Miller Center

Media Contact: Kristy Schantz, 202-758-3918

Milstein Symposium

Ideas for a New American Century

The Milstein Symposium is a five-year initiative that will convene distinguished stakeholders and eminent scholars to advance innovative, non-partisan, action-oriented ideas, grounded in history, to help rebuild the American Dream.  The Miller Center will organize three Milstein commissions each year. More →

Washington Post and Miller Center Partner on Poll

The Miller Center and The Washington Post partnered on a poll exploring Americans’ changing definition of success and their confidence in the country’s future as a starting point for the Milstein Symposium. Read the Post stories exploring those poll results below.

3/1/14: "For more people, the American Dream doesn’t include a home of their own"

1/31/14: “Hispanics often lead the way in their faith in the American Dream, poll finds

11/25/13: “Among American workers, poll finds unprecedented anxiety about jobs, economy

10/5/13: “In Battle for Middle Class, All of Washington is Losing

10/1/13: “Fewer People View Higher Education as Part of the 'American Dream'

10/1/13: “Post-Miller Center Poll: American Dream and Economic Struggles

9/28/13: “More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream

9/28/13: “American Dream Poll: Methodology of Washington Post-Miller Center survey

News

VIDEO: Benefactor Howard Milstein Explains Impetus Behind Milstein Symposium

Opening Comments by Howard Milstein

"I am a beneficiary of the American Dream," Howard Milstein stated in comments to open the  Miller Center's Feb. 5 Forum with Governors Haley Barbour and Evan Bayh. Barbour and Bayh participated in the Forum as co-chairs of the Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing. Howard Milstein, benefactor of the project and chairman, president, and CEO of New York Private Bank & Trust and its operating bank Emigrant Savings Bank, introduced the session by explaining the genesis and goals of the Milstein Symposium: Ideas for a New American Century.

For more people, the American Dream doesn’t include a home of their own

Homeownership, once a cornerstone of the American Dream, has taken a big hit in public esteem, according to a recent Washington Post/Miller Center poll.

VIDEO: American Forum with Bayh and Barbour

Watch Govs. Haley Barbour and Evan Bayh discuss their work as co-chairs of the Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing during their visit to the Miller Center's American Forum on February 5.  Selected clips from the program are available here

Evan Bayh and Haley Barbour Visit the Miller Center

Bayh and Barbour at the Miller Center

Evan Bayh and Haley Barbour, former Governors and the Co-Chairs for the Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing, visited the Miller Center last week to discuss skilled manufacturing and its impact on middle-class jobs. 

Hispanics Often Lead the Way in Their Faith in the American Dream, Poll Finds

In many cases, Hispanic residents’ faith in the American Dream exceeds that of whites and African Americans — an optimism that contrasts sharply with the current economic status of Hispanics — according to the recent Washington Post/Miller Center survey findings.  Read the full article here. Detailed poll results can be found here

VIDEO: Why is manufacturing important to the middle class?

Bernie Carlson: Manufacturing and the Middle Class

Watch video of the Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing Contributing Scholar Bernie Carlson discuss the importance of manufacturing to America's middle class. 

Evan Bayh and Haley Barbour to Visit Miller Center on Feb. 5

Governors Barbour and Bayh

Evan Bayh and Haley Barbour, former governors and co-chairs of the Miller Center Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing, will vist the Miller Center on February 5. 

Among American workers, poll finds unprecedented anxiety about jobs, economy

Washington Post-Miller Center poll result

More than six in 10 workers in a recent Washington Post/Miller Center poll worry that they will lose their jobs to the economy, surpassing concerns in more than a dozen surveys dating to the 1970s. Read more about the increasing job anxieties of U.S. workers here

PHOTOS: Milstein Meeting on New Manufacturing

Commissioners Matthew Burnett, John Engler and Bernie Carlson

A group of twelve experts in "new manufacturing" gathered to identify best practices for encouraging the growth of small- and medium-enterprises in the U.S. in the first Milstein Commission meeting, held on October 22 in Washington, D.C. View photos here. 

