America’s long national nightmare over failing to achieve the American Dream is over.
Three years after six in 10 Americans said their dream of a great life was unachievable, now 82 percent believe their either achieved the dream or are on their way.
“Despite persistently low levels of public satisfaction with the state of the nation, most Americans say they have achieved the ‘American dream or are on their way to achieving it. Only about one-in-five (17 percent) say the American dream is ‘out of reach’ for their family,” according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
The results join several others pointing to a recovered economy and wealth of jobs in America.
The switch cited by Pew would appear to put an end to years of depressing polls and surveys showing that the vague American Dream was dimming.
In 2014, for example, CNN’s American Dream project said that 60 percent believed it was unattainable and even more said that their children would not live a better life than them.
And just last year, the Ripon Society said that a remarkable 70 percent of middle class voters do not believe that the next generation will do as good as they have, moving the American Dream out of reach for millions.
Pew found that 36 percent believe they’ve achieved the American Dream and 46 percent believe that they are “on their way to achieving” it.
And it crosses racial lines, said Pew. “Whites (41 percent) are more likely than blacks (17 percent) or Hispanics (32 percent) to say they have achieved the American dream. But more blacks (62 percent) and Hispanics (51 percent) than whites (42 percent) say they are on their way to achieving it. Notably, there are no significant racial or ethnic differences in the shares who say the American dream is out of reach for their families.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org