Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families’ Agenda for America

This call to action for families, business, labor, and government outlines ways in which we can empower working families to earn a good living by doing satisfying work while still having time for family and community life

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Many American families have not prospered in the “knowledge economy.” The layoffs, restructurings, and wage and benefit cuts that have followed the short-lived boom of the 1990s threaten our deeply held values of justice, fairness, family and work. These values — and not those superficial ones political pollsters ask about — are the foundation of the American dream of good jobs, fair pay, and opportunities for all.

We cannot make the transition to a knowledge economy, writes Kochan, with a workforce that is stressed, frustrated and insecure. Businesses need to rebuild relationships with their employees based on trust and working families need to shape the debate about our economy.

Kochan lays out an agenda for working families in the twenty-first century that calls for business, labor, government, and workers to come together to make the changes that will allow us all to benefit from the new economy. The solution to our problems, he points out, is too important to be left to “the market.”

“In this eye-opening work, Tom Kochan sounds a clarion call for greater investment in human capital. His vision of the new American dream gives special and long-overdue emphasis to a fairer work-family balance in this rapidly changing world. It’s a valuable guide to a better and brighter future, as we struggle to adapt to a knowledge-based economy and achieve genuine economic security for all our people.” – Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families' Agenda for America Attributes

Author: Thomas A. Kochan
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005