Our work is based on the belief that economic mobility is the defining issue of our time. While the United States is still a beacon of freedom in the world, economic mobility is stagnant, the private sector is less dynamic, U.S. institutions are weakened and there is increased social polarization. The situation outside of the United States is troubling as well. While some European countries fare better than the United States on certain measures of economic mobility, many countries, especially those in the developing world, struggle with a lack of economic mobility.
We believe there is an excessive focus on income inequality as the main cause of immobility. But this focus on inequality only fosters more class warfare, political polarization and emphasis on relative comparisons of wealth. This turns the American Dream into a materialistic pursuit of equal outcomes instead of achieving the American Dream through individual achievement, hard work and economic mobility.
Research on economic mobility mainly focuses on remedying its consequences. While addressing the symptoms of a lack of economic mobility is important, doing so is not sufficient to revive the American Dream of economic mobility. Much more must be researched, discovered, and implemented to address the ever growing barriers to economic mobility.
The United States faces a test which extends far beyond politics and the current presidential race. The focus of public policy must always remain on promoting economic mobility. The way to achieve this is by fulfilling America’s roots as a nation of entrepreneurs who are free to craft their own lives.
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