Good Governance Requires More Than Campaign Promises

A political campaign may be about hope, but governance is about translating hope into action, a far tougher task. While every public administration is shaped by events, its fate is often determined early. With the right plan, resources, organization and approach, it can face challenges, overcome setbacks and keep the public’s trust.


Our Day of Reckoning

TitleOur Day of Reckoning
AuthorCamille Busette, Director of the Brookings Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative

Since 1968, has America made progress as a land of opportunity?


Our future competitiveness will depend on people of color, but the American Dream remains out of reach for too many. Regardless of the source—the Census Bureau, Federal Reserve or Annie E. Casey Foundation—or the metric, the facts are clear. People of color face the longest odds for success in the land of opportunity. And, despite post-Great Recession gains, our vast racial wealth gap remains. Even more worrisome, current federal policies could exacerbate inequality, limit economic mobility and undermine our global competitiveness.

As is

Despite profound demographic changes (e.g., for the first time, most children under age 10 are non-white), our nation seems sharply divided between white and non-white, natives and immigrants, haves and have-nots, insiders and outsiders. For many people of color, the nation offers the threat of insecurity and despair. After eight years of our first African-American president and a national vision of hope, we have handed the keys of national power to the forces of anger, intolerance and greed.

To Do

To ensure our optimal economic performance and our global competitiveness, our nation must afford its young ample educational options and its adults every opportunity to fully participate in our ever-changing economy.

Our Take

As the author reminds us, Dr. Martin Luther King called on us to recognize our common humanity. To honor our legacy, realize our hopes and inspire the next generation of leaders, we must become—and fight to remain—the land of opportunity.