Creating an Opportunity Society

November 27, 2012 — Leave a comment

Although a few years dated (2009), the book Creating An Opportunity Society looks like a great resource. Here is a description:

Americans believe economic opportunity is as fundamental a right as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. More concerned about a level playing field for all, they worry less about the growing income and wealth disparity in our country. Creating an Opportunity Society examines economic opportunity in the United States and explores how to create more of it, particularly for those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill propose a concrete agenda for increasing opportunity that is cost effective, consistent with American values, and focuses on improving the lives of the young and the disadvantaged.

It also has a helpful PowerPoint presentation about the book.

One of the most interesting slides in slide 15 which shows what accounts for success.

What Accounts for Success

The three factors that cause 74% of people to be “successful” are the following:

  • Graduate from High School
  • Work Full Time
  • Wait until age 21 and marry before kids

Take away one of these factors and your chance at success goes way down.


So what should be done? The authors conclude:

  • Improve Education
  • Expand Work
  • Strengthen Families

I do not know if they rate these according to importance, but it seems to me that if you focus on the last one, the other two will most likely follow.

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Patrick Schreiner

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I teach New Testament at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. I am married with three children. This blog, against all wisdom, includes anything I am interested in. That includes movies, music, theology, culture, hermeneutics, the Gospels, and politics. Feel free to comment and let me know you are reading or that you have found something helpful. I reserve the right to delete unhelpful or rude comments. Many of these posts are simply things I find interesting and therefore I am not asserting I agree with everything I link to.

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