CNNMoney Poll: Almost 60 Percent Say American Dream Unattainable

Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 09:01 AM

By Dan Weil

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A majority of U.S. adults believe the American dream is now unachievable, according to a new CNNMoney poll.

Specifically, 59 percent of the 1,003 adult polled think the American dream is impossible to achieve. That sentiment is strongest among young adults, aged 18 to 34, with 63 percent of them saying the dream can't be reached.

And Americans don't see the country's youth having a bright future ahead of it. A total of 63 percent of Americans think most children won't be wealthier than their parents are.

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That would represent a sharp break from history. A total of 54 percent of Americans believe they are now better off than their own parents.

The country's troubled economy is creating woes for its citizens, experts say.

"The pessimism is reflective of the financial realities a lot of families are facing," Erin Currier, director of the Economic Mobility Project at Pew Charitable Trusts, tells CNNMoney. "They are treading water, but their income is not translating into solid financial security."

She said most Americans are earning more than their parents did largely because most families now have two breadwinners. Only 50 percent of families are wealthier than their parents are, Currie said.

In another sign of Americans' pessimism, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell to 81.9 in May from 84.1 in April.

"The main concern expressed by consumers involved dismal prospects for wage growth, which for nearly half of all households meant anticipated declines in inflation-adjusted incomes and living standards during the year ahead," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement, Reuters reports.

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