In this interview with Mary Jo Gilmore, Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill examine the barriers to economic mobility in America. In part one of the interview, Haskins and Sawhill discuss the alarming unemployment rate and the extent of poverty in America and the distinct challenges facing immigrant families and African-American children. The interview also compares access to economic mobility in the U.S. to that of Europe. Part two of the interview focuses on the authors’ strategy to increase economic mobility in America.
Haskins and Sawhill are the authors of Creating an Opportunity Society, a new book which recommends a three-prong ed approach to providing economic opportunity, including increasing education for youth at the K—12 and postsecondary levels, encouraging and supporting work among adults, and increasing the share of children raised by married parents. The authors argue that it will take a combination of personal responsibility and expanded government assistance to help low-income families achieve economic success.