[November 9, 2023 | Cambridge, MA]—Today, the Commission on Reimagining Our Economy, at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, issued a report with recommendations and a new data dashboard as part of its work to place the American people at the center of discussions about the nation’s economy.
The crosspartisan and interdisciplinary Commission – chaired by Katherine Cramer (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Ann Fudge (Young & Rubicam Brands), and Nicholas Lemann (Columbia Journalism School) – includes scholars, journalists, artists, and leaders from the business, faith, labor, and philanthropic communities.
“The Academy convened the Commission in recognition that there is an inextricable link between the health of a democracy and the health of an economy,” said David Oxtoby, President of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. “We sought to ascertain and advance how Americans are doing, not simply how the economy is doing. That commitment enabled us to work across disciplines and divides to develop the final report and the data dashboard.”
The 15 recommendations in the report, Advancing a People-First Economy, are grouped into three priorities:
- Mobility and Opportunity
As part of its work to reimagine the economy, the Commission envisioned new ways to measure it. With the recognition that commonly used economic metrics focus solely on growth, the Commission developed a new index to provide a more nuanced reflection of American well-being. The new national dashboard – the CORE Score – is rooted in 11 county-level measures across four categories. The Score offers a new indication of how Americans are doing within four categories:
- Economic Security – including financial resiliency, housing, and poverty data
- Economic Opportunity – labor, education, and wage information
- Health – including life expectancy and health care coverage
- Political Voice – including voter turnout, civic participation, and political representation
The work of the Commission draws not only on the expertise and experience of its members, but also on 31 listening sessions held across the country with Americans from all walks of life. In September, the Commission issued a photojournal, Faces of America: Getting By in Our Economy, that features excerpts from the listening sessions as well as images of median-income Americans in four communities. The images and words illuminate the challenges Americans face and their resilience in the face of these challenges.
The report and metrics will be launched at an event on November 9 that will feature remarks from Commission member Anna Deavere Smith (who also wrote the foreword to the photojournal), a review of the CORE Score from Commission member Jacob Hacker (Yale), and the three cochairs in a conversation moderated by David Leonhardt (New York Times).
The Commission – and its final report, the CORE Score, the photojournal, the listening sessions, the launch event, and more – seeks to advance an American economy that is centered on working for the people who make it work.
The work of the Commission on Reimagining Our Economy is made possible by the generous support of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The C&P Buttenwieser Foundation, Omidyar Network, David M. Rubenstein, and Patti Saris.