The needless shutdown of the US government this month – and the accompanying brinksmanship on the issue of raising the debt ceiling – were only the most recent in a string of crises that have characterized the political and economic climate in much of the industrialized world since the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009. With persistently high unemployment, plodding economic growth, and frequent political turmoil, it’s little wonder public confidence in our institutions has eroded so dramatically in many developed nations.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can have strong economic growth without shredding the social safety net. We can find a path to shared, sustainable prosperity by investing in the true engine of economic growth: the middle class. These are the policies real people believe in, whether they live in Boston, Bonn, or Bologna. These are the solutions progressives around the world fight for every day, and they led to the founding of the Center for American Progress 10 years ago.This article was originally published in The Guardian.