Books

The Rule of Nobody

Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government

W. W. Norton & Company, April 14, 2014

The secret to good government is a question no one in Washington is asking: “What’s the right thing to do?”

What’s wrong in Washington is deeper than you think. Yes, there’s gridlock, polarization, and self-dealing. But hidden underneath is something bigger and more destructive. It’s a broken governing system. From that comes wasteful spending, rising debt, failing schools, expensive healthcare, and economic hardship. Wonder why nothing works and leaders don’t lead? When rules dictate daily choices, nobody has authority––or responsibility––to get things done. Bureaucracy, regulation, and outmoded law tie our hands and confine policy choices. Nobody asks, “What’s the right thing to do?” Instead, they wonder, “What does the rule book say?”

In The Rule of Nobody, Philip K. Howard gives us an entirely new way to look at law and government. This insightful, powerful book explains how America went wrong and offers a sensible guide for how to liberate human ingenuity to meet the challenges of this century.

 

What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Where does it come from?

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

“Philip Howard’s provocative new book, The Rule of Nobody, makes a compelling case that the maze of incoherent rules and regulations is strangling ingenuity, prosperity and effective governance in our Nation. Howard proposes bold, clear solutions to what ails us, including the sunsetting of obsolete law.”

– Governor Jeb Bush

“Philip Howard has been on a lonely crusade for common sense, good government, and other quixotic ideas. He’s done it again with The Rule of Nobody, an utterly compelling and persuasive book that, if followed, could change the way America works—or doesn’t work.”

– Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post American World

“Philip K. Howard has always struck me as an eminently reasonable, articulate advocate for common sense solutions. No wonder no one listens to him.”

– Jon Stewart

“This book is so deep, appealing, and rousing that it has the potential to actually move politics out of its current stasis.”

– Christopher DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute

“Philip Howard offers a startlingly fresh slant on what is holding America back. No One is free to make choices, including, especially, government officials. Regulatory law has become a nearly impenetrable web of detailed prohibitions and specifications. Everyone is hamstrung. Dense regulation discourages individuals, communities, and companies from taking new initiatives. It also prevents government officials from making the case by case judgment needed for effective regulatory oversight. This is an important reason why it is so expensive to start a business, why healthcare costs have gone through the roof, and why innovation has slowed to a crawl.”

– Edmund S. Phelps, 2006 Nobel Prize in Economics

“It’s so damn hard to fix things when people can’t—or won’t—make new choices. This powerful book shows how Washington is sinking in legal quicksand, literally beyond the power of those supposedly ‘in charge.’ Perhaps the only solution, as Howard argues, is to prune out these obsolete laws and chop away on the bureaucracy so that citizens of common sense can roll up their sleeves and get to work again as America has always done. Today, leadership is practically illegal.”

– Alan K. Simpson, U.S. Senator, Wyoming (Retired)

“Philip Howard’s provocative new book, The Rule of Nobody, makes a compelling case that the maze of incoherent rules and regulations is strangling ingenuity, prosperity and effective governance in our Nation. Howard proposes bold, clear solutions to what ails us, including the sunsetting of obsolete law.”

– Governor Jeb Bush

“Philip Howard has been on a lonely crusade for common sense, good government, and other quixotic ideas. He’s done it again with The Rule of Nobody, an utterly compelling and persuasive book that, if followed, could change the way America works—or doesn’t work.”

– Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post American World

“Philip K. Howard has always struck me as an eminently reasonable, articulate advocate for common sense solutions. No wonder no one listens to him.”

– Jon Stewart

“This book is so deep, appealing, and rousing that it has the potential to actually move politics out of its current stasis.”

– Christopher DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute

“Philip Howard offers a startlingly fresh slant on what is holding America back. No One is free to make choices, including, especially, government officials. Regulatory law has become a nearly impenetrable web of detailed prohibitions and specifications. Everyone is hamstrung. Dense regulation discourages individuals, communities, and companies from taking new initiatives. It also prevents government officials from making the case by case judgment needed for effective regulatory oversight. This is an important reason why it is so expensive to start a business, why healthcare costs have gone through the roof, and why innovation has slowed to a crawl.”

– Edmund S. Phelps, 2006 Nobel Prize in Economics

“It’s so damn hard to fix things when people can’t—or won’t—make new choices. This powerful book shows how Washington is sinking in legal quicksand, literally beyond the power of those supposedly ‘in charge.’ Perhaps the only solution, as Howard argues, is to prune out these obsolete laws and chop away on the bureaucracy so that citizens of common sense can roll up their sleeves and get to work again as America has always done. Today, leadership is practically illegal.”

– Alan K. Simpson, U.S. Senator, Wyoming (Retired)

Upcoming Appearances

The Think Tank

September 29, 2014 11:10AM

Philip joins WWL Radio to discuss The Rule of Nobody at 11:10 a.m. Eastern.

Listen live here.

Kansas City Public Library

September 23, 2014 6PM

Philip speaks about The Rule of Nobody at 6 p.m.

More info here.

Recent Appearances

What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Where does it come from?

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

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