Other books byPhilip K. Howard
The Rule of Nobody
Saving America from Dead Laws and Senseless...
America is run by dead people—by political leaders from past generations who enacted programs that churn ahead regardless of waste, irrelevance, or new priorities. Washington is hopeless, a legal swamp devoid of responsibility, and citizens have been largely disempowered. Nothing gets fixed because the status quo is cast in legal concrete. This explosive manifesto argues that to get this country moving again, Americans must be free to make sensible choices— to scrap obsolete laws and to approve new infrastructure projects in a year, not a decade. Government must be radically simplified, rebuilt on the solid rock of human responsibility and not on the millions of words of bureaucratic dictates. We wonder why leaders don’t lead, government doesn’t work, and nothing gets done. Philip K. Howard shows here what went wrong, how to fix America’s operating system, and how to reengage the American spirit to make things right again.
Common Sense Government
Works Better and Costs Less
The federal government is ailing and needs a cure. The cure lies in embracing a principle long known to the American people but little recognized by Washington - until now: common sense. In this pathbreaking report, Vice President Al Gore, presiding over the National Performance Review, at the request of President Clinton, charts a fundamental shift in how government conducts itself. This report understands that a government that recognizes who its real customers are, works with them to understand their needs, and puts them first, not last, is a government that deserves to govern.
The Lost Art of Drawing the Line
How Fairness Went Too Far
The Lost Art of Drawing the Line will appall and irritate — and entertain — readers every bit as much as Philip Howard’s first book. Why is it that no one can fix the schools? Why do ordinary judgements fill doctors with fear? Why are seesaws disappearing from playgrounds? Why has a wave of selfish people overtaken America? In our effort to protect the individual against unfair decisions, we have created a society where no one’s in charge of anything. Silly lawsuits strike fear in our hearts because judges don’t think they have the authority to dismiss them. Inner-city schools are filthy and mired in a cycle of incompetence because no one has the authority to decide who’s doing the job and who’s not. When no one’s in charge, we all lose our link to the common good. When principals lack authority over schools, of what use are the parents’ views? When no one can judge right and wrong, why not be as selfish as you can be? Philip Howard traces our well-meaning effort to protect individuals through the twentieth century, with the unintended result that we have lost much of our individual freedom. Buttressed with scores of stories that make you want to collar the next self-centered jerk or hapless bureaucrat, The Lost Art of Drawing the Line demonstrates once again that Philip Howard is “trying to drive us all sane.”
Life Without Lawyers: Liberating Americans from Too Much Law
How to restore the can-do spirit that made America great, from the author of the best-selling The Death of Common Sense.Americans are losing the freedom to make sense of daily choicesâteachers canât maintain order in the classroom, managers are trained to avoid candor, schools ban tag, and companies plaster inane warnings on everything: âRemove Baby Before Folding Stroller.â Philip K. Howardâs urgent argument is full of examples, often darkly humorous. He describes the historical and cultural forces that led to this mess and lays out the basic shift in approach needed to fix it. Today we are flooded with legal threats that prevent us from taking responsibility. We must rebuild boundaries of law that protect an open field of freedom. The voices here will ring true to every reader. The analysis is powerful, and the solution unavoidable. Whatâs at stake, Howard explains in this seminal book, is the vitality of American culture.