The Gordon Gamm Initiative

fter the first Gilded Age of rampant inequality, those who endured the crash and Depression demanded and built a new economic order for shared prosperity. Today, we find ourselves in a startlingly similar moment, facing the disastrous consequences of 30 years of economic policies far too heavily influenced by free market fundamentalism—a libertarian lens consisting of deregulation, laissez-faire corporate policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an attack on government as the enemy. This go-it-alone, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may approach to organizing society threatens our systems of social supports and regulatory safeguards, and contributes to our economic crises—record inequality, an eroded middle class, and stalled mobility for the next generation.

Contrary to libertarian ideology and related markets-know-best approaches, Demos understands that an economy that works for all will not emerge mainly from market forces, but requires contributions from all sectors of society—corporations, workers, and civil society—and a strong pro-active government.  We envision a world in which democracy writes the rules for capitalism, not the other way around. Through the Gordon Gamm Initiative, we’re focusing on countering libertarian myths, and arguing for new, higher expectations for a more socially responsible role for business in society, and for strong government action to advance the common good.

Libertarianism encompasses a variety of perspectives, with varying degrees of orthodoxy.  In confronting its impact on regulation, taxation, financial oversight, income supports, and other policies, we will treat both the theoretical and practical implications of the troubling policies championed by the perspective. Contributors to the Initiative may not agree on all details. But we will display an energetic commitment to counter the myths and distortions that can only set our country back.  Welcome to the Gordon Gamm Initiative at Demos.


When Public is Better
by Robert Kuttner

Global Governance of Capital
by Robert Kuttner