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Article Title

Introduction

Abstract

America faces a reckoning, a crucible of what Reinhold Niebuhr observed more than eighty years ago. Our democratic principles and traditions are imperiled by the power of financial oligarchs and unfettered money flows, which have contributed to massive inequality that, in turn, has given rise to political unrest and a sense of cultural unmooring.

The articles presented here are both descriptive and normative, setting forth a complex social problem with seemingly bottomless proportions and then offering a design or set of remedial actions to alleviate them. Drawing on my professional experience going back to the mid-1970s, I wrote these pieces to generate new knowledge, new capabilities, and new vistas that open opportunities for growth and well-being—all the while knowing that no problems ever can be solved permanently and that sometimes solutions in one era become new problems in another. Each article is an extension of my work, which has involved reorganizing the Boston Public Schools so they can live up to the simple justice requirements of the Constitution, understanding the role of institutional investors in promoting sustainable prosperity and civic well-being, exploring ways in which better corporate governance and accountability can be achieved through heightened transparency and responsible ownership, creating models for aligning investment portfolios with broader public interest values and priorities, and identifying entry points and on-ramps for broader civic engagement. Woven throughout are issues related to racism, gender disparities, wealth and income gaps, criminal justice reform, the double-edged sword of digital technologies, and how best to create a culture of equity and civic stewardship that moves us forward.

All are in service to fulfilling the American covenant and democracy’s promise.

 

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