General Opportunity Summary
- From 2004 to 2014, the number of students participating in school choice programs more than tripled to nearly 354,000. As Juan Williams argues, school choice “treats children not as mere data points but as thinking, feeling, and multifaceted people — each with a unique, God-given potential that deserves the chance to flourish”.
- In 2014, there were 126 pending major federal regulations that are expected to cost $100 million or more each year, an increase of 46 compared to 2004. “[S]ince 2012,” writes Karen Harned, “at least one in five small-business owners identify government regulations as their most important problem” (p. 76). She continues: “For the American small-business owner, the opportunity costs of federal regulation are all too often crowding out investment and hiring”.
- From 2002 to 2012, the percentage of high school students who graduated on time increased by 8 percentage points. “America badly needed the recent small improvement in graduation rates. She needs much more still,” concludes Matthew Ladner.
- Since 2005, U.S. economic freedom has declined by 3.7 points, according to The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. As Anthony Kim notes, “Increased tax and regulatory burdens, aggravated by favoritism toward entrenched interests, have undercut America’s historically dynamic entrepreneurial growth and confined the U.S. economy to the rank of only ‘mostly free’”.
General Opportunity Indicators
- Reading Proficiency
- Charter School Enrollment
- Private School Choice Participation
With commentary by Juan Williams: “School Choice Puts Children Back at the Center of Education Reform”
- High School Graduation Rate
With commentary by Matthew Ladner: “Growing the Graduation Rate”
- Student Loan Debt
With commentary by Matthew M. Chingos: “Student Loans: What Students Don’t Know Can Hold Them Back”
- Employment-Population Ratio
- Unemployment Rate
- Job Openings Rate
- Job Hires Rate
- Money Taxed Away by Federal Government
- Start-Up Job Share
- Major Federal Regulations
With commentary by Karen R. Harned: “Federal Regulations: An ‘Opportunity Cost’ for American Small Business”
- Economic Freedom
With commentary by Anthony B. Kim: “Time to Restore America’s Economic Freedom”
Next Up in the Index:
2015 Index of Culture and Opportunity
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