GOOD

Big Idea: Start the Countdown for a Mission to Mars

Private companies are taking up the challenges of near-earth spaceflight, and a new space race is brewing. What better time for NASA to go to Mars?


When SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft docked on Friday with the International Space Station some 230 miles above the earth, it was the first time a commercial astrovessel performed such a complex maneuver in space. The age of commercial space travel, we are told, is here. As we reported last week, the link-up was a victory for both the Space Exploration Technology Company, founded in 2002 by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, and the venerable National Aeronautics and Space Agency, which worked together symbiotically to produce this moment.

But unless we act soon as a country to raise the bar for space exploration, we may find it difficult to build on this success. That’s why we need to make it a public goal to send astronauts to Mars.

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Big Idea: To Fight Inequality, Link Worker Pay to Corporate Taxes

The average CEO earns 300 times more than the workers at his company. It's out of whack, it's driving inequality, and there's a way to fix it.

With both presidential candidates promising major reform of the federal tax system, we’ll start to hear variations on the phrase, “If you want more of something, tax it less, and if you want less of something, tax it more.” There’s more to taxes than just raising money to support public services and determining who deserves to pay. The tax code sets some basic priorities for the economy and society, so a better way to think about taxes is to ask, “How can we improve the tax code to get the kind of economy we want?”

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Big Idea: Give Every Child a $500 Savings Plan

Let's give every baby in the United States $500.



The 2012 presidential race is well underway, and we're talking about the important issues—whether Mitt Romney is offending bakers or Obama once ate dog meat. The snarky back-and-forth of the campaign trail may be entertaining, but this is our once-every-four-years chance to mix it up over the big challenges the United States is facing. We're launching the Campaign for Big Ideas to make the run for the White House smarter, bolder, and a lot more ambitious.

Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer walk into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, doesn’t it?

But just a few years ago, a scenario uniting a group of Republican and Democratic partisans may not have seemed so far-fetched. Before the Great Recession and the Occupy movement highlighted our problems with economic inequality, crushing debt, and the failure of many to save enough money for a rainy day, those four politicians found common ground over a bold proposal to tackle those problems.

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