Archbridge Insider March 2018

New from the Archbridge Institute

All in with the American Dream

The American Dream has been alive for Gonzalo Schwarz, Archbridge President and CEO, ever since he first thought of moving to the United States. But after immigrating, he found that more and more of his adopted countrymen have lost faith in the Dream. Examining recent evidence, Gonzalo assesses whether the American Dream is alive and well, fading, or nonexistent.

Understanding the Artificial and Natural Barriers to Economic Mobility

Archbridge Director of Programs Ben Wilterdink explains the difference between artificial and natural barriers that are preventing people from lifting themselves out of poverty. At the local level, many groups have seen this issue and implemented programs that are tailored to the specific needs of individuals with spectacular results.



Estée Lauder: From One Woman’s Passion to Cosmetics Empire

Advisory Board member Gary Hoover brings us the next installment in our American Originals series, Estée Lauder: From One Woman’s Passion to Cosmetics Empire. Estée Lauder built her beauty company from scratch by taking risks, trying new strategies, and trusting her instincts. As she said, “No one ever became a success without taking chances.”

Seven days a week, Lauder worked tirelessly, attending counter openings across the country, personally demonstrating her products, and training employees. In her own words, “Business itself was the purest romance for me.” Today, the Estée Lauder Companies continue to expand their offerings and compete in the beauty industry.

American Originals traces the stories of those who charted their own paths and achieved a better life for themselves and those around them by embracing personal responsibility, hard work, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

What We’re Reading

Burn the Business Plan by Carl Schramm

Carl Schramm relays the true stories of the very successful entrepreneurs that skipped step one from business school and started their ventures without business plans. No matter the field, hard work, determination, and innovation led entrepreneurs to success.


The Myth of What’s Driving the Opioid Crisis

Sally Satel explains in Politico how the prevailing belief about the opioid crisis — that people are becoming addicted to pain killers after receiving a prescription — is wrong. Public policy solutions with this incorrect cause in mind do nothing to mitigate the problem.


Will Opportunity Zones help distressed residents or be a tax cut for gentrification?

The recently passed tax law has allowed states to designate one in four low-income areas as Opportunity Zones, in which investments will receive preferential tax treatment. Brookings Senior Fellow Adam Looney is skeptical that these Zones will help the residents they intend to.

Declining Teen Employment

The Mercatus Center has released a working paper by David Neumark and Cortnie Shupe that discusses the sharp decline in teen labor force participation rates in recent years. They conclude that increases in the minimum wage have negatively affected teen’s employment opportunities.


Video Spotlight

Francis Fukuyama and Charles Murray on “Inequality and Populism”

The Hoover Institution hosts Cardinal Conversations, a series which brings together public figures to discuss the most difficult topics of our era. This conversation includes political authors Francis Fukuyama and Charles Murray to share their thoughts on inequality and populism.

What Barriers Keep the American Dream out of Reach?

At the Archbridge Institute, we believe our vision is that of the American Dream, seeking to make good on the promise of a land where people lead better, fuller, and richer lives. I personally fell in love with the American Dream when I first immigrated to the U.S. I believe that the Dream is certainly achievable in many other parts of the world as long as the right ingredients are alive and well. With this perspective from my own life and data from the latest poll, I assess the current state of the American Dream in my newest article for Medium.

In order to clear away the barriers that prevent people from living better, fuller, richer lives, we need to understand what stands in the way. To that end, our Director of Programs Ben Wilterdink clarifies the difference between artificial and natural barriers, and highlights groups across the country that are making a positive impact on people’s lives through thoughtful and personalized approaches.

This month, I want to draw particular attention to a book in the “What We’re Reading” section, Burn the Business Plan by Carl Schramm. I just finished reading it and hope to post a review soon. The book is both a myth buster and a source of inspiration, leaning on stories about some of the greatest entrepreneurs in modern history. Having founded Archbridge just two years ago, I can clearly relate to the lessons and highly recommend it to anyone interested in either starting a business or learning what entrepreneurship is all about.
Enjoy the rest of your week,

Gonzalo Schwarz
President and CEO | Archbridge Institute

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