A New Contract with the Middle Class
Richard V. Reeves, Isabel V. Sawhill
A better future for the middle class is no longer an aspiration. It is a necessity.
The disintegration of the American Dream is more visible than ever before. The understandingthe contractthat existed between individuals willing to work and contribute and a society willing to support those individuals when they needed it is falling apart.
Now is the time to draft a new contract with America’s middle class. One that rewards work and service, improves upward mobility, and reduces inequality.
In A New Contract with the Middle Class Brookings senior fellows Isabel Sawhill and Richard Reeves outline the foundations of what that new contract should be, based on discussions they had across the country with middle-class Americans. Sawhill and Reeves’ recommendations provide solutions to issues that came up time and time again in these conversations: money, time, relationships, health, and respect.
Some of the bold recommendations included in A New Contract with the Middle Class:
• Eliminate virtually all income taxes paid by the middle class.
• Raise the minimum wage and subsidize wages below the median with a worker tax credit.
• Offer scholarships for those who undertake at least a year of national service.
• Ensure four weeks of paid leave per year.
• Align school and working hours and boost child care to help working parents.
America is only as strong as the American middle-class. A New Contract with the Middle Class proposes a new way forward.