"Most fundamentally, a sustainable, just, and democratic future requires rethinking American capitalism as it exists today as a system of political economy. If we are going to care for people and the planet, large-scale changes are needed in how Americans consume and live, how the United States structures economic activity and measures progress, and how we engage in the global economy."
2) The Democracy Program works to “strengthen democracy in the United States by reducing barriers to voter participation and encouraging civic engagement.” Toward these purposes, Demos works to end “felon disfranchisement,” the practice (in most U.S. states) of denying people with prior felony convictions the right to vote; urges election officials and legislators to permit “same-day registration,” where people can become registered voters on election day itself; and supports the the so-called "Motor Voter" legislation which allows people to submit voter-registration applications when transacting business at the Department of Motor Vehicles or at any Social Services office that dispenses some type of public assistance. According to Demos, “many states have roundly ignored the public-assistance provisions” of Motor Voter, thereby discriminating against low-income people. In a campaign to compel government agencies to improve their “compliance” with those provisions, Demos has partnered with Project Vote, ACORN, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Demos dismisses assertions that Motor Voter provisions and same-day registration increase opportunities for voter fraud as the calculated scare tactics of elitists who wish to implement “excessive Voter Identification requirements.”
3) The International Program seeks to create “greater public awareness” of “the realities of [global] interdependence” and promotes “policies suitable to today's borderless world, including a more effective and democratic system of global governance.” Emphasizing “a more vigorous U.S. approach to international environmental policy,” this program maintains that America has an obligation not only to ratify and comply with the economically crippling mandates of the Kyoto Protocol, but also to send massive amounts of financial aid to help non-industrialized countries “adapt to climate change”—on the premise that pollution associated with U.S. industrial activity contributes heavily to global warming and its devastating effects on poorer countries. This prescription is of a piece with Demos' call for “a more inclusive global economy in which all peoples and nations share in the prosperity generated by markets, growth, and trade”—i.e., a worldwide system of wealth redistribution modeled on the United Nations' Millennium Project. Implying further that the U.S. is guilty of violating the human rights of people around the world, the International Program demands that the “democratic values that underpin our policies at home also guide American actions abroad.”
4) The Public Works Program is dedicated to “building broad understanding of and support for the essential roles of government in this country”; promoting the notion that the public sector “acts effectively for the common good”; and persuading Americans to view taxes as “a bill gladly paid” in exchange for “the privilege of living in a decent society.”
To advance the foregoing ideas and policy recommendations, Demos publishes books, reports, and briefing papers; works at both the national and state levels with advocates and policymakers to enact reforms; hosts public events that “showcase new ideas and leading progressive voices”; and promotes a coterie of Fellows and staff in print, broadcast, and Internet venues. Bob Herbert is listed as a "Distinguished Senior Fellow" with Demos.