Where’s the Opportunity?

America has long prided itself as the “land of opportunity.” But since the Great Recession, youth unemployment is at its highest in more than a decade, and young people in many European countries now have a better shot at moving up the ladder from poor to rich than they do in America.

In the cover package for the November/December issue of the Washington Monthly, produced in partnership with Opportunity Nation and Measure of America, we look at the state of opportunity in America today. In particular, we examine geographic variations in the distribution of opportunity and offer new data on which states are doing best by their young people. In this package:

Timothy Noah finds that Americans are no longer moving to areas of economic opportunity, which means an engine of upward mobility is in steep decline;

Anne Kim reports on the 2013 Opportunity Index, which ranks the states where young people are more likely to be finding success;

Richard Florida reveals new data from Measure of America on how young adults are faring in America’s 25 biggest metro areas;

John Bridgeland and Alan Khazei argue for the economic returns of civic virtue;

Mark Edwards lays out a commonsense plan for creating opportunity that Congress should pass now;

Harry Holzer chronicles the revival of career and technical education as a means of helping young people succeed; and

Dorian Friedman offers five case studies of programs that are effectively connecting young people to college and careers.

We’ve already highlighted Tim Noah’s article, but will have more about the rest of the package throughout this and next week. Start checking out articles at your leisure.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.