Expanding Opportunity: Federal Policy Agenda for Economic Mobility

Learn more about J.H. Cullum Clark.
J.H. Cullum Clark
Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative
George W. Bush Institute

By reordering its fiscal and regulatory policies around an opportunity agenda and allowing greater flexibility for private markets and local policy initiatives, the federal government can play a crucial role in creating greater opportunity and economic mobility for all Americans.

Growing challenges to the American dream demand new federal policies to expand economic mobility for as many Americans as possible. Economic growth has left too many people with lower education levels – and disproportionate numbers of Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans – behind. The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare these disparities. A new opportunity agenda should rely on America’s historic strengths and values: vibrant private markets, compassionate but limited government, and earned upward mobility.


Federal policy to promote economic mobility should focus on the following: