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Economic Mobility: What's the Problem and What to Do About It?

Economic Mobility: What's the Problem and What to Do About It? Economic mobility and inequality are increasingly framing political debates. In a recent speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, President Obama described how the prospects of upward mobility for a child born into poverty have dimmed substantially, and he identified the path to inclusive prosperity as "the defining issue of our time." But has the climb up the economic ladder really become more arduous? Have more families in the middle class fallen downward? What can and should be done to increase economic security and create opportunities for upward mobility? Scott Winship, fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution and former research manager with the Economic Mobility Project, argues the answers to these questions are more complicated than they often appear. Winship suggests taking a closer look at data from a range of areas, such as employment, debt, and mobility, to tell a more realistic story of changing economic wellbeing, opportunity, and risk. By focusing attention on how to define mobility, we will be better prepared to fill in our knowledge gaps and consider the policy choices that have the greatest potential to expand opportunities for those at the bottom and offer economic security for more families. This event was hosted by the New America Foundation's Asset Building Program. Participants Featured Speaker: Scott Winship Fellow in Economic Studies The Brookings Institution Discussants: Shawn Fremstad Attorney and Senior Research Associate Center for Economic Policy Research Reid Cramer Director, Asset Building Program New America Foundation
Length: 01:20:18

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