Business guru Michael Porter and his colleagues at Harvard Business School released their latest annual report on the state of the U.S. economy's health and its ability to created shared prosperity for all Americans. A critical finding: the failing U.S. political system is the number one constraint on our economy. It's an astonishing development that America's political system - in particular, the partisanship preventing anything from getting done to address the real issues at the core of our economy - is the top threat to our country's long-term economic success. Porter called this "America's worst nightmare" right now in a recent interview.
Here's why: partisanship has hijacked how government is supposed to function. Leaders are supposed to look at the data and evidence showing the root cause of a problem, and then create solutions to address the cause of our problems. Today, the national rhetoric in our election has nothing to do with real solutions (such as meaningful immigration reform, tax reform, and infrastructure investments). Our system is designed for people to come to the table with different perspectives, respect opposing ideas, and work together and compromise to come up with the best ways to fix the problems. Instead, partisanship has created such a gulf between the two parties, there is no ability to find common ground on anything. The result: nothing gets done, our economic future is at risk, and economic inequality gets worse.
The Centrist Project's goal is to address this downward-spiral by spreading the word: partisanship and gridlock have real costs for real people. The median household income (in real terms) has not gone up in 17 years. Americans need a raise. Washington is broken -- it needs a mediator (a marriage counselor, shall we say) to bring the sides together, free from partisan shackles, and get back to solving problems. That's why we support independent candidates - those who align with the Centrist Principles representing 70% of our voters in the middle - fiscal responsibility, social tolerance, environmental responsibility, with a commitment to solving problems and restoring a functional government. Without the partisan hijinks and point-scoring mentality, they can bring the parties together and forge solutions. Let's get government working. Our nation depends on it.
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Editor's note: This article, written by Pamela Peak, published on September 15, 2016, and has been modified slightly for publication on IVN.