Vanessa Cardenas on “Equity is the Superior Growth Model”

This post is part of a series presenting equity leaders’ reactions to “America’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model” — a new paper that challenges the nation to invest in our collective future. This post is written by Vanessa Cardenas, Director of Progress 2050 at Center for American Progress. Click here to read other reflections.

In “America’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model,” PolicyLink makes a convincing case of why equity is the way to greater economic growth and that we should shift our focus to equity as we devise a new economy that will work for most while at the same time addressing the significant racial gaps that have plagued our country for much of our history.
As the paper lays out, today is a moment of great challenge, not only because of the economic uncertainty our country is going through but also because of the impending demographic shift which will make our country majority-minority by the year 2042.  But, with this challenge also comes great opportunity.  The authors argue that we have the opportunity to create an economic system that is more balanced and fair if we are willing to make key and smart policy decisions and investments today.
An equity driven growth model entails rebuilding our infrastructure, growing new businesses and new jobs and preparing our workers for the jobs of tomorrow.  All of which are smart solutions that will have significant impact on the communities that need it the most.
Can this be done? Yes it can.  Our policy makers can and should enact policy solutions that work for the majority of our people; and as PolicyLink recommends, bring together two seemingly separate but key agendas: job-growth/competitiveness and reducing inequality.  However, as the paper also points out, knowing the right policy solutions is often not enough.  A bold and new economic agenda also needs a strong and deeply committed movement to support it and push it forward at every level.
PolicyLink’s vision and blueprint is showing us a way forward.   The challenge is for the rest of us to do what we can to make sure that our fellow Americans understand why it is important to embrace this opportunity  in order to ensure widely shared prosperity today and into the future.

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