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The future of success

Today we are launching a series for this week where we will be examining a series of essays from The Washington Monthly under the banner of “the future of success.” The basic theme is that while the American people and the political parties focus may be creating jobs, in order for us to actually recover we need to do more than lower the 8% unemployment rate. The articles aim at rebuilding the wealth in America and different policy recommendations to encourage Americas to start saving again.

Paul Glastris, Editor in Chief of The Washington Monthly, will be joining the conversation today to discuss his introduction essay “Jobs Are Not Enough”.

Tune in at 3pm for the full conversation and be sure to check in everyday this week for the continuation of our series “The Future of Success”.

Excerpt from Jobs Are Not Enough:

More than any election in living memory, the 2012 race is shaping up to be about one thing: jobs. Pundits are convinced that the rate of job growth between now and November is the magic number that will determine the outcome. The main policies the candidates are debating—whether to cut taxes or raise them on the rich; whether to shrink government or increase investments in infrastructure or research—are all pitched as ways to “grow” jobs. The presumption is that if we can get the economy to create jobs like it used to, America will be back on the right track.

But it’s worth remembering that before the crash we had nearly full employment, and yet it had already become clear that the American Dream was fading for most Americans. Indeed, the middle class was drifting into insolvency. Through a combination of stagnant wages, indebtedness to often predatory lenders, and the rising cost of middle-class staples such as health care and energy, the average family’s personal balance sheet—assets minus liabilities—was turning red. Household debt soared from 77 percent of disposable income in 1990 to 127 percent in 2007. During the same interval, the personal savings rate dropped from 7 percent of disposable income to near zero.

To continue reading the article click here