The Bell Presents at the Biden Challenge

Biden ChallengeThis weekend, researchers from the University of Colorado Denver and I presented the results of our study on Colorado’s middle class as part of former Vice President Joe Biden’s Middle Class Challenge. Biden issued a challenge in 2017 to researchers, academics, and advocates for research, ideas, and policy proposals to build and expand the middle class in America.

Related: A Message to Colorado’s Next Governor

When opening the conference, Vice President Biden said, “We urgently need to address the lack of growth in the middle class.” His charge to researchers and policy advocates was to think big and show no respect for orthodoxy. “We need to break old things in order to create new things,” he argued.

Over 100 researchers, academics, and advocates presented data on the lack of growth in middle class wages, growing income and wealth inequality, the rising costs of postsecondary education and growing student debt, and the proliferation of predatory financial services products.

Our presentation focused on describing Colorado’s middle class, including the level of income needed to get into the middle class, demographics of the families in the middle class, and data on the types of jobs and industries most likely to propel families into the middle class. It also laid out several proposals to clear a path for families to enter the middle class. Among them: Raise wages for workers, and create a dashboard of indicators that policymakers and the public can monitor to measure efforts to move more Coloradans into the middle class.

If you want to learn more about the report and its findings or set up a presentation, let us know.