Government, The Economy and We, The People

Government, The Economy and We, The People

October 29, 2009
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Creating Public Will to Shape an Economy that Works for All

We are living in a time of unprecedented public interest in the relationship between government and the economy. While Americans are deeply concerned about the impact of the economic downturn, they are equally cautious about large-scale government intervention. In order to galvanize public support for a more active role for government in economic policies, we must carefully avoid communications that trigger unproductive thinking. This report helps navigate these traps by identifying the core elements needed to reshape public discourse and understanding of government’s role in the economy. This report is a summary of economic research conducted between 2007-2009 by the Topos Partnership in collaboration with Public Works: The Dēmos Center for the Public Sector.

Top Facts
  • In order to shape Americans’ perception of the economy, we need to tell a new story. At the core of a “new economy” story are three elements that need to be communicated more effectively:
  • How it Works: Policies and structures – not just individual actors – create a particular kind of economy.
  • Intentionality: We can shape the economy to meet our common goals and use public policy decisions to do so.
  • Interdependence: Not only are all Americans connected economically, our economic fortunes are dependent upon each other.