Despite its status as one of the world’s leading and most innovative economies, the United States is faced with high poverty rates and less economic opportunity than many other affluent countries.
On October 27, Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill discussed their new book, Creating an Opportunity Society, which explores what it will take to help more people achieve the American Dream. Haskins, who served in the Bush administration, and Sawhill, who served in the Clinton administration, found common ground in exploring three proven routes to upward mobility: education, work and strong families. Drawing on a wealth of data and research on recent trends in poverty, inequality and economic mobility, they argue that it will take a combination of personal responsibility along with smarter and better-targeted government policies to make the American Dream a reality for children and families now stuck at the bottom. Their common-sense proposals are deficit-neutral, and they call for a gradual reallocation of federal resources from the elderly to working-age families and their children to help them advance in these troubling economic times.
The event was moderated by Brookings Senior Fellow and Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne. Panelists included commentators David Brooks and Juan Williams, and Deputy Mayor of New York City Linda Gibbs.
After the program, panelists took questions from the audience.