The American dream has always been that if you set your mind to it, you could do and achieve whatever you want. Many fear the American dream is no longer alive and well. Making matters worse, there are as many as 56% of Americans who believe that their children will not be able to be as successful as they have been. For the first time in decades, Americans are not very hopeful that the next generation will experience better success than the generation before.
A nation, which is growing pessimistic as the economy continues to stay stagnant, is losing hope that their children will have the same opportunities as they had. Many believe that doom is about to descend, and that their children will have to work harder and not achieve half as much. A majority of the American population believes that their children will financially not be as well off as they are.
That may be a viable reason for the shift in political thinking. Many are setting their sites on hopefuls that they believe are not part of the establishment in an attempt to stop the decline of America and to restore the “good old days.” Likely, that is why Trump and other newbies to the political world, are taking the stage by storm. Disillusioned Americans around the globe are looking for a savior to save them from their government.
The economic figures continue to tell us that we are slowly recovering from a recession, but the public does not believe it. With disposable income being anything but disposable, they don’t trust that those who are telling them that things are just fine and on the rise, are being honest. Although financial indicators are saying one thing, people’s bank accounts are saying another.
Whether it is Bernie Sanders touting that the average American can’t succeed because the game is rigged, or Donald Trump insisting that we have to make America great again, not many are buying that we are experiencing economic growth. According to figures, there has been a 2% growth in the economy in 2015. Unfortunately, Americans just aren’t seeing it personally or professionally.
Unemployment numbers are at an all-time low and have been over the past several years. They continue to hold steadily below 56%, which is where economists consider the country to have full employment. But, with everyone knowing someone who is out of work or who can’t find full-time employment, those statistics are hard to swallow. What the average person is living and what they are being told they are living, just don’t match up.
So, what is responsible for the disparate between what is real and what people believe? The reality is that, with a 2% growth in the economy in 2015, the younger generation will be on track to surpass their parents, but it is not the same economy that the older generation is used to. From 1950 to 1990 the economy rose at such a quick rate, that many are holding their former experience as the gold standard. That is leading to a pessimistic tone.
Also, there is a trend of inequality in America that we have not seen before that legal and financial representatives like Zirkin and Schmerling Law firm are all to familiar with. The haves continue to have more, and the have-nots are getting less and less. That is leading to the decimation of the middle class. Since the average American falls in the middle class, it is easy to understand why they feel the way that they do.
The middle class is not afforded the same amount of the preverbal economic “pie” as they did in previous generations. When you adjust for inflation, middle-class families are not taking home significantly more than they did over a decade ago. That is leaving many feeling as if they are working harder and not seeing any reward for it. Not rising with the cost of living, the salaries seem to be more stagnant than the economy is indicating.
The rural towns are also experiencing a harder time than urban cities. The big cities are typically where the highest paying jobs are located, but it is also where things are the most expensive, making those in the heartland of American feel as if they just can’t seem to get ahead.
If you put all those conditions together, then the truth is that the average American may have a succeeding generation that will earn more, but inflation will be more, and if things don’t turn around the numbers may be more misleading than real.