Here’s How to Make the American Dream a Reality Again

by TIME   •  

For too long, too many Americans have struggled to reach even the first rung of the opportunity ladder. The Republican and Democratic National Conventions are a reminder that our country remains a deeply partisan environment. Clashes on both sides of the aisle are obstructing collaboration and consensus building that could restore access to the American Dream.

Regardless of which party our next president represents, economic opportunity is one of the most crucial issues of this election. It’s an Achilles heel that threatens America’s most basic philosophy—the idea that no matter where you come from or what you look like, hard work and perseverance will give you a fair shot at improving your life. The next president must prioritize closing the opportunity gap in the U.S. and ensuring that someone’s zip code is not the deciding factor of how far he or she can go in life.

Our annual Opportunity Index, which scores local communities and offers recommendations, has consistently shown that access to opportunity varies significantly by state and county.

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