Restoring the Public Trust: A Fresh Vision for Progressive Government in America

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Beacon Press, 1994 - Political Science - 176 pages
Why have so many Americans lost faith in government? Why have we given up on philosophies and visions of public life? One reason, Peter Brown argues, is the dominance over more than a decade of the right's impoverished ideas of minimal government. But as important, liberals and progressives - even after the 1992 election - have failed to offer a unified, value-based picture of government's mission that can restore public commitment to public life. Restoring the Public Trust is meant to fill that gap. Restoring the Public Trust begins by outlining the mistakes of traditional approaches to public policy. Brown traces the history of the collapse of vision among liberals, and he gives a systematic, wide-ranging critique of conservative economist Milton Friedman's view of government's role. He also analyzes what is fundamentally wrong with centrist welfare-state economics' understanding of the relationship between government and the market. Out of those critiques comes a proposal for an alternative model of governmental responsibility: Brown urges us to see government as trustee for citizens and the environment. In the second part of the book he shows how a trust conception of government avoids the dangerous mistakes of conventional pictures; how it offers a revitalized framework for thinking about public responsibilities; and how it sets a specific progressive agenda for action on issues from environmental protection to national health care. Hard-hitting and forward-looking, combining public policy analysis with political philosophy in an engaging, readable way, Restoring the Public Trust is written for anyone concerned about the future of American government.

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RESTORING THE PUBLIC TRUST: A Fresh Vision for Progressive Government in America

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Brown (Public Policy/Univ. of Maryland) offers a partisan liberal critique of our national disillusionment with public life, as well as a progressive program for renewal of confidence in government ... Read full review

Restoring the public trust: a fresh vision for progressive government in America

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Melding strands of political philosophy, public administration, and economics, Brown (Sch. of Public Affairs, Univ. of Maryland, College Park) asks a central question: Why does government exist? He ... Read full review

Contents

Justifying the Conservative Revolution
15
Restoring the Public Trust
67
Restoring Government and Preserving Persons
92
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Peter G. Brown is a Professor at McGill University and Director of the McGill School of Environment, Montreal. He is the author of Restoring the Public Trust: A Fresh Vision for Progressive Government in America.

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