Is the American Dream Dead?

Is the American Dream dead? Maybe in the South, according to new data from researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research. As Matthew O’Brien reports in The Atlantic, the study finds that those who strive to move up economically have about the same chances as people did in the 1950s. However, your economic prospects depend not only on indicators like race, inequality, and family structure, but also on region and the degree of inequality in your local community. O’Brien notes that the bigger the gap between the rich and the poor, the less mobility there is. PRRI’s Economic Values Survey found that nearly half (47 percent) of Americans say they are worse off financially than their parents’ generation. Sixteen percent say about the same, and 36 percent say they are better off financially than their parents’ generation.

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