Americans are practical, problem-solving people. But a sprawling, everexpanding public-sector bureaucracy frustrates that can-do spirit. In his new book, Try Common Sense: Replacing the Failed Ideologies of Right and Left, Philip K. Howard argues that it’s time for Americans to hit the reset button on government.
Only a radical re-simplification of government—including mechanisms to hold public officials accountable—can free everyday people to roll up their sleeves and make things work, argues Howard. Yet doing so will require a comprehensive rethinking of how we conduct public policy and how we structure our institutions.
Philip K. Howard is the founder and chair of Common Good and senior counsel at Covington & Burling. His books include The Rule of Nobody (2014), a Hayek Prize finalist, Life Without Lawyers (2009), The Collapse of the Common Good (2002), and The Death of Common Sense (1995), a New York Times bestseller. Howard’s 2010 TED Talk, “Four Ways to Fix a Broken Legal System,” has been viewed more than 650,000 times. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia.