Publications / Social Empowerment

Publications

Policy Memo

By / 5.10.2018

Despite all the attention it has received in recent years, the cost of college continues to rise at both private and public institutions across the United States. According to data from the College Board, average tuition and fees for a public four-year college is $20,770 if in-state or $35,420 for out-of-state, and $46,950 for private, […]

Policy Memo

By / 3.14.2018

U.S. social policy traditionally has emphasized supporting income for low-income families, to the neglect of wealth-building strategies.1 While income supports are essential for covering daily expenses, upward mobility depends on saving and building personal assets, especially completing post-secondary education, purchasing a home, or creating a business.2 Moreover, inequality of wealth in America is worse than […]

Policy Memo

By / 11.30.2017

For many Americans, self-employment and running  a small business can be an important pathway to the middle class, yet accessing credit to start or grow a business is more difficult, and potentially even more dangerous, than most realize. While banks have historically provided the majority of small business credit in the United States, and still […]

Policy Proposal

By / 10.16.2017

A four-year degree is not the only path to middle-class security. High-quality occupational credentialing opportunities deserve equal standing and federal support. Many progressives believe “free college” to be the best way of helping more Americans achieve economic mobility and security. On average, workers with four-year degrees enjoy greater earnings and job security than high school […]

Policy Memo

By / 10.16.2017

We start with a healthy dose of reality: Since 2000, healthcare and education have been the main sources of private-sector job growth, both nationally and in the heartland states. From home health aides to technicians to physicians, from child care helpers to well-paid professors in private colleges, private-sector healthcare and education jobs have provided a […]

Policy Memo

By / 9.5.2017

The last retail revolution, the rise of the big box store, was not a good thing for the typical sales clerk or cashier. “Warehouse clubs” and “supercenters” started popping up everywhere in the late 1980s. Retail productivity as measured by the government doubled from 1987 to 2007, as this new retail format was more efficient […]

Policy Report

By / 12.13.2016

Economists often apply the term “opportunity costs” to high and middle-income people, meaning that the time they spend on one task is time not available to perform other, potentially more valuable tasks. But social scientists rarely apply the concept to low-income people, acting as if their time is essentially worthless. Sort of like the spouse […]

Political Memo

By and / 3.9.2016

Growing inequality has emerged as a central issue in the 2016 presidential election. Yet none of you has paid much attention to a major source of economic inequality in America: the uneven quality of our public schools. As far as we can determine, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has no thoughts on how to improve K-12 […]

Policy Brief

By / 5.5.2015

Trade critics often charge that proposed trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) essentially serve the one percent—while harming virtually everyone else. But new trade pacts actually present a significant opportunity to drive more inclusive trade—especially by supporting the revolution in digitally enabled global commerce. In this policy brief, we explain why it is […]

Policy Memo

By / 3.3.2015

The power of the Internet has redefined the global economy for the 21st Century. As of 2014, over three billion people around the world were connected. The corresponding boom in Internet-based retailers, news and information providers, and online entertainment and video companies has been just as impressive. Businesses go where the customers are, and increasingly […]