public policy

  It’s the American dream: get a good education, work hard, buy a house, and achieve prosperity and success. But, according to our next guest, during the last twenty-five years we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge.

Harvard University Public Policy Professor, Robert Putnam, says Americans have believed in the idea that all kids, regardless of their family background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life. Putnam says this central tenet of the American dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was.

His new book is: Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. Robert Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. Nationally honored as a leading humanist and a renowned scientist, he has written fourteen books and has consulted for the last four US Presidents.

George Mitchell was appointed to the United States Senate in 1980 to complete the unexpired term of Senator Edmund Muskie, who resigned to become Secretary of State. He was elected to a full term in the Senate in 1982 in a stunning come-from-behind victory. Mitchell went on to an illustrious career in the Senate spanning 14 years.

In 1988, he was reelected with 81 percent of the vote, the largest margin in Maine history. He left the Senate in 1995 as the Senate Majority Leader; a position he had held since January 1989.