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Morning Bell: Time for a True Opportunity Agenda
Posted By David Azerrad On September 24, 2012 @ 8:59 am In First Principles | Comments Disabled
Occupy Wall Street’s pathetic first birthday  last week confirmed that the longstanding reports of the movement’s death have not, in fact, been exaggerated. So why are we keeping it alive by talking incessantly about income inequality instead of focusing on what really matters — opportunity and upward mobility?
All this huffing and puffing about widening income gaps — coupled with strident calls for wealth redistribution — detracts from the urgent need to shore up our threatened American Dream and develop an opportunity agenda. The nation’s attention should be squarely focused on expanding everyone’s prospects — especially those at the bottom who most need a hand up and a way out.
What matters is not how much more those at the top earn in relation to those at the bottom — they are, after all, not in competition with one another — but rather the real needs of those at the bottom and the opportunities for advancement available to all Americans. And while government “spreading the wealth around” would surely equalize outcomes — the Left’s Dream — it would neither address the real causes of poverty nor expand the real opportunities and earned successes that define the American Dream.
A new Heritage report defends the American Dream  from liberalism’s misguided attempts to redefine it along statist and egalitarian lines and explains why income inequality is not an obstacle to advancement in the United States. What really matters — and continues by and large to thrive — is upward mobility.
Rather than focus on those at the top of the ladder we should be concerned about the hurdles that threaten those struggling to achieve the American Dream. “Defending the Dream” draws attention to six factors that most threaten upward mobility :
The rise in income inequality in recent decades has in no way contributed to these problems. They grow out of ill-conceived government policies, point to the complete failure of government to address some of our social problems and, in the case of the collapse of the family, are deep-seated cultural problems encouraged and made worse by governmental policies.
The United States must remain what it has always been: the Land of Opportunity. Misguided efforts to use government to transform it instead into the Land of Income Equality will inevitably leave us all worse off. Our first priority must therefore be to refocus the national conversation and our nation’s policies on the promise of upward mobility that is at the heart of the American Dream.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/09/24/morning-bell-time-for-a-true-opportunity-agenda/
URLs in this post:
 first birthday: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/occupy-wall-street-a-frenzy-that-fizzled/
 American Dream: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/defending-the-dream-why-income-inequality-does-not-threaten-opportunity
 six factors that most threaten upward mobility: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/defending-the-dream-why-income-inequality-does-not-threaten-opportunity#Part3
 discovered by CNN after his death: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/22/world/africa/libya-ambassador-journal/index.html
 I haven’t raised taxes: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57518495/campaign-2012-obama-vs-romney/?pageNum=6&tag=contentMain;contentBody
 total $836.3 billion: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/08/20/obamacares-18-new-tax-hikes/
 promised to use means testing: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57518495/campaign-2012-obama-vs-romney/?pageNum=4&tag=contentMain;contentBody
 made the case for school choice: http://www.redefinedonline.org/2012/09/viola-davis-stands-up-for-school-choice/
 block any treaties that come up for a vote: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/09/21/senate-conservatives-gather-enough-votes-to-block-lame-duck-treaties/
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