The American Dream is Alive, but Who’s Killing It?

While it may certainly feel like the United States is working through some trying and unruly times, a steady majority of Americans still believe that the American Dream is attainable for their children’s futures. The caveat however, seems to be that Americans are blaming government institutions for the deterioration of future economic prosperity for future generations.

Some recent polling on July 17th, 2019 from Gallup Polls, the Public Opinion Polling arm of Gallup Inc., found that Americans’ belief in the American Dream has been steadily rising since 2011.

“Consistent with their views on the achievability of the American dream,” according to Gallup, “most U.S. adults (60%) say it is very or somewhat likely that today’s youth will have a better life than their parents did.”

A majority of the country has held an optimistic view of their generation’s economic future since mid-2012, where polling on economic optimism had been underwater since late-2010, presumably in relation to the after effects of the Great Recession of ’08-09.

Who is to blame, or perhaps a better question, what is to blame? The website RealClearPolitics.com, who polled a similar question and asked some follow-up questions, reported that a majority of the respondents (56%), placed the blame on Congress for the deterioration of the American Dream. Both Wall Street and the Republican Party polled in at 45% and 46%, respectively. President Trump took a slight majority (51%) of the blame, yet also got the largest share of the credit, albeit 30%.

The American dream will live on another day, and continue to live on so long as it is fought for. One of the most glaring findings in this data is that both the president and Congress have been attributed most of the blame, perhaps indicating that the governmental institutions set up to help Americans prosper and thrive, might just be getting in the way.

Ryan Tuthill