We’ve all heard the mes­sage from our par­ents: If you work hard, get a good edu­ca­tion, and play by the rules, you will do well in life. Baby boomers like me were able to turn that for­mula into the Amer­ican Dream.

But while we were able to grad­uate from high school, voca­tional school pro­grams, or col­lege into an economy that was growing and pro­viding us with great oppor­tu­ni­ties, we cannot make the same promise to our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren today. Instead of hope, the nation faces a widening eco­nomic divide; according to Gallup and other sur­veys, a majority of Amer­i­cans agree that the U.S. has been going in the wrong direc­tion for at least a decade, and they expect the next gen­er­a­tion will have a lower stan­dard of living than ours.

Is this gloomy out­look inevitable? Have the global economy, ever-​​advancing tech­nology, and other forces left us with no con­trol over the des­tiny of future gen­er­a­tions? Only if we choose to do nothing. Reversing course is pos­sible, but it will take a cross-​​generational effort by baby boomers and next-​​generation leaders to nego­tiate what I call a New Social Con­tract that fits and works with the fea­tures of the future economy and workforce.

Read the article at CNN Money →