Goodreads page

My rating: 4 out of 5

My review:

Book with an interesting idea - not just for US but for any government too bogged down in bureaucracy. What would happen if we let officials decide things based on very broad principles set by law, without laying out detailed plans in huge rulebooks nobody reads.

This idea of returning responsibility for decisions to the people “on the ground” is mentioned right from the start. It builds on several examples of how dysfunctional American government has become. President has no executive powers, environmental review for a bridge takes 10 years, bad teachers cannot be fired because they could sue, tree has to keep blocking the road because not all agencies have approved removing it. And there’s more. Some of these I remember hearing about but not all.

What makes this book interesting (even if it’s the less interesting part) is that it tries to propose a way to fix this - including amendments to constitution and few other measures like creating a “citizen’s council”. Not sure all of these would even work - but I don’t see how any of these would get a support from both Republicans and Democrats. The book assumes that people will eventually ask for this reform. It might be - but I feel like it would be a first time in history this actually happened. In a way America feels like a great empire - crumbling, forgetting it’s core values and intent on bike-shedding idiotic small things. Even the book admits - changes like these are usually done by revolution.

And maybe it will take a revolution for somebody to start ruling.