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Governance Web Research
Fiscal Cliff Proposals May Massively Increase Homelessness
Blue States Pay Taxes, Red States Receive Benefits
War and Debt
Obama to Cut Social Security and Annihilate His Own Party
The American Revolution was about Much More than Taxes and Tea Parties
Greece: Predatory Finance Rules Over Labor, Industry, and Now Even Government
Freedom, Equality, the Common Good: The Progressive Intellectual Tradition
The City Belongs to All of Us
Dubai: Built by Slaves, a Medieval Dictatorship, Ecological Disaster
Future Fairness: The Debate over Social Security
Bulldozing for Wal-Mart
Countdown to Global Catastrophe
How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future
An End to Corporate Welfare as We Know It
Urban Suffering Grew under Reagan
Religion and Social Welfare Policy
The Woods as Commons
Socioeconomic Democracy Book Available
Sociologist Could Teach Economists a Trick
Manuel Castells and Network Society
The Democratic City of the Future
Stafford Beer Dies
Build Rails Not Bombs
Poverty Increases in 2001
Welfare Farmers Keep the Poor from Feeding Themselves
Why Planning and Policy are So Important!
Globalization and the War on Terror
Bill Ritter soon after winning the 2006 election for governor in Colorado told a reporter: “It’s about running a smart government, not a big government.” The whole idea of being "smart" seems to have emerged in the west, associated with "smart business" willing to work with "smart government." So we have adopted the term "smart government" to refer to the kind of governance we hope for the United States of America.
Exactly what it means needs to be discussed in many different ways. It means that governments at all levels need to engage in wise planning. We need to consider economic and industrial policies which promote a free society. It means to encourage the use of reason in public affairs, rather than appeal to hostile and angry outrage at big government. Government performs many important functions in the life of the community.
The Democratic Party in the last decades has been on the defensive against resurgent social and religious conservativism and has not been focused on positive concepts for government. It has tried to maintain liberal orientations on social issues but given in to business conservatives on economic issues (such as in the Democratic Leadership Council). This has allowed a poorly managed capitalism to vastly increase inequalities in society to such a degree that the economy itself has become very unstable.
No other advanced nation on earth allows large business institutions to dominate society like in the United States, to dominate local communities, to manipulate the mental consciousness of its citizens, to force people into destructive personal life syles, to dominate and control politics. A government that serves the interests of large business without concern for the health and welfare of all its citizens and the environment needed for life is not smart government.
Smart government manages the economy in such a way that is good for society as well as business. There are actually-existing social democracies from which to learn in constructing a concept of smart government. At this website we will be seeking to benefit from the experience of those democracies to create well-managed capitalism here in the United States.
Part of what smart government means is good planning, city planning, policy planning, including what is called these days Smart Growth, which promotes "anti-sprawl development that is environmentally, fiscally, and economically smart and includes land-use planning, mixed use development." With the reality of oil depletion and energy costs there is a need for whole new patterns of urban settlement and development. The future of the city must be planned in such a way that everyone benefits from these changes which means that real people need to be involved in making the decisions about these matters. Such issues are crucial for the project of social democracy.
We invite you to let us know your own ideas for smart governance.
Some policy and planning websites:
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