Grand Central Station in New York City

Doing Well by Doing Good

To listen to America’s Republican presidential candidates, one might conclude that the US government can do nothing right. But a remarkable bipartisan consensus is emerging around an approach to major social problems that combines the best principles of conservatism and progressivism.

BERKELEY – If you get most of your ideas about government from speeches by America’s Republican presidential candidates, it’s easy to believe that the US federal government is incapable of doing anything right. But not even the Republicans actually believe it.

The proof is just beneath the surface, where a remarkable bipartisan consensus is emerging around an approach to America’s most serious social problems – including homelessness, criminal recidivism, preschool education, and chronic illness – that combines the best principles of conservatism and progressivism. It is a strategy that is playing out in Republican states such as Utah and Kentucky and Democratic ones like Massachusetts and California.

This nationwide trend is being catalyzed in part by the federal government. But it is being implemented mainly at the community level through partnerships among local governments, community groups, philanthropic organizations, and for-profit investors.

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