Income mobility in America

The Pew Charitable Trusts are spending $2.2 million to start a national discussion on income mobility in America.

The initiative attempts to raise the profile of income mobility by forging consensus on the issue with leading thinkers representing a broad spectrum of think tanks. The principals’ group will consist of 6-8 senior members of four Washington D.C. think tanks (the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Urban Institute).

The Economic Mobility Project will gather the "best available data on the facts, figures, and trends in the United States" and disseminate these findings to the media, policy makers and the public. One of the project director’s tasks will be to ensure that "that products are developed in a manner most likely to minimize institutional and ideological differences between members."

At TPM cafe, Shawn Fremstad points out, these four think tanks are actually right wing and centrist institutions — not exactly a "broad spectrum". Heritage was founded to fight the ‘war of ideas‘ and united conservatives and libertarians in the struggle against big government. Among other things, the American Enterprise Institute is a stronghold of neoconservatism. Brookings and the Urban Institute are often described as middle of the road.

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