Opportunity has always been intangible, but for too many Americans, it’s becoming invisible. Interactions among powerful global economic forces, government policies and business practices have generated a self-sustaining set of dynamics that have led to increasing economic, social and political polarization. The accumulation of advantage or disadvantage experienced by one generation is passed along to the next. As a result, life outcomes are increasingly dependent on circumstances of birth — a reality that stands in stark contrast to the American Dream. If access to meaningful opportunity is increasingly limited to the few, affluent and well connected, our nation’s future is at risk.
Choosing Our Future: A Story of Opportunity in America
Choosing Our Future takes a new look at the magnitude of the crisis of opportunity in America and its long-term implications. The authors examine the powerful forces governing the distribution and intergenerational transmission of opportunity. Ignoring these forces will lead to growing disparities among our citizens and place an unsustainable strain on the nation’s social fabric and the character of our democracy.
The Dynamics of Opportunity in America
Our children are beginning life from very different starting points, placing them on disparate trajectories of growth and development and ultimately leading to vastly different adult outcomes. The Dynamics of Opportunity in America is written by leaders from a range of fields — including education, economics, demography and political science — who illuminate key aspects of the problem. They also suggest how to reverse harmful trends, which is critical not only for the life outcomes of individual Americans and their children, but also the country as a whole.