In the last year, PolicyLink and USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) have been working together to research and write about a simple premise: growing economic inequality is bad for all of us.
We are pleased to announce the first report based on this partnership, America's Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model. Written as the framing paper for the PolicyLink Equity Summit 2011, the report marshals a wide range of literature and data on demographic change and deepening inequality – and argues that we need to re-imagine an economy that is more inclusive and equitable. As the authors from PolicyLink and PERE indicate:
"The nation's public- and private-sector leaders need to recognize that preparing the changing population for the needs of the modern economy is the key to our future; they must make investments that allow all people to maximize their potential . . . Equity is not only a matter of social justice or morality: It is an economic necessity."
"By building the capabilities of those who are the furthest behind, America not only begins to solve its most serious challenges, but also creates the conditions that allow all to flourish. This is not a zero-sum game. It is a win-win proposition: the more we invest in each other, the better off we will all be. Equity matters to our economic recovery and our economic future. Equity is the superior growth model."
With a series of new reports documenting rising income inequality by class, race and age – and with a wave of protests sweeping the nation about exactly these issues – this message of a hopeful alternative could not be more timely.