White picket fences and upward mobility–two things synonymous with the American dream–are becoming less and less achievable in today’s society, according to a new poll by CNN and Money.com.
While politicians often seem upbeat about the state of the union, Americans throughout the country aren’t feeling all warm and fuzzy when it comes to the future and achieving the American dream (a concept the study did not define, allowing responders to apply their own definition to the phrase). The study polled more than 1,000 Americans to paint a bleak picture of how our country’s future is perceived.
A whopping 63 percent of adults ages 18-34 believe “the American dream has become impossible for most people to achieve,” and that same percentage of people (across all ages and demographics) also believe most children will grow up to be worse off than their parents. What’s interesting to note, however, is that 54 percent of those surveyed feel that they are financially better off than their parents. So what gives?
According to Erin Currier, the director of the Economic Mobility Project at Pew Charitable Trusts, Americans “are treading water, but their income is not translating into solid financial security.” Currier also notes that higher incomes don’t necessarily translate into more wealth due to factors weighing down on people today like student loan debt, high unemployment rates, and how difficult it is to save money in the current economic climate.