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Making a Case for Taxes

Fundamental to every public policy is the ability to fund that policy. And yet, issue advocates typically avoid communicating about taxes and budgets, leaving that challenging work to budget policy experts. Recognizing the need for a broad and ongoing culture shift that breaks out of issue silos, Topos has made tax and budget policy a […]

The Arts as a Public Good

Topos strategic paradigm shift for the arts focuses on how to shift people’s thinking about the arts from a private good to a public good. Our research finds that according to the Cultural Common Sense “the arts” is an elite pursuit, a luxury, that should be paid for through ticket prices (as a market good) […]

Seeing Prostitution

Embedded in the popular imagination as “the world’s oldest profession,” prostitution continues to be very visible in our society. Yet there had been little research into how the public actually thinks about this issue and what, if anything, they think we can or should do about it. Topos research provides the most comprehensive view of […]

Reclaiming Government

For nearly two decades, Topos has been raising the alarm about Americans’ distance from government and working with advocates to reclaim it. Not only have Americans lost confidence in government’s ability to act effectively to solve problems, they no longer see government as representing them. They don’t feel like citizens in a democracy, but like […]

Engaging on Race

Race is centered in all of our work. No matter the issue, race influences how people understand the problem and solution, and people of different backgrounds bring their own perspectives and life experiences to the dialogue. On a challenge as deeply rooted and complex as racism, multiple strategies are necessary. Different goals require different approaches: […]

Explaining How Things Work

Science and evidence-based decision-making have been under assault in recent years. Dueling scientists and propaganda cause confused citizens to opt out of the debate. A clear, simple understanding of the basic mechanism under debate goes a long way toward building public support for the right actions. Once people have learned something new, they can’t unlearn […]

Defeating Privatization Efforts

Topos’ recommended approach is the leading strategy for anti-privatization advocates, resulting in scores of wins. Our investigation determined that the existing cultural common sense advantages those who seek to expand privatization of public services and structures. The CCS says: Private companies have to be efficient and innovative to survive, while governments are inefficient and waste […]

Supplanting Trickle-Down Economics

Topos’ new mental model for how the economy actually works, is providing advocates with the tool they need to win progressive economic policies. While Americans reject the phrase “trickle-down economics,” our research shows the way they think about the flow of money in the economy has continued to reflect that supply-side model: People with money […]