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American dream dead, 63 percent say: ‘Pessimism reflective of financial realities’

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The American Dream is dead — at least according to six in 10 respondents to a new CNNMoney poll about the state of the nation.

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 — the Great Recession crowd — are by and large the least optimistic about attaining the old-time concept of the American Dream, where children achieve more than their parents and find economic security at an earlier age.

Fully 63 percent of this age group say that scenario is completely out of reach, CNNMoney said.

Another 63 percent of all Americans say most children aren't going to be better off than their parents.

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

That view also reflects a changing demographic in the nation that sees most Americans earning more than their parents, but only because most families now have two income earners, Ms. Currier said. At the same time, savings are low, unemployment high, and college costs and student loan debt have hit all-time highs.

The telephone poll of 1,003 adult Americans was conducted between May 29 and June 1, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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