Thinking Ahead: Reversing Stagnation
David Leonhardt captured the essence of the nation’s challenge for the next decade(s) in his Opinion piece for the New York Times, entitled “A Great Fight of Our Times” appearing on October 11, 2016. He described the economic stagnation facing 1/3rd of our nation’s citizens: lower net worth, greater disparities in life expectancy, more children in single parent families, growing obesity, high levels of incarceration and failure to attend or complete a four year college degree.
This trend has been going on for 40 years and has bred widespread cynicism and disillusionment with government and public institutions. It has fueled the rise of Trump-ism, Know Nothingism and its appeals to racial and ethnic conflict and scapegoating. We have become a "Tale of Two Cities" nation to a degree not appreciated and understood by those with good incomes, high educational attainment living in our nation's thriving coastal urban zones.
Leonhardt calls for better and more equal schools, fixing the income tax code provisions and loopholes that Mr. Trump’s tax returns have highlighted, criminal justice reforms and developing better paying jobs in an improving economy.
Thomas Friedman in his piece “WikiHillary for President” appearing on October 19, 2016 in the New York Times highlights the issues in the recent Wikileaks releases that give him great hope that a President Clinton can rise to the challenges facing the American dream. He points to the need for a hemispheric common market, the growth of clean energy, better trade adjustment assistance, a corporate tax code reformed to incentivize investments and entrepreneurship, a balanced approach to entitlement reforms, and removing obstacles to small business growth.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin