Create Virtuous Circles for Funding Social Goods

Taxes go up, taxes go down (sometimes). Does it ever seems to make a real difference on the ground in your neighborhood? The typical temptation is to strive to cut costs and then reduce spending. What if instead of cutting spending we changed spending to create virtuous circles of savings and improvements?

Marketing Against Hunger: Food Insecurity and Food Waste

Put on your marketing hat, then set these recent announcements side-by-side: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 10.5 percent of all US households experienced food insecurity in 2019. With the pandemic recession, nearly 1 in 4 US households have experienced food insecurity this year. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, 30-40 percent of the food...

Social Goods, or Socialism?

Americans have two very separate views of socialism. We need to learn to talk constructively about both of them.

Our Social Goods: Citizenship-as-a-Service

In most countries, you can change the city or state where you live fairly easily. Why is it so hard to change country where you live? From escaping oppression to seeking opportunity, there are many reasons you might want to change your country. But, as immigration struggles around the world show, it’s very hard to...Continue reading

Local Time is Money: Time Banking

Times are tough because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many people are unemployed but in need of help. They are long on time, skills, and experience, but short on cash. Could we fashion a social answer to this tough nut? Time banking facilitates donating your time to others and receiving assistance you need in return.

Free Guidelines for Accessible Design

Public services need to serve all the public. Not all the public are digitally savvy adults between the ages of 18 and 35 with perfect eyesight, hearing, and mobility. Accessible design ensures those with limited hearing, sight, mobility, and other impairments can access the public information and services that they need and pay for.

Election Lottery: A Fair Shot at Democracy

We say that people “throw their hat in the ring” when they run for election. But what if, instead of an election, we just selected a hat at random and its owner won the office? Election lottery is an old idea that’s becoming new again as a way to repair our civics.

Three Social Ways to Reform Government Spending

In 2020, the US has the rare occurrence of income taxes coming due just 111 days before a presidential election during a recession. This combination will surely push economic topics to the top of the news feed. Voters will likely be flooded during the summer and fall with many top-down proposals to reform government spending....

Reparations for Racism: A Social Goods Approach

Recent and ongoing incidents of blatant racism and police brutality against African Americans has reignited the discussion of reparations for the US history of slavery and racism. After 250 years of legal slavery and another 150+ years of discrimination, what could reparations even look like? Here’s a design experiment for reparations, based on topics covered...Continue reading

Defunding the Police: The Big Picture

Recent protests against racism and police brutality have included calls for “defunding” police departments. I think few people, if any, want to completely abolish a critical social good such as public safety. So, calls for defunding are likely not literal and absolute. If that’s the case, then what are protesters demanding? How We Fund Public...Continue reading

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