Haley Barbour, Evan Bayh Co-Chairing Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing

Manufacturing symposium participants

Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing members

Former Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS) and former Governor and Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) co-chaired the Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing meeting in Washington, DC yesterday. The other commission members, listed below, include a mix of policymakers, business leaders, scholars, and journalists. 

VIDEO: Miller Center Town Hall Meeting on the American Dream

The State of the American Dream

Watch this video from the Miller Center’s October 2 Town Hall meeting  for a more detailed analysis of the recent Washington Post/Miller Center poll results and impressions from audience members about the state of the American Dream.

President Carter: Americans’ Prospects Today “Not as Good” As Thirty Years Ago

Image: American President

President Carter said in an interview from a Habitat for Humanity construction site on Monday that Americans' prospects for the future are not as rosy as they were thirty years ago when he was in office.  He pointed to increasing income disparity--which he noted is two times as great as it was during his administration-- and a lack of affordable housing as two of the reasons Americans felt less assured about the future.

In Battle for Middle Class, All of Washington is Losing

Politicians from both sides of the aisle may court the middle-class in their rhetoric, but a Miller Center/Washington Post poll reveals that Americans are unconvinced that politicians are looking out for them. 

Is Higher Education Still Part of the “American Dream”?

It is a question gaining increasing attention from American families in the face of sky-rocketing tuition costs and an increasingly competitive job market for recent graduates. According to a recent Washington Post/Miller Center poll, the answer is increasingly "no." 

Speech Clip: LBJ’s 1964 State of the Union Address and the “War on Poverty”

LBJ discusses the need for 'better schools, better health, better homes, and better training" to cure the symptoms of poverty and prevent them in the future during his 1964 State of the Union Address. Almost 50 years later, 65% of Americans still worry to some degree that their total family income will not be enough to meet their expenses and bills. 

Washington Post/Miller Center Poll on the American Dream Released

Read the full story and interactive results of aWashington Post/Miller Center Poll released this weekend that explores Americans’ changing definition of success and their confidence in the country’s future. The poll results will serve as a starting point for the Milstein Symposium: Ideas for a New American Century, a Miller Center initiative bringing together policymakers, business leaders, scholars, and journalists to advance ideas for rebuilding the American Dream. 

POLL: Which best describes the meaning of the American Dream to you?

Is it education? security? opportunity? something else?

Click here to take the poll and see how others are responding. 

October 2 Town Hall Participants Named

Participants at the Miller Center's Town Hall meeting on October 2 will include the following experts: MARTIN BARON, executive editor of The Washington Post; THOMAS A. HIRSCHL, co-author of "Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shape Our Fortunes"; and JENNIFER MARISCO, a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute. The Miller Center's DOUGLAS BLACKMON will moderate. The town hall, which begins at 6 pm, will focus on a soon-to-be-released Washington Post/Miller Center poll on the American Dream and what it means today.

Join the conversation by attending the televised event that will be broadcast on over 100 PBS stations nationally. 

Nixon: “The American Dream does not come to those who fall asleep.”

Clip: Nixon’s First Inaugural Address

In this clip from Nixon's first inaugural address, he urges the American public and the government to focus attention and funds on domestic concerns. He warns against the nation's citizens "falling asleep" and sacrificing the promise of the American Dream. 

Ronald Reagan Acceptance Speech at the 1980 Republican National Convention

Ronald Reagan at the Republican National Convention, 1980

Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan urges against "betraying the trust and goodwill of American workers who keep [the country] going" in this acceptance speech at the 1980 Republican National Convention.  

Milstein Symposium Launch Event Scheduled for October 2

The Miller Center will host a public launch event for the Milstein Symposium on October 2 at 6:00 pm. The format will be a Town Hall meeting bringing together leading scholars and journalists to explore critical questions regarding the American Dream:  What does it mean today?  What are the present challenges to achieving it?  How can we restore it? Speaker details will be announced here soon.