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Opportunity, responsibility, and security: A consensus plan for reducing poverty and restoring the American Dream

There is now widespread agreement that the nation should more effectively fight poverty and promote economic mobility. Republicans and Democrats, including the presidential candidates, are offering proposals for attacking both problems. But political polarization and legislative gridlock in the nation’s capital make action seem unlikely.

Determined to show that people of good faith could work together, AEI and The Brookings Institution convened a working group of experts representing the left, right, and center of the political spectrum to see if they could craft a comprehensive plan that all contributors could support. After 14 months of work, the group succeeded. The plan draws from the best ideas proposed by the left and the right.  It addresses the domains of family, work, and education simultaneously. And it is based on common values supported by nearly all Americans: opportunity, responsibility, and security. 

On December 3, AEI and Brookings released the working group’s plan. The report proposes to strengthen families in ways that prepare children for success in education and work; to improve the quantity and quality of work in ways that enable young people to fulfill the responsibilities of adult life and parenthood; and to improve education in ways that help poor children capitalize on opportunities for self-advancement. 

The event was initiated by a summary of the report and its recommendations presented by two scholars who participated in its preparation. New York Times columnist David Brooks then presented a keynote address, followed by critical analysis of the report and its recommendations by a distinguished group of panelists. 

All speakers took questions from the audience, and the event was live webcast. Join the conversation via Twitter at #AmericanDream.

Agenda

Introduction

J

Jonathan Haidt

Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership - New York University

Overview of Report

D

David Ellwood

Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy - Harvard University

Keynote Address

Panel

Welcome

Robert Doar

Resident Fellow and Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies - American Enterprise Institute

More Information

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