The New Social Contract

Innovative products and policies are needed to give Americans a modern economic safety net

David S. Holloway / Getty

During and after the great depression, workers, employers and the government entered into an implied social contract that afforded Americans a basic level of economic security if they worked hard and took responsibility for their families. In a new TIME/Rockefeller Foundation survey, however, Americans give voice to a very different reality: the 20th century's social contract is unraveling, they say, and almost all of us--8 in 10, in fact--yearn for a new bargain to help meet 21st century challenges.

It may well be that the U.S. is a nation off track and worried, but it's also a nation seeking solutions--new rules...

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