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Old 01-16-2014, 10:36 AM   #16
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Can inequality be fixed with 8 or 15 billion people, science says yes but politics?

How a Citizen Cabinet Counters Inequality

There is a lot of talk these days about inequality. While the focus has been on economic inequality, the roots of this problem are in the inequality of influence on government decisionmaking. Members of Congress spend a large portion of their time on fundraising. This means that they spend a lot of time hearing from people who have the means to make large campaign contributions. Clearly this means they also have more influence, if nothing else because they get the chance to be heard. The Founders would shudder (or worse) at the notion that some citizens or organized interests (what the Founders called ‘factions’) would have such disproportionate influence.

The Citizen Cabinet is an antidote to this inequality of influence. The Citizen Cabinet as a whole will be an accurate mirror of the values and priorities of the entire citizenry, not just those who have the means to get in front of members of Congress.

The Founders believed that if government leaders were guided by the citizenry as a whole they would be more likely to serve the common good. Research in the field of public consultation does reveal that when Americans are taken through a process that simulates the process a policymaker goes through—getting briefed on an issue, hearing arguments for and against policy options and then finally making recommendations—they do actually think about the common good, not just what is in their personal interest.

Thus having a Citizen Cabinet to advise elected officials is clearly one of the best ways to counter the inequality of influence in our country today, as well as the unequal outcomes that result from it. Learn more.


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