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May 23rd, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Does the next generation have a shot at the American Dream?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

We've got huge problems with money and debt in this country right now.

Unemployment is still relatively high with good paying jobs continuing to be scarce.

The housing market is still terrible. Home values are down on the year and a record number of properties are in foreclosure.

Banks now own 872,000 homes, according to the New York Times. That’s twice as many as in 2007. And they are in the process of foreclosing on about a million more. Scary stuff.

But despite all of this, most Americans believe the American Dream is alive and well, according to the Pew Economic Mobility Project.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans say they have achieved or will achieve the American Dream.

But the poll also found that less than one-third of Americans think their personal finances are excellent or good.

That number has dropped steadily since the start of the recession and it doesn't bode well for their kids and their kids' kids.

When asked if they thought their children will have a higher standard of living than they currently enjoy, fewer than half of Americans - only 47 percent - said yes.

Just two years ago, 62 percent said their kids will be better off than they are.

And these kids probably don't know what's in store for them.

In a separate poll of kids aged 12 to 17 conducted by Junior Achievement and the Allstate Foundation, only 7 percent think they will be worse off financially than their parents.... 89 percent think they will be the same or better off.

The eternal optimism of youth.

Here’s my question to you: Does the next generation have a shot at the American Dream?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mike in Dayton, Ohio:
I'm sick of hearing about the next generation inheriting a deficit. My parents and grandparents survived the Great Depression and a world war, and they succeeded. If the next generation is willing to put down their smart phones, remove their headphones and quit waiting for their inheritance long enough to work for a living, they might just realize the American dream.

David in Alexandria, Virginia:
They do. But, only if they understand that achieving the American Dream is based on ambition, hard work, and personal accountability. I mean, if you're 16, ready to drop out of high school, convinced that ultimately the government is obligated to provide for all your wants and needs, some "rich guy" ought to pay for it, and that somehow all of this is someone else's fault - I recommend you aim for some other country's Dream.

Mariah in South Carolina:
I just graduated from law school with student loans and cannot find a job, nor can the majority of my classmates. Most of my generation is not getting married just out of undergraduate school like our parents did, so there is no one to split the bills with either. Tack on escalating gas and food prices and how are we supposed to take on mortgages as well? It scares me to death. I fear the answer to your question is no.

Layne A. in Antioch, Illinois:
You're in the news business, look around. Anyone who's being totally honest these days, knows this country is headed to "Third World" status. Future generations won't have time for "dreams"– it'll be all they can do to put food in their stomachs and find shelter from the elements. "The Dream" left with the current crop of greed mongers from Wall Street and Corporate America.

Alex in Washington:
Not if this generation focuses more on X-box and Facebook instead of applying themselves to doing well in school.

R.:
If the American Dream is to work for the Department of Motor Vehicles or sit on your backside and collect a government hand-out, then yes, the American Dream is alive and well.


Filed under: United States
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. dystopiancircus

    Not a chance. Student loans, necessary higher taxes, rampant unemployment, inflation, globalization, peak oil, and the forthcoming results. I am twenty-six and we are the doomed generation.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  2. Russ in PA

    What is that dream? To spend and live as if you have no responsibility to take care of your own affairs? Or is to live as a free person, with the right to your own property and the fruit of your labor? Seems like the government wants to strip Americans of what is legally ours: the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    May 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  3. Mary MacElveen

    No, the next generation will not have an American Dream thanks to the politicians who give away everything to the rich and corporations. We are now living in a corpocracy not a democracy.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  4. Ed from Texas

    Not as long as we continue to electe insane politicians and the Bush Tax Cuts are allowed to continue.

    Ed
    Texas

    May 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  5. John from Alabama

    Jack: The American Dream of hard work and home ownership are still alive in this nation's people. The bundling of financial instruments was a scheme of Moody and Goldman Sachs. This scheme has destoryed the housing market and lead this nation into a deep recession, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Schemes do not stop those who are willing to work for their dreams, but those who invent schemes to stop or temporarily block these dreams there is a fine place in hell for them. Remember, Jack, home is where your heart is.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Conor in Chicago

    The American Dream died with Regan.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  7. Susan in Texas

    Jack, I do still believe in the American Dream, but you have to really want to succeed. I know there are so many hard working young people who have a shot at it, but it takes determination nowadays. The problem I have met so many young people who just DON'T have any desire to WORK. They seem to be lost. SAD.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  8. Jane (Minnesota)

