In generations past, even those on the bottom of the economic ladder saw the U.S. as a land of opportunity that would allow them – through hard work and perseverance – to achieve their dreams. Whether home ownership, a new car, or a secure retirement, Americans have historically been able to define that dream in virtually any terms.
Today, however, a clear majority of citizens are defining the American Dream with one word: impossible.
According to the results of a recent CNNMoney poll, about six in 10 respondents believe attaining their dream in America is no longer a feasible goal. Tragically, the most likely group to feel this way are those who have the most opportunity to achieve – young adults between the ages of 18 and 34.
Even more – 63 percent – believe most of today’s children will not be better off than their parents.
Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project Director Erin Currier explains the catalyst behind the poll’s depressing findings.
“The pessimism is reflective of the financial realities a lot of families are facing,” she explained. “They are treading water, but their income is not translating into solid financial security.”
Though most adult Americans currently have a higher household income than their parents, she notes the fact that there are now far more two-income families has a lot to do with that statistic. Only about half of those families, she noted, have accumulated more wealth than the generation before them.
While the poll is helpful in gauging the American public’s impression, some believe that perception is flawed.
Ron Haskins of the left-leaning Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families, for example, cited two studies that show, while opportunities for upward mobility in America are low compared to many other nations, it has not gotten worse in recent years.
Of course, heralding this conclusion will likely have little impact on the millions of Americans who believe leftist economic policies have destroyed their chance for a prosperous future.
Photo Credit: Center for Jewish History, NYC (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom