The Public Interest

A human capital policy for the cities

Nathan Glazer

Summer 1993

A NEW NATIONAL administration has taken office, one of whose defining characteristics is its commitment to human capital investment, which it sees as crucial for the restoration of vigor to the American economy, the increase of good jobs for American workers, the effective competitiveness of the American economy in a world in which international competition and the openness of all markets to penetration from abroad is a new and somewhat frightening reality. In the view of the administration, and many others, investment in young people in school, in those who leave school prematurely, in those who even with high-school diplomas flounder from one inadequate job to another, in mature workers who lose jobs in an increasingly turbulent and volatile economy, has become a key task for American society. Human capital investment—better education at all levels, better training for new jobs in businesses taking advantage of new technology and new ideas of leaner organization—is seen by the leaders of the new administration as critical.

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