We live in a moment of dramatic change and transformation. Up for grabs in this era – as in the 1930s when the New Deal was birthed and the 1980s when the Reagan Revolution took hold – is not just the small stuff of daily policy but rather the fundamental organizing principles of our society: the relationship of the government to the economy, the degree to which inclusion or exclusion in prosperity is the touchstone of public policy, and the very story that we tell ourselves about who we are and will be as Americans.
In this context, both PolicyLink and USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) are working to promote the notion that equity is the superior growth model. We are engaged in this because we see new coalitions forming for coupling prosperity and inclusion at the metropolitan level and because we think that such a combination is essential to national recovery: in our view, we got in our economic and financial fix partly because those at the top were so wealthy they were speculating while those at the bottom were so strained they were borrowing to stay afloat. Growing inequality, in short, has been bad not just for the poor but for all of us.
The partnership between PolicyLink and PERE is working to promote the idea that equity is the base for a superior growth model at all levels: the regional level where we both have worked, the federal level where so much policy is up for grabs, and the philosophical level where ideas are created and persist. Combining data, policy and communications expertise, we seek to help Americans understand our changing demography, the outlines of a new and fairer economy, and the need to come together to create a better future.