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First-Ideals Group page

Welcome! This is a place for Generation X to take a stand on shaping our country's future. It is a place to make our voice heard in the management of our country's resources, and in preserving our economic strength.

This group was founded by former members of the Foundation for Individual Responsibility and Social Trust, (also known as FIRST). FIRST began in the 1990's, as a group to be a voice for Generation X , and to express that generation's concerns about our national future, and the management of our national budget and resources, and the future of Social Security.

Now we have have become active again, to deal with new issues of opportunity and prosperity. We hope to address the budget deficit, the trade imbalance, and the bill which our society is leaving for future generations to pay.

This is a group for all Americans, of all ages, who are concerned about the future. This is also particularly a group for Gen-Xers who wish to have a voice, and who wish to discuss ways to manage our future society and opportunity, and America's important issues.

We welcome your views, and input. Please feel free to explore our site!

Some more about our ideas of the First Ideals

We are active again! Sign up here to receive our current emails!
Click here for our Yahoo Group!

Items on this web page:
Current materials      
FIRST materials from 1990's  

Click here for the FIRST-Ideals forums, at

Sign guestbook View guestbook

Current materials, links

  First-Ideals group info
The idea behind the FIRST-Ideals

Some notes on the economic situation

Some notes on a generational viewpoint

Some working ideas for our group

  Group messages, articles.
FIRST-Ideals group messages archives

Partial history of FIRST in the 1990s

Overall economic soundness advocacy:

Concord Coalition
Well-known, respected group, promoting balancing of budgets, and fiscal discipline. Well-known in Washington DC circles, and elsewhere. links
Excellent site and links by US Business and Industry Council. Provides links for information, and to get involved.
18to35 brings together the most current information on young adult policy issues.

Centrist economic, political efforts

For our Grandchildren links page
Excellent organization; comprehensive links to many key groups.
Promotes solution-based approach to politics.

Issue advocacy:

Rescue American Jobs
Great group, promoting local activism to protect American industries. Pick a chapter, and get involved.  

Public Citizen - Global Trade Watch
Watchdog group; examines effects of trade issues on the American public.

Citizens Trade Campaign
Great activism and resources, calling attention to the real effects of free trade on American industries.

Economic insight, analysis:

Participatory budgeting
New deliberative approach to budget-making decisions and priorities.

Committee for Responsible Budget, New America Found.
Calls for new approach to budget issues; part of New America Foundation's overall effort to spark new political approach.

Industry coalitions, resources:

American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition
Excellent group to highlight America's economc issues.

National Association of Manufacturers
American manufacturers, examine trade issues.

Specific issue sites:
Excellent site highlighting real issues in economy.
Excellent site highlighting real issues in economy.

 Relevant blogs:
Cynics delight
Excellent insight on economics issues.

Brad Setser's weblog
Ongoing insight, discussions.

Angry bear
Excellent insight on economics issues.

 Economics news resources: news
Excellent collection of economics articles

Roubini Global Economic
Excellent overview of economy, resources

Foreign reserves held by China, 2005

  Information and Group Resources:
Radical Middle
Excellent new approach. Comprehensive set of resources.

Sustainable Communities Network
Works to restore sense of civic involvement and to understand problems in order to find better solutions. Excellent comprehensive approach.

Article on Jim Fishkin at
Interview about Fishkin's ideas for National Deliberation Day.

Center for Deliberative Democracy
Jim Fishkin's organization, at Stanford University.

General articles:
Excellent Gen-X article, at
Article on 2004 Let's Talk America conference

Economic articles:
Commanding Heights
Interesting set of information and resources from PBS about the facts of globalization, free trade, etc. economics page
General policy group, with page focusing on current econmic condiitions for US budget deficits, etc.

Economics Analysis Resources:

Analysis by Stephen Leeb, noted economics analyst.

Specific Deliberation Efforts

Democracy Campaign
National campaign to promote discussion, with national convention in Springfield, IL, on 9/26/04 - 9/29/04.

Let's Talk America
National campaign to promote local discussions.

Preview Forum
A project of Roundtable Media, to create a whole new type of deliberative process.
Creates network with variety of resources, to empower community processes, discussions.

Public Conversations Project resource list
Runs many kinds of workshops, dialogues, and many other services, across the country.

Hosts town meetings, deliberations, for specific issues, agendas.

Ongoing Deliberation processes, methodologies, etc

World Cafe
Promotes ongoing deliberations, various resources and methods.

Conversation Cafe
Promotes various deliberations, partners with other groups, including letstalkamerica.

Multi-use Deliberation resources, umbrella groups

National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation
Excellent group, for restoring national deliberation process. Lists many events and resources.

Deliberative Democracy Consortium
Many different resources, processes.

The Co-Intelligence Institute
Promotes awareness of co-intelligence and of the many existing tools and ideas which can be used to increase it.

Center for Wise Democracy
Studies several kinds of new dialogues. Looks at efforts in many different neighborhoods around the country.
List of programs,

  Community groups

Under construction.

Specific deliberative events, processes

By The People; National Deliberation Day
"On 10/16/04, We the People meet for a National Day of Deliberation. (PBS also aired a show 'By the People'.)" Below is PBS's project.

The September Project
On 9/11/04, people discuss democracy, citizenship, and patriotism through roundtables, and performances.

• Google search, By The People
Here is a list of sites found on Google related to the PBS event.
Google search: "By The People" Macneil       Google search: "By The People" PBS

Information and materials from FIRST's efforts in the 1990's

Foundation of Individual Responsibility and Social Trust
Introduction and Opening letter
Description of a local NDD session (short)
Another description of the same local NDD session (long)

Click here for an introduction to our ideas.
Click here for a description of our programs.


Click here to see a list of FIRST references from Google.

Click below to see the results of National Deliberation Day sessions at various FIRST chapters!
New York City results, May 1998
Missouri results, April 1998
St Louis results, August 1999
Albany results, April 1997
Marietta College results, Nov. 1999
Delaware results, April 1998

Click below to get some useful NDD Resources!
NDD Resource Center

Helpful links on web page design
Click to go to Athens 2090
Click for HTML Goodies!
Click to go to Netscape main page!

Click below to hear ideas and suggestions on NDD from various FIRST chapters!
Ideas from members in New York City
Ideas from members in Wash. state

Click below to see various articles and essays written by and about various chapters!
Articles, essays, etc
"America's young s need forums",, 4/17/97
"FIRST's reasoning flawed", Marcolian, Marietta College, 11/11/99
"link" link

"A Notable FIRST", Phila. Inquirer, 7/2/00
"Conn students take active role,", Conn. "College Voice," 11/7/97
"Generation X Group forms", The Futurist, May-June 1997
Comments by D. Greason
(Click link, then scroll down to the subheading "Indoctrinating the Future")>

Click below to see archived discussions and past emails!
Archives of past comments, suggestions, discussions
Ratcliffe 8/27/98

Other links
Links to interesting articles
Story of another gen-x group...,
Reason Magazine, 4/14/99 (Scroll down to last item in article.)
And another gen-x group..."Lead or Leave
and the $ellout of My Generation,"
As We Are Magazine, Feb. 1995 (Very informative)

Who is Generation X? Webster's Weekly, 2/4/94

Links to interesting organizations

The Center for Civic Networking

Various other links

sites referring to us:

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Old links:
Do Something
Lead or Leave
Content of our Character

Civic Practices Network
here's a description of the above.

Other links
Click here to go to FIRST's headquarters in Philadelphia!
Click here to go to Yahoo! page!

Contact us!
Email us at

FIRSTideals, Steven Mantz, Steve Mantz