Americans are pessimistic about their chances of achieving and sustaining the American dream, a new poll has found.
According to a Marist-McClatchy Poll
conducted Feb. 4-9, 80 percent of Americans think it's harder now than in previous generations to get ahead. Just 15 percent think it takes the same work as it did before, and 5 percent say it's easier now than in decades before.
"They see an economic system in which they have to work harder than ever to get ahead, and a political system that's unresponsive to their needs. They see the wealthy allowed to play by a different set of rules from everyone else," wrote David Lightman, a member of McClatchy's Washington bureau.
The survey of 1,197 adults also found that 78 percent think it will be harder for the next generation to get ahead.
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Eighty-six percent of those polled said they consider themselves middle class, with 14 percent calling themselves upper-middle class, and 22 percent saying they are lower-middle class.
Fifty-five percent say they think the middle class is most likely to be left behind by government policies, while another 40 percent say the poor are hurt the most.
"People just feel that those in Washington are not looking out for them," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "They really feel a disconnect."
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