Where Are the Seismic Struggles?

We're different people now. Changes in our social order during the last three decades have created fissures across America's landscape. The Great Recession became the slip on the fault that caused the ground to shake in clusters and ripple throughout society.

Our jolted landscape has settled into a new social order, which some refer to as the “new normal” or the “reset economy.” Part of living with earthquakes is dealing with the aftershocks. These aftershocks will clearly affect the speed of how we redesign a new foundation for ourselves. Will we rebuild on solid ground or wait until the next pent-up wave of energy is released on its own?

The recession that began in December 2007 led to the highest unemployment rates in almost three decades, along with record-breaking rates of long-term unemployment. Almost three years after the onset of the recession, the unemployment rate, as of this writing, hovers around 9 percent.

Five areas experienced big aftershocks during the Great Recession. When taken together, they represent the biggest challenges for reinventing America in this decade:

  • Social fabric
  • Business
  • Labor
  • Education
  • Health

Social Fabric: We're Diverse and Aging Fast

America's population is aging. This will affect our country on many fronts, from workplace dynamics to health care costs. The baby-boom generation—those born between 1946 and 1964—are expected to remain in the labor force longer than previous generations. Combined with economic ...

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