Thank you for visiting!  I post my sudden thoughts and second thoughts here from time to time -- usually having something to do with Philadelphia and governmental accountability, but occaisionally on something more (or less) interesting. Check out my Recent Writing for issues of the day and take a look at some more in-depth writing in Brett's Books. Or, view the Bulldog Budget, which represents a wonderfully visual way to conceive and account for how our government works (or doesn't work) for us.

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Most recently, I wrote
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How To Use Millions To Make A Better Philadelphia

On Thanksgiving Day, The Philadelphia Inquirer published the answers some of the city's philanthropic notables gave when asked what they might do with $25 million to make a positive difference in Philadelphia. Laudable ideas included investing in schools, supporting an organization to provide food for hungry citizens, and giving to entities fighting addiction. Each proposal seemed incredibly well meaning but entirely insufficient in a city with so much need. All the ideas together underlined the reality that so much of Philadelphia philanthropy is spent to compensate for the very real failures of our government. Spending $25 million once may feed some hungry families or purchase some books for students, but it will take spending billions of dollars every year to dramatically reduce poverty, to transform our schools, and to expand opportunity for our citizens. Spending $25 million once may not be enough to make much progress toward solving these problems, but our city government has billions to spend each year and if we did a better job spending those funds, we might not have as much crushing need for charity and munificence. However, investing $25 million to ensure that our city actually works for Philadelphians in need could leverage the power of those billions efficiently and effectively for a better Philadelphia.