We could also help private investment and innovation with business-tax reform that lowers statutory rates and closes loopholes, and with public investments in basic research and development. Policies focused on education are critical both for increasing economic growth and for ensuring that it is shared broadly. These include everything from boosting funding for early childhood education to improving high schools, making college more affordable and expanding high-quality job training.
The way ahead
Pres. Obama (Archives)

Much of the data we reference in a discussion such as this one emphasizes the gaps and the government’s role, and yet there are many individuals and communities of people who are working on community-driven innovations under the radar of the private or public markets. Such efforts are understandably left out of such discourse by its very nature. Ordinary people commoning for a long-term collective interest, such as an education system that attends to the development of the whole-person learner and the whole community, offers an alternative narrative to the one of citizens passively waiting for the government or others to grant permission or create opportunity. No citizen or resident need wait for an invitation to create the change. And thus, we create opportunities for improved access and agency not only for ourselves but for others who follow.

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