Growth not Solving Social Ills

Growth not Solving Social Ills
The Index of Social Health (developed by the Institute for Innovation in Social Policy at Vassar College) calculates a composite rate of social health based on more than fifteen trends, including infant mortality, child abuse, child poverty, teenage suicide, high school dropout rates, homicides, food insecurity, affordable housing, weekly wages, and income inequality. After a serious decline of roughly 25 points from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s, U.S. social health showed some improvement by the late 1990s, but by 2009 still stood roughly 16 points lower than in 1974. Clearly we need more than growth to promote social progress, and other evidence suggests that, in fact, the kind of highly-unequal growth we’ve had may actually be a driver of social decline in some key areas such as health and education.