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November 26, 2008

citizens in the economic recovery plan

On Monday, I made a general argument for putting citizens to work (as citizens) on public problems. I had previously argued that this approach would change the relationship between citizens and government from the dysfunctional relationship under George W. Bush and from the relationship of the Clinton years, when government was presented as a helper to relatively passive individuals.

It's worth thinking about this philosophical shift in relation to our most urgent immediate problem: economic recovery. The Bush bailout and stimulus efforts have involved almost no accountability or transparency. The money has not been directed to ordinary Americans or used for important public purposes. We can do much better by combining Barack Obama’s call for "service and active citizenship" with his economic recovery plan.

In policy terms, putting citizens to work on economic recovery means:

November 26, 2008 11:31 AM | category: populism | Comments


from Tom Sander, by email:

    Your comments on this blog and earlier blog posting about combining community service and economic recovery bring to mind Harry Boyte's Building America: The Democratic Promise of Public Work, with Nan Kari (Temple University Press, 1996). Worth your readers checking this out.

    Also, I think David Eisner (outgoing head of Corporation for National and Community Service) or Stephen Goldsmith, CNCS' chairman have talked about their vision of using youth doing service to help rebuild America's infrastructure, which is a somewhat parallel vision of combining service, economic rebuilding and public work.

December 2, 2008 4:45 PM | Comments (1) | posted by Peter Levine

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