    If things keep going the way they are right now – it will be very difficult for the new generation to live the American dream (the one most of us know, anyway) unles they are related to or good friends with at least one of the top 1% wealthy people, Jack. I'm very troubled watching so much power shift to so few.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  9. Bob Thomas

    What do you mean next genetation,I am still waiting for that dream.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  10. Jayne

    Does any generation have a shot at the American dream? If you aren't wealthy in this country it's very, very difficult given the rising cost of education, lack of decent paying jobs, patchwork healthcare and decreasing social services. I used to look at women with their infants and smile. Now I feel sad.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  11. Barbara Leavitt

    Right now that looks like a huge........maybe. It took years for our politicians to get us to where we are now and fixing it is going to take even more years. Frightening what they have done to this country and still refuse to work together to fix it. Both continue to play the blame game even though we, the American people have told them loud and clear we want actions.....not words.......not studies.....not blaming. So MAYBE the next generation has a shot. They've made it clear it won't happen for this generation.
    Henderson Nevada

    May 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  12. Ken in Seattle

    Only if our elected officials show some back bone and pass legislation which stops the financial raping and pillaging of America by financial institutions, Wall Street and hedge funds. Of course this would mean those officials would have to stop acting in their own self interest, and stop prostituting themselves to these pirates, and finally pass legislation which puts controls on the reprehensible activities which have ruined the lives of so many. The practices that have turned the American dream into a pipe dream for millions continue because our elected officials, of both parties, allow them to continue. Collectively, the a fore mentioned have cost millions their financial well being, and for million of others any hope of achieving it. This is nothing less than a crime against humanity.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  13. Carl

    Jack,

    With the worthless and corrupt leaders that we have now, always selling us out, no, is the answer, not a chance. We are truly in deep trouble.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Tony from Torrington

    Only if the GOP takes back the Senate and the White House in 2012, and the adults take over the government once again.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  15. barbara in nc

    If we can keep the republicans from taking away womens' rights, voting rights, and all the money from the poor and middle class to give to the republican corporatists.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  16. Akra Don

    The only 'dream' the next generation will experience is of the nightmare variety.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  17. B. J. , Quincy,Ill

    Dream! What dream. There hasn't been a dream since Martin Luther King.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  18. Peg in NY

    As of this moment, it is looking fairly grim. I am not at all certain what
    the next generation thinks the American Dream is, anymore.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  19. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    The only "shot" the next generation will have will be in drowning their sorrows at the local bar.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  20. Joyce H

    The next generation will have a shot at the so-called "American Dream", if Americans learn to work together to solve our problems. We need to put all of our prejudices, hatreds, and mis-truths aside, and function as one America, instead of the divisive America we now have, which some people seem bent on having to further their own ambitions. The American Dream needs to be defined. Does it mean wealth for some, not for others? Does it mean freedom for some, and not for others? Does it mean opportunity for some, and not for others?
    This is not the dream that was envisioned by our forefathers? The American Dream should not be based on greed, which seems to be the present day norm. The next generation should be taught that it takes hard work, respect for others, determination, and perserverance to achieve the American Dream. It is not something that is just handed down.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  21. Ken from Pinon Hills. California

    The American dream has become an economic nightmare!
    The dream of a reasonably priced home evaporated when the Wall st. real estate giants invaded my neighborhood, and others a few years ago. One example, they inflated the price of my sixteen thousand dollar home to an eventual three hundred thousand dollar in little over a decade, an out of sight price for the young generation.
    The point is their is no gravity to prices of anything, and the sky seems to be the limit.
    The next generation faces economic slavery at the hands of the marketplace, the drudgery that has been cascading into our middle class.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  22. Jim S

    It doesn't look like it Jack. With the loss of American jobs overseas by the selfish corporations, run away health insurance costs, rising education costs, housing costs, and the cost of gasoline to mention a few, it's gonna be awfully hard. I have to wonder if a college education is worth it anymore when you come out owing $200,000 in this job market. Something has got to change or we're becoming a 3rd world country.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  23. David , Laguna Niguel CA

    Only if we ALL admit we have an addiction to debt and government entitlements, and we ALL agree to participate in the detox program. By ALL, I mean EVERYONE who lives in this country.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  24. Jackie Brown

    I believe the American Dream now is just to be able to survive the legacy of the American nightmare GW Bush left us with... We're doomed!!!

    May 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  25. Brad, Portland, OR

    With so-called free trade and outsourcing, all the manufacturing jobs are going to China and all the professional jobs, like computer programmers, are going to India.

