Chapter 4: A New American Experiment: Partnership for the Public Good

After reading Chapter 4: A New American Experiment: Partnership for the Public Good from Economic Justice for All, reflect on the following questions and consider posting your responses in the comment section below.

Supplemental Readings & Resources:

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States

“Basic Principles of Catholic Mission as They Are Applied by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development”

Partnerships for the Common Good: A Partnership Guide For Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations (to learn more about the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships visit

You may also want to take a look at Common Good, a nonpartisan reform coalition that offers Americans new ways to look at law and government. Its mission is to overhaul governmental and legal systems in order to allow people to make sensible choices and to simplify government so that it will cut budget deficits and create more jobs in our economy.

Discussion Questions:

1.  Over two hundred years ago, the founding fathers launched the “American Experiment.” Now, the bishops are calling for a “New American Experiment.” What do they mean by this term? How can you contribute to this “New American Experiment” as a member of a family? As a member of a community? As a member of a local church? As a member of the workforce? As a voting member of a democracy? As a taxpayer? As a member of the international community?

2.  The bishops urge continued experimentation with new ways of developing cooperation and partnership in firms and industries (e.g., profit sharing, employees as company shareholders, greater participation of employees in determining working conditions, and cooperative ownership). What benefits do workers, managers, and owners gain from such arrangements? How do they benefit society?

3.  The bishops also call for increased cooperative efforts at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Do you know of organizations or programs that exemplify the kind of cooperation and partnership called for by the bishops? How would you rate the company you work for in terms of the criteria of participation and cooperation?

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