The opportunity for economic success and mobility lies at the core of the American ethos. But over the past several decades, stagnant incomes and stubbornly high poverty rates have many wondering whether the American Dream still exists, or if it’s an idea of the past.
Some research into the subject has fairly bleak findings, suggesting that rates of economic mobility are far from adequate—and that the prospects of mobility are much worse for some Americans than for others. Black Americans in particular face incredibly difficult odds to move up the economic ladder, while the top 20 percent of Americans are entrenched in their place at the top.
On October 19, Indira Lakshmanan moderated a live podcast taping with three Brookings experts whose research suggests innovative ways for the next president to improve economic mobility for all Americans. As part of the Brookings-wide Election 2016 and America’s Future project, this event is the second in a series of live recordings distributed by the Brookings Podcast Network.
Isabel Sawhill discussed her recent policy brief on how to reduce poverty and improve opportunity in the U.S. Richard Reeves and Dayna Bowen Matthew shared their recommendations on what the president can do, on day one, to ensure equal opportunities for black Americans.