    With nothing left in the US but flipping burgers, entertainment, and professional sports, NONE of us but the actors and professional athletes will be able to live the American Dream.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  26. Greg in Arkansas

    The American Dream has turned into nothing more than a fantasy for most people unless you are born into a family that benefits from corporate "profits" where you can make decisions like:
    Out-sourcing jobs to other states to eliminate union wages;
    Out-sourcing more jobs to other counties for cheaper labor or
    Hiring illegal workers willing to work for less pay than American workers....and.....while, blaming the illegal workers, the unions and the politicians for the problems, demand more tax breaks to create more jobs that can be.........yep, you guessed it.....out-sourced............

    The new American Dream for a few is a nightmare for the rest of us....

    May 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  27. Susan Frost

    Only if the Republicans all get raptured, otherwise the American middle class and the Constitution are toast.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    May 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  28. Bill from Green Bay

    The NEXT generation? How about THIS generation. I have worked all my life, have a Bachelors degree and a bagful of certifications. I still RENT a home, have steep student loan payments, and at 50 wonder if I'm ever going to be able to retire. The American Dream for me is fading fast.
    However, the American Dream is definitely attainable. It's all about better decisions in youth and parents who will guide you to make intelligent decisions for your future.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  29. Rich McKinney, Texas

    It does not look like it Jack. America is broke and children that have not even been born yet will be left to pay it's debts if that is even possible. Being born into a society who's leaders can not manage it's finances nor afford to pay those it borrowed from does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling for the future of America.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  30. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think the American dream has died sometime ago. The only chance for living the American dream is if you are born wealthy. The only way things will improve for the average citizen would be if the rich and powerful, special interest groups, and high paid lobbyist allow it. I truly believe this at this time. I think that is why campaign promises are not kept and only made by both sides to get elected. The candidates running for office know full well that the people supplying them with money to run comes with strings attached. Those strings attached are not in the interest of the average citizen.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  31. James in Greenville, NC

    They have a shot but it is a long shot. We had it so good for so long that we thought it would never end. Younger Americans are going to have to learn to redefine happiness. Older Americans are going to have to go back to work. The only ones who will be happy will be those who have passed on beyond the grasp of the tax man.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  32. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Given the current state of the economy, the job market, and the rising cost of gas, food, education, etc., I don't see how the next generation stands a chance at the American Dream. I'd like to thank the government, and the wealthy, for "killing off" the middle class. Bravo!

    May 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  33. Ed from California

    As long as they don't expect much!! As long as they're happy working in the Fast Food Industry, The Car Cleansing Industry, or perhaps, being a door greeter somewhere.....then, yeah, they'll have a good shot at the American Dream......poverty!!!

    Where are the JOBS!!! Mr. Boehner!!! Mr. Cantor!!! Mr. Hukabee!!! Mr. Trump!!! Mr. Pence!!! Mrs. Bachmann!!! Isn't that what you ran on, during this past election!!! So, where are they?? The "Rich" have theirs, and the, "trickle down" isn't so far, happening yet!!! So, where are the jobs????

    May 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  34. John ................... Marlton, NJ

    Yes they will ...How long do you think the grown ups are going to allow this crap to keep going on?

    May 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  35. Dave

    Of course they have a shot. I never thought I would have as good as my parents, but in fact I have it better. Those who work hard and work smart will be just fine. Those that don't, wont. The American dream doesn't just fall in your lap. You have to work for it. That's how it has always been.
    Dave
    Seattle

    May 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  36. louie wingo port richey fl

    Yes, slim and none

    May 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  37. Phil, Georgia

    I hope so! With all of theses greedy businesses, oil, republicans; hopefully it will atleast be a middle class to strive for. The rich don't want you to have any rights and make all of the opportunities only for themselves...shipping jobs overseas, no collective barganing, scaming home loans while using our tax dollars. They have to get the greed beat out of them for our kids to have hope. If humans would just get sum above what they needed and then gave back, it wouldn't be any problems.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  38. Art Folden

    First the question needs to be asked: What IS the "American Dream"?

    May 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  39. bonnie from NJ

    There is no American dream anymore for middle (or what's left of them) or lower class. Between the deline of education, wages, job availability, affordable health care etc. etc. etc. in this country, you had better be born rich. It is only going to get worse, the deficit and budget balancing is going to come at the expense of any domestic programs that help the lower/middle class. There is nothing being done about bringing back decent paying jobs to this country, higher education costs will soon be completely out of range of affordability. There will be no help coming from our bought and paid for politicians by the rich/corporate America. It is a sad state of affairs.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  40. Sylvia from California

    Of course....However, the "American Dream" will be quite different. The population will shift to lower cost states with California left to the very wealthy and homeless.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  41. calaurore9

    With a little luck, but mostly hard work, our son will begin his dream job in September. He graduated from NYU last week magna cum laude and earned his shot at the American Dream. Nice to know it's still possible.

