Getting off the Low Road
To understand the high road, it’s helpful to first define what we mean when we talk about “the low road”.
The low road is the path of convenience, greed, and contempt for others. It’s where people are treated like roadkill, the earth like a sewer, and democracy like a joke.
There are three predictable consequences:
Low wages and weak labor standards
make life difficult for workers, while ethical employers who provide decent wages and healthy working conditions struggle to compete.
Lack of environmental protections
leave companies that want to protect the environment struggling, while low-road companies undermine these standards and externalize these costs.
Money and corporate priorities dominate
political decision-making, rewarding those with money, while putting a productive, equitable, and sustainable economy further out of reach.
Our society seems resigned to building badly organized systems and indulging personal and corporate greed. The fundamental problem is our inability to imagine that something different is really possible.
There’s a better way. We can close off the low road and get on the high road.
Getting on the High Road
The high road is a place where leaders from government, the community, and business work together to identify inefficient systems, then innovate their replacements.
Those new and better systems can then be used to lift up workers, use natural resources and human capital more efficiently, and foster equity, justice, and democracy for all people.
Public goods—strong health care, housing, transportation, and education—are essential to shared prosperity.
Strong environmental and labor standards improve communities and nurture equitable growth.
Democracy can be a force for improving performance and productivity inside firms, communities, and government.