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June 18, 2024

A Unified Theory of Education

When it comes to education, these have been the best of times and the worst of times. In 2021, Arizona adopted the nation’s first universal education-savings-account (ESA) program. In 2022, West Virginia adopted the second. That trickle became a flood in 2023, with states from Arkansas to Utah to Ohio adopting their own programs. Around…

June 18, 2024

Economic Opportunity and Social Mobility

Years ago, I worked at the Pew Charitable Trusts on something called the Economic Mobility Project. In 2009, we commissioned a survey covering opportunity, mobility, and the American Dream. One revealing question we asked was the following: The term American Dream means different things to different people. Here are some ways some people have described…

June 10, 2024

The Economic World We’ve Lost

Populism has infected both major parties in the United States, leading to policies that previous generations of economic policymakers would immediately recognized as foolhardy and counter-productive. But whether the country can escape its self-destructive pessimism is anyone’s guess. WASHINGTON, DC – The past decade has brought a sea change in US economic policy, and not…

June 4, 2024

What Comes After Neoliberalism?

The steep tariff increases on Chinese goods that US President Joe Biden’s administration recently announced are just the latest in a long string of interventionist economic policies that fly in the face of decades of neoliberal orthodoxy. And the Biden administration is hardly alone: a growing number of governments, economists, and institutions are rethinking the…

May 24, 2024

The First National Calculation of Mortality of the US Homeless Population

It is well established that those with lower incomes tend to have worse health outcomes. But whether this relationship extends to the most disadvantaged in society – people experiencing homelessness – has rarely been examined. This column explores the relationship between homelessness and health outcomes in the US. It finds that after accounting for demographic…

May 6, 2024

Generation Z Has Problems Compared to Past Generations, but Money Isn’t One

If you ask why these privileged college students are bringing their campuses to a halt over an issue that has almost nothing to do with their universities, the answer is likely to expand beyond Gaza into a story of a broader struggle and trauma this generation has endured. This contention, that Generation Z has grown up in a uniquely…

March 6, 2024

College or Trade School? How About Both?

For too long, our debates on post-secondary education have taken a binary form: either “college for everyone” or “learn a trade.” But in an era when career trajectories are no longer linear, and when technology is rapidly and unpredictably evolving, the ability to adapt and acquire new skills is essential. What we need instead is a…

December 18, 2023

The State of Democratic Capitalism: 2023

How to assess the health of democratic capitalism in the United States? Fundamentally, it is very strong. The marriage of democratic politics and a free-market economy continues to strengthen each, with free markets generating the employment opportunities and prosperity that lead to widespread support for our political system and the rule of law, strengthen democratic…

December 1, 2023

Cities Use Covid Funds to Run Guaranteed-Income Experiments

Alexandria, Va. Dozens of cities around the country have launched welfare experiments called guaranteed-income pilots to send monthly checks of up to $1,000 to needy people. The goal is to demonstrate that giving the poor direct cash aid can improve their economic stability, their children’s educational attainment, and even their mental health. Most of the…

November 27, 2023

For kids, marriage still matters

The science could not be clearer: On average, the children of married parents are more likely to experience happier, healthier and more successful lives. Brookings Institution scholar Melissa Kearney powerfully underscores this truth in her new book “The Two-Parent Privilege,” writing, “The decline in the share of U.S. children living in a two-parent family over…