AEI / Brookings Report
By Abby SkeansThe recently released report from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institution Working Group on Poverty and Opportunity entitled, Opportunity, Responsibility, and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream, offers a helpful framework in which a group of influencers, philanthropists, private sector leaders, and policy experts might rally presidential candidates toward a discussion on the issues that affect our country’s most vulnerable citizens.Through a lens that considers perspectives across the political spectrum, the report addresses three major domains of life that can be agreed upon to increase social mobility and economic stability, while fighting poverty and advancing the American Dream: family, work, and education. Although the report provides a specific package of policy proposals, the working group admits that it is not a comprehensive list and that each proposal received a varying level of support within the group itself. According to one of the main architects of the report, Ron Haskins (Senior Fellow, Brookings): “the AEI/Brookings group argued that a truly effective government strategy to reduce poverty and increase opportunity would mount simultaneous attacks in all three domains. The group proceeded to offer what they considered to be a compromise package of policy proposals that both Democrats and Republicans could support within each of the three domains.” The below chart, offered by Haskins, outlines where candidates have offered policy proposals on the issues that fall within the poverty and opportunity framework.In the coming months, in the context of our work with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Clapham Group will work with a collective of individuals and institutions to better understand how this framework might inform a consensus policy approach that can be presented to the next administration to advance the interests of vulnerable children and low-income working parents and families.