March 12, 2019: Newsletter: America’s Least Favorite Company

(March 13, 2019) In a survey released last week by Axios/Harris, the federal government ranked dead last in reputation among America’s most high-profile companies. Only 9% of Americans think Washington “shares my values.” Another recent survey, by political scientist Paul Light, found that 63% of Americans support “very major reform” of Washington, up from 37% in 1997.

But in the crowded field of presidential candidates it is hard to find one who has a vision for making government work better. Trump talks about “draining the swamp,” but so far that has translated into repealing Obama executive orders.

There’s a lot hateful about Washington, but the flaw that alienates many Americans is bureaucratic micromanagement. Is your paperwork in order? Can you demonstrate that what you did is legally correct?

Overbearing, impractical government should be a major theme in 2020. But politicians and experts in Washington won’t touch it. That’s why we’re organizing a movement.

These issues are discussed in Philip Howard’s new book, Try Common Sense:

  • Howard will be interviewed by NY Public Radio President Laura Walker on C-SPAN2 this Sunday, March 17, at 11 pm.
  • This excellent episode of the NYSE podcast Inside the ICE House frames the need for government overhaul in economic terms.
  • This review in City Journal by Jonathan Leaf emphasizes the importance of accountability both to a functioning democracy and a healthy public culture.
  • RealClear Books published this excerpt, “Revive the Moral Mandate.”

If you think our message is important, please forward this email to your friends, and encourage them to sign on to our mailing list at CommonGood.org.  Sensible overhaul won’t happen unless we build public pressure to make it happen.