The Power of Policy

By Meg Masten


If you haven’t seen the documentary film, “Saving Capitalism,” it’s worth 73 minutes of your time this week. It follows former Secretary of Labor and Professor, Robert Reich, as he takes us on his life journey and comes to the following conclusion: “The preferences of average Americans appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact on public policy.” This is the ultimate challenge we face, not only as Americans, but as global citizens.

Having just returned from SOCAP18, the leading social capital conference in the world, I’m struck by the overall consensus that broad, systemic changes are necessary to achieve sustainable, scalable, positive impact.  And system change requires – you guessed it – policy change. We will never be able to reverse global warming, solve world hunger, end slave labor, or successfully tackle other social crises if governmental policies are not aligned with these goals.

As election day approaches in the United States, it’s critical that we exercise not only our right to vote, but our duty to elect leaders who will work to implement socially responsible public policy.  Vote thoughtfully next Tuesday with your ballot. And vote intentionally everyday with your wallet. The decisions we make with our money are powerful and send a direct message to those with great influence. These simple actions are giant steps toward driving the power of policy in a positive direction.

Photo by Melany Rochester