A Gallup posted a new poll (USA Today/Gallup) on Monday showing six in ten Americans are “dissatisfied” with the opportunities available to them in the next generation. Gallup points out that both older and younger Americans responded negatively to this question:
The idea of America as a place where citizens can rise above their economic position at birth depends partly on an economic system that rewards people based on effort and merit — not race, class, title, or other social barriers — and partly on Americans’ willingness to make a serious effort to succeed. Americans themselves currently have doubts about both aspects of that equation.
Fifty percent of U.S. adults are satisfied with “the opportunity for a poor person in this nation to get ahead by working hard”; 48% are dissatisfied. Satisfaction with “Americans’ willingness to work hard to better themselves” is similarly mixed, with 52% satisfied and 45% dissatisfied.