Belief in the ‘American Dream’ is fading

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The percentage of voters who believe in the American dream, the idea that working hard brings more success, has dramatically decreased over the past decade, according to a poll published on Friday.

About a third of voters, 36%, said the once-popular ethos holds true, per the poll, which was conducted in October by the Wall Street Journal and University of Chicago.

That is roughly half of the percentage who believed in the American dream last year, the Wall Street Journal found. Similar polls found that a majority of voters, 53%, believed in the American dream in 2012 and that 46% believed in it in 2016.

The poll defined the American dream as the idea that “if you work hard, you’ll get ahead.” It also asked voters whether life in America is better or worse today than 50 years ago and whether the economic and political systems are “stacked against” them.

Exactly half of the respondents in both instances conveyed pessimism. Fifty percent said America is worse off today, and 50% said the economic and political systems were stacked against them.

Those who no longer believed in the American dream associated with both major political parties. Women and younger people were more disillusioned by the sentiment than men and older people.

Respondents in the poll also reported feeling down on the economy.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!