As long as limited economic mobility and stagnant income is assigned at birth, political stability should not persist. The sentiment that markets are efficient and self-regulating – where the most astute and hardest workers are presumed to prosper while the least astute and laziest receive their "just rewards" – only serves the ideological device of maintaining social hierarchy.

Two bold policies:

  1. A federal job guarantee in which all workers are offered the dignity of productive work, livable wages, and enhanced worker bargaining power resulting from the removal of the threat of unemployment
  2. A "baby bonds" child trust account program, where the opportunity for wealth accumulation is seeded at birth so that everyone may purchase the economic security of an appreciating asset as a young adult.

Bottom line: To promote economic mobility and, likewise, political stability, we need a shift from overemphasizing economic austerity and growth, while leaving workers vulnerable to the fickle contingency of "trickle down" job creation. Instead we need to prioritize what Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen calls human capabilities, where we measure our national economic health by how well we enable all our citizens to attain their self-defined goals.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new measures on Monday to mute the microphones of President Trump and Joe Biden to allow each candidate two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate.

Why it matters: During September's chaotic debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, while Biden interrupted Trump 22 times.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court denies Pennsylvania GOP request to limit mail-in voting

Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.