Expanding Opportunity: State and Local 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

Many of the largest obstacles to economic mobility arise from state and local policies, but a new opportunity agenda can play a vital role in creating more cities and towns of opportunity and renewing the American dream.

Growing concerns over the health of the American dream point to the need for new state and local policies to expand opportunity and economic mobility for as many Americans as possible. Cities have long been humankind’s greatest engines of upward mobility, and local realities powerfully influence young people’s educational and economic outcomes. But economic growth has left too many regions, cities, and neighborhoods – and the people living there – behind. Many left-behind places have large Black, Hispanic, or Native American communities. The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare these disparities.