post: “Replace Washington”


For decades now, Americans have slogged through a rising tide of idiocies. Getting a permit to do something useful, say, open a restaurant or fix a bridge, can take years. Small businesses get nicked for noncompliance of rules they didn’t …

Bureaucracy vs. Democracy Full Essay


This essay, adapted in part from Try Common Sense, was prepared for a February 19, 2019 forum co-hosted by the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University and Common Good.…

New York Daily News: Build Big Without Wasting Billions


New York is at the cusp of a major infrastructure building boom, but an obsolete New York statute from the 19th century called the Scaffold Law has already wasted $200 million on one project — the new Mario Cuomo (Tappan …

Ripon Forum: Fixing the Civil Service


By Philip K. Howard April 28, 2017

Americans think Washington is broken.  That’s why they elected a tough-talking outsider as president.  But fixing Washington requires more than one person; it requires a new operating system that allows people to make …

New York Daily News: Shred the Red Tape


President Trump has signaled that one of his next big initiatives will be to jump-start a trillion-dollar program to rebuild America’s fraying infrastructure. As a former builder, Trump would seem to be uniquely qualified to oversee this initiative.

Rebuilding infrastructure …