Getting America Unstuck: Starting the Conversation

The Conversation

What Sanders and Warren Don't See


Everybody senses that the wealthy are too strong and too greedy and that millions of Americans are being left behind so that those at the top can get even further ahead.

But as national problems go, it’s being discussed symptomatically.  Like a bad hip that might be ready for hip replacement surgery.  Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the two critics with the most to say about the damaging behaviors of modern day capitalism, haven’t done much to lift the national discussion.

I can sympathize.  I discovered the Emmanuel Saez database perhaps ten years ago.  It seemed to tell a story of fluctuating fortunes for the Top 1%. In its various updates, the theme of significant wealth for the Top One Percent had its ...

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Overload? Or Renewal?


The future of humanity on this planet is being shaped continuously by the manner in which we resolve the fundamental tension of our times. Shall we be a civilization that thrives by living within the disciplines of Renewal? Or shall we have ourselves a civilization on Overload? A civilization whose appetites dangerously erode its capacity to govern itself wisely, whose appetites further cause accelerating damage to its climate, its soils, its agricultural productivity, and its capacity to feed itself?

Overload? Or Renewal?

Today’s default answer is the dark one. We are plunderers, burning through our inheritance, operating on Overload.

In writing this, I have drawn on Jeremy Grantham’s extraordinary essay, The Race of Our Lives Revisited. I have also drawn on Craig Unger ...

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Aspiring to an America of Intregrity


We Americans find ourselves ensnared today in quarrels that reflect our anxieties, not our vision. As a people, we are long on middle management complaints and short on executive vision. One stream of complaints arises from the bottom up quarrels between social conservatives and social liberals; another stream of complaints arises from the quarrels between Wall Street Republicans and Wall Street Democrats.

There’s a business analogy for the dynamic we’re in – as a people, we are long on middle management squabbling and short on executive vision.  The Republicans have no vision of an America that works well for everyone, but they’re not alone.  The Democrats are just as bereft of vision as the GOP.

So let’s do for ourselves what parents ...

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“If America truly knew what it was doing, what would be different?”