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Creating an Opportunity Society

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0815703228
ISBN-10: 0815703228
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Editorial Reviews


"Full of excellent analysis and proposals." —Clive Crook, Financial Times

"A compelling new book... Creating an Opportunity Society collects decades of pragmatic insights into the challenges of re-creating an economy that works for all." —Ronald Brownstein, National Journal

"This book presents a bold and thoughtful vision of how to change American economic and social policy to promote a more productive and less unequal society. It synthesizes the best research on political economy and the life cycle of skill formation in crafting its recommendations. While some readers will disagree with the authors about the details of some of their proposals, all readers will agree that the book is breathtaking in its scope and deeply thought-provoking. It is a major contribution to the policy debate." —James J. Heckman, Nobel laureate, University of Chicago

"Among recent reappraisals of national social policy, this book stands out. Haskins and Sawhill write with unusual clarity and authority. As soon as the recession and health care debates are past, the Obama administration and Congress can have no more urgent task than to address these proposals." —Lawrence M. Mead, New York University

"This book brilliantly documents what must be done to restore opportunity for all through a combination of personal responsibility and a helping hand from government, supports we refer to as the 5 Promises at America's Promise Alliance. I encourage all policymakers and civic leaders to read this thought-provoking book." —Alma J. Powell, Chair, America's Promise Alliance

"Two of America's shrewdest social policy thinkers have produced a comprehensive and timely look at an increasingly urgent problem: expanding the opportunity for all Americans to get ahead in this turbulent economy." —Ron Brownstein, Political Director, Atlantic Media Company

"Haskins and Sawhill have developed a set of innovative ideas for navigating toward the next generation of social policy. There could not be a more competent duo offering pragmatic, interesting, and creative ideas to advance our shared goal of creating opportunity for all." —Linda I. Gibbs, New York City Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services

" Creating an Opportunity Society is a blueprint for a better American future. Haskins and Sawhill, two of America's most celebrated policy innovators, outline a series of effective and affordable policies designed to make our economy work for all Americans." —Reihan Salam, coauthor of Grand New Party

About the Author

Ron Haskins is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, codirector of the Center on Children and Families at Brookings, and a senior consultant at the Annie E.Casey Foundation. He was an adviser to President George W. Bush for welfare policy and a senior staff member of the House Ways and Means Committee, where he helped write legislation on social policy. He is the author of Work Over Welfare:The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law (Brookings, 2007) and coeditor with Rebecca Blank of The New World of Welfare (Brookings, 2001).

Isabel Sawhill is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where she holds the Cabot Family Chair and serves as codirector of the Center on Children and Families. She previously served as an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget. From 2003 to 2006, she was vice president and director of Economic Studies at Brookings. She is the editor of One Percent for the Kids: New Policies, Brighter Futures for America's Children (Brookings, 2003), coeditor with Alice Rivlin of Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2005 (Brookings, 2005), and coauthor with Rudolph G. Penner and Timothy Taylor of Updating America's Social Contract (Norton, 2000).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 347 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815703228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815703228
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,329,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Whispering Willow on February 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
These conclusions are so cooked they should be Peking Duck! IF you only look at income as tied to education, that explains the poverty discrepancy without any other factors like marriage. Now, not getting at least a two year degree is a predictor of poverty but that has to do with salable job skills. And, one could expect that it is much harder to get an education if one has a child and easier if one has a partner who helps you with the child and bills while you go to school. However, it all comes down to education = middle class.

The authors even use this platform to say that more paternalism is called for in social policy to force people to adhere to traditional values. And, their goal is to ensure two parent families even if the people involved don't want to stay in that marriage.

If you already agree with their conclusions, you will probably like the book. However, if you are looking for an independent scientific approach -- pass.
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