Politics Magazine

Plurality In U.S. Believe The "American Dream" Is Impossible For Most To Achieve

Posted on the 11 August 2013 by Jobsanger

The charts above were compiled using information from the latest YouGov Poll -- done on August 1st and 2nd of 1,000 nationwide adults. The poll did not give a margin of error, which is irritating, but YouGov showed itself to be very accurate in the 2012 presidential election.
To me, this survey is both encouraging and discouraging. The encouraging part is that significant majorities of Americans now realize that the wealth and income gap between the rich and poor is large, and is continuing to grow even larger. In fact, only one demographic group (those without a high school education) has less than a majority believing the gap is continuing to increase -- probably because they have been on the bottom so long they don't see how it could be getting any worse.
Why do I say this is encouraging? Because no problem can be solved until it is recognized that the problem does exist. A decade ago, most Americans didn't realize that the gap between the rich and the rest of America had grown so large (as bad as it was before the Great Depression). Now they know -- so maybe something can be done to reverse the devastating economic trend.
The discouraging part is that a plurality of Americans (41%) now says the American Dream is impossible for most Americans to achieve, while 38% believe it is not. I don't like that word impossible, but I have to agree that as long as this country keeps the Republican economic theory of "trickle-down" intact, it probably is impossible for most Americans to achieve the American Dream. The idea that if we give more to the rich they will share it with the rest of us has only worked for one small segment of our population -- the rich. Nothing has trickled down. It has all just gone to fatten the bank accounts of the rich, and the idiots who designed that policy should have known that's what would happen.
But it doesn't have to be that way. We can restore the viability of the American Dream by tossing the "trickle-down" economic policy in the trash, and returning to a saner and fairer policy where the productivity increases are shared with workers (and through reasonable taxes on the rich, with the poor also). And the only things that prevent us from doing that are the Republican-dominated House (who cling to "trickle-down in spite of its failure) and the abuse of the filibuster by Senate Republicans.
It is clear now that we cannot return to a sane and fair economic policy until the Republicans are voted out of power, because they represent no one but the rich (and the corporations). We must remember that when the 2014 and 2016 elections roll around.

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