Yet despite the complexity of contemporary society, there are still some simple formulas we can use to distill the path to social and economic flourishing. One of these, labeled the “Success Sequence,” and credited to Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill of the left-of-center Brookings Institute, proposes a three-step rule book for modern American life: 1. Finish high school. 2. Get a job. (Any job. Because working leads to more working, which leads to better jobs.) 3. Get married before having children. When people follow this pattern—and crucially, in this order—life generally turns out pretty well.