The rise of the middle class safety net

Welfare reform is in the air again. Congressional Republicans are pushing for greater work incentives…

A little respect: Can we restore relational equality?

Equality can be thought of in three different ways: Basic equality, granted to all in…

Where’s the Glue? Policies to Close the Family Gap

When a childless couple divorces, how much should we care? If they are friends, we…

Gown Towns: A Case Study of Say Yes to Education

Postsecondary education is the entry ticket to the middle class. But for low-income Americans college…

Defining the middle class

The economist Robert Solow noted that “there is no shortage of talk about the middle…

The inheritance of black poverty: It’s all about the men

Black Americans born poor are much less likely to move up the income ladder than…

Glass Floors and Slow Growth

Debates around inequality often focus on upward social mobility. But there is another side to…

A Promise That Could Still Be Kept

As a rhetorical ideal, greater opportunity is hard to beat. Just about all candidates for…

Modeling Equal Opportunity

The Horatio Alger ideal of upward mobility has a strong grip on the American imagination…

Opportunity Indicators

The rhetorical attraction of opportunity is irresistible. Every politician in the land sings its praises,…

Vague Hopes, Active Aspirations and Equality

The term human capital describes a set of skills, strengths and know-how that are valuable—both…