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December 13th, 2012
11:01 AM ET

'Naked Civics' author Nate Garvis explains how ordinary citizens are more powerful than lawmakers

With the fiscal cliff getting closer and a deal seemingly far off, President Obama and congressional republicans continue to dig in on taxes. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows an overwhelming majority of Americans are siding with the president and of the republicans polled a big shift seems to be taking place with a majority now favoring compromise. Despite the stalemate in Washington, there are those like Nate Garvis who believe ordinary citizens can help move America forward outside of the walls of the ballot. Garvis is a senior fellow at Babson College and a former vice president with Target and this morning he joins “Starting Point” to discuss his new book – "Naked Civics."

Garvis says he is not expecting to see the end of the fiscal cliff crisis any time soon and “if Washington, D.C. wants to play Lucy holding the football, we as the American people don’t have to play Charlie Brown charging at it every time.” He adds, that the American people have to look at challenges differently “not as polarized hyper partisanship as how much or how little government we throw at these challenges but … as a marketplace of innovation.”

Garvis says getting involved in the marketplace is not the only focus but it is also about how people get involved. He adds, “The biggest driver of our fiscal woes are entitlements and the biggest driver of that are healthcare but we don’t have a healthcare system.” He says we have a “sick-care system” that is based on two ideas: that if people get sick then they can be fixed and that death is optional.

Another way to understand the importance of getting involved is through environmental stewardship, Garvis says. “The more products and services that we’re buying everyday surrounding our lives with, the better off the planet is and the better off our economy is… it’s as approachable as dish soap that doesn’t pollute.”

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