Best-selling author Tim Carney offers insights on America’s economic, cultural problems

Best-selling author Tim Carney offers insights on America’s economic, cultural problems

America is in an economic and cultural crisis, as millions lack the tools that make a fulfilling life: A great education, stable job, and healthy relationships. The chief question, of course, is how to best connect our neighbors with opportunities that lead to a flourishing life.

Tim CarneyTim Carney—best-selling author, Washington Examiner commentary editor, and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute—has some excellent answers in his latest book, Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse.  Tim will be highlighting his findings at this years Breakthrough event in Atlanta, GA.

Hot off the press in February, Alienated America examines the dissolution of our nation’s most cherished institutions—nuclear families, places of worship, and civic organizations. In this his third book, Carney chronicles how life is getting worse for people in some parts of the country because folks are facing their problems alone.

And after visiting all corners of America and digging deep into the data, Carney concludes what we here at the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO) have been saying for years—failing social connections are driving a great divide in America that can’t be fixed solely with job-training programs or more entitlement spending.

Specifically, Carney makes the case that just three groups represent most of America: the elites, the religious conservatives, and the alienated. And while community and civil society has been eroding across all groups across the nation in recent years, it has not done so equally for each group.

In alignment with GCO’s view, Carney argues that working class people in America are currently suffering more than other groups because they no longer have the institutions to connect them to others—and provide an all-important sense of purpose. It’s this profound lack of belonging—and an inability to see this disconnect—that drives a sense of alienation that not only divides us as a nation, but tragically leads to despair and an erosion of individual self-worth and belief in opportunity.

While the problems before us as a nation often seem daunting, the good news is that both GCO and Tim Carney’s Alienated America present a framework for positive community-focused solutions that overcome deeply entrenched obstacles to opportunity and unleash prosperity at the individual, family, and community levels.

We’re thrilled that Tim Carney will be joining us for Breakthrough 2019 on September 11 in Atlanta. The event brings together some of America’s most innovative researchers, policy experts, and community-based practitioners to lead timely discussions on solutions that unlock human potential—and enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish in Georgia and around the country. Stay tuned over the course of the summer as we announce additional event keynote and discussion panel speakers.

A Photo Journey through Breakthrough

A Photo Journey through Breakthrough

On December 5th, some of the nation’s most innovative researchers, policy experts, and community-based practitioners lead a series of discussions at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on solutions that are unlocking human potential in Georgia and around the country, enabling individuals and families to flourish.

Georgia is at a crossroads. We are enjoying the rewards of a growing economy and vibrant communities that make Georgia one of the country’s most popular places to do business and raise a family. However, hundreds of thousands of seemingly invisible men, women, and children are facing barriers that prevent them from achieving their dreams and reaching their potential, including the stain of a criminal record, being trapped in a welfare system that discourages work and family formation, and being ill-prepared for work or college as a student. The challenges are multi-dimensional and pose threats not just to individual well-being, but also to continued economic growth, opportunity, and mobility.




GCO takes over the Mercedes-Benz Stadium with Breakthrough!

Dr. Robert Lerman, Institute Fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute discusses innovative measures to educate today’s students and the positive results they garner.

Jamie Lord leads the conversation about Education to What Degree: The Promise of Education Innovation with special guest interview Jack Harris, President of Junior Achievement, and panelists Ben Scafidi, Director of the Education Economics Center; Tyler Thigpen, Co-Founder and Head of School at the Forest School; Anthony Flynn, Executive Director and COO of 100 Black Men of Atlanta;  Dr. Robert Lerman, Institute Fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute.

Randy Hicks and Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin talk about the importance of dedicated employees and creating an atmosphere of loyalty. 

GCO’s Joyce Whitted leads the panel discussion on Healthy Families: Incubators of the Next Generation, with Brian Amero, Henry County Superior Court Judge; Julie Baumgardner, President and CEO of First Things First; Brad Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia; and Erin Norman, Senior Solutions Consultant at Heart+Mind Strategies

The Delta SkyClub at Mercedes-Benz Stadium never looked so good. 

Anthony Flynn, Executive Director and COO of 100 Black Men of Atlanta chats about the importance of educational choice for students to have every opportunity to succeed. 

It was wonderful to have such a great group of sponsors in attendance at Breakthrough. We really enjoyed the time with our friends and the opportunity to make new ones. 

GCO’s Bill Rogers leads the panelist in the conversation about “Business! Mankind was my Business.”: How Some Georgia Companies are Bringing Solutions and Hope to Disadvantaged Communities with panelists Greg Beadles, COO, AMB Sports and Entertainment; Chris Clark, President and CEO of Georgia Chamber of Commerce; Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Chick-Fil-A and Executive Director of the Chick-Fil-A Foundation.

Eric Cochling and panelists Dave Derocher, Managing Director of The Other Side Academy; Stacey Howell, Executive Director of Every Woman Works; Phillip Hunter, Executive Director of Georgia Works!; and Lloyd Martin, VP of Manufacturing and IT for CKS Packaging, Inc., discuss A Bolder Bottom Line: Work as the Most Effective Antipoverty Intervention and exactly what that looks like for their businesses. 

Breakthrough Ambassadors College Campus Tour

Visit Duke and UNC Chapel Hill on 11/23/14 – 11/24/14 with Breakthrough Ambassadors. The tour is open to parents and 10th – 12th grade high school students.

Check out this fantastic opportunity through Breakthrough Ambassadors to visit UNC Chapel Hill and Duke for an overnight stay! 10th, 11th, and 12th graders from any high school and parents are all invited – Come and join us. This is a chance that comes to very few, so take advantage of viewing two of the South’s best schools.

COST: $75/person (includes transportation & hotel)

WHEN: Sunday, November 23rd – Depart 7 a.m.
through Monday, November 24th (college visits & return home – around 10:00 p.m.)

HOW: 55 passenger Charter Bus

COLLEGES: Duke University & the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill

Space is limited. First come, first served.

Any questions? Contact


Register Now