The Inclusive Economy
New Assets & Opportunity Scorecard Data Show Millions Excluded from Economic Recovery
For the past few years, more and more economists and pundits have concluded that the U.S. economy has fully reemerged from the Great Recession, pointing to low unemployment rates, among other measures. However, at the household level, stability is far from the norm. As we revealed last week when we released the 2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, many families are juggling limited resources—often “robbing Peter to pay Paul”—just so they can stay afloat. As the authors of The Steep Climb to Economic Opportunity for Vulnerable Families wrote in the Scorecard main findings report, to build the opportunity economy we want and need, we must reform policies that stand in the way of economic opportunity and expand policies so they work for all families.
The Scorecard’s call for policies that build opportunity—especially for families of color, who are significantly more likely to face financial insecurity—has garnered widespread attention from a number of prominent media outlets. The Wall Street Journal, for example, reported on the Scorecard’s finding that the value gap between white- and minority-owned businesses has widened, even as black entrepreneurship has increased. Similarly, Gawker analyzed the Scorecard’s outcome data by race to conclude that while racial inequality and economic inequality aren’t the same, “they are as closely linked as it is possible for two things to be.” These stories point to the fact that now, more than ever before, the issues of financial insecurity and inequality are front and center.
As we work our way to the 2016 elections, it’s essential that all of us who are working to build the opportunity economy leverage the heightened attention being given to our issues by advocating for policies that give hard-working families the boost they need and deserve. Members of the Assets & Opportunity Network heeded this call during the first-ever Assets & Opportunity National Week of Action. Together, their reach and impact during the Week of Action was tremendous: at least 40 Network Leaders and National Allies organized meetings with state lawmakers, hosted events to raise awareness about key issues, published opinion pieces on their blogs and in local media outlets, and more.
As we think about what the next nine months has in store, we stand on the precipice of an important opportunity. Will you join us in seizing that opportunity by spreading the word about the Scorecard? You can do so by downloading customized reports for your state and by using our marketing tools to share the Scorecard with your networks. With your help, we can ensure that the Scorecard equips advocates with the data they need to make the case for policies that promote economic opportunity.
In an opportunity economy, there is no room for financial insecurity, which keeps too many families—especially families of color—from getting ahead. Thank you for everything you do to give all families the opportunity to achieve financial well-being.