    Carol in Northampton, MA

    May 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  42. Bill in New Mexico

    Nope!

    The problem that prevents the U.S. from restoring health to its economy is:

    Both the magnitude of the total debt and the annual budget deficit.

    The cure is big or significant budget cuts as well as significant tax increases. This will hurt the recovery or cause a recession. This "cure" will hurt and hurt a long time.

    The solution will therefore be very painful and will last through an election or two elections or even longer.

    Out of pain, the voters will vole out of office the brave legislaturers who enacted the "cure". The newly elected legislaturers will stop the cure by continuing the growth of debt.

    Yes, the U.S. Dream does not look recoverable. I think every State of the Union Address should include the Nationa Debt figure as well as the annual buget deficit.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  43. Rose

    The next generation will not have a shot unless the politicians start running the government "of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE" and not for the corporations, who are trying to bring back legalized slavery.

    Rose
    Nashville, TN

    May 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  44. JENNA ROSEVILLE CA

    Does the next generation have a shot at the American Dream?

    Isn't the real question Does THIS generation have a shot at the American Dream, Jack?

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    May 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  45. francap

    Yes, of course. This is not doomsday. Remember– WW11, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, the Salem Witch Burning, Slavery, the McCarthy Communist Witch Hunts, Richard Nixon, Child Labor, etc,etc,etc.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  46. Tina Tx

    Yes they do but they will have to tread more carefully than the boomers since my generation have alot of material junk but no monetary to sustain us in our waining years. The next generation will have to buy only what they need not what they want and they will go far. They could become the relucant generation and show those of us who were glutions how to do things right. I hope so. Things will rebound. They always do. I wish them luck.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  47. David Hamilton in Dayton, OH

    Absolutely. Serious problems, like the national debt or job creation, are simply political footballs that one or the other party keeps tossing about – usually for their own advantage. The US still rewards achievement, still encourages hard work – those things haven't changed. The path to the dream has changed a bit – better to be a computer programmer or web designer than a worker in a shoe factory. But " half a century ago, it was better to be looking for the American Dream in a manufacturing firm than, say, being a farmer. No one said finding the 'American Dream' was going to be easy?

    May 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  48. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    What dream, it's all nightmares from here on end until China self-destructs but by then no one here will know how to work or spell their name with all of the cuts in education.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  49. Annie, Atlanta

    Sure, as long as the "American Dream" means work as hard as you can for as long as you can in order to help our elected officials make the rich richer.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  50. Sandstone.

    "There never was an American Dream! Just the illusions from your 'Hollywood' movies!! You! The USA used the weekness of two European wars, to try and get the upper hand. Yes they came from all over Europe to the USA and Canada with all kinds of idea's, and you were ready and willing to accept them! But now you're broke! Most of those idea's that came to North America (Inc Canada) jumped ship for the East China? India? Etc?? I guess I am lost on all the mistakes you have made. Obama was the final nail in the coffin!!"

    May 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  51. David of Alexandria VA

    They do. But, only if they understand that achieving the American Dream is based on ambition, hard work, and personal accountability. I mean, if you're 16, ready to drop out of high school, convinced that ultimately the government is obligated provide for all your wants and needs, some "rich guy" ought to pay for it, and that somehow all of this is someone else's fault - I recommend you aim for some other country's Dream.

    May 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  52. Mike S., Dayton Ohio

    I'm sick of hearing about the next generation inheriting a deficit. My parents and grandparents survived the great depression and a world war, and they succeeded. If the next generation is willing to put down their smart phones, remove their headphones and quit waiting for their inheritance long enough to work for a living, they might just realize the American dream.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  53. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Jack,only if we get rid of the American nightmare that now resides in the White House and the United States Senate!

    May 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  54. Pete from Georgia

    Absolutely.
    As soon as we rid America of government involvement in 80% of places they have deviously crept into, almost ruining free enterprise, the capitalist system, and personal liberties that used to make America great.

    Not to worry.
    Starting in Nov. 2012 a return to sanity will begin..................and not too soon.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  55. Layne Alleman

    Jack, You're in the news bis, look around, at current events, the lies of the government, Wall Street, ect., ect.,. Anyone who's being Totally honest these days, knows this country is headed to "Third World" status(if we haven't already gotten there). Future generations won't have time for "dreams", it'll be all they can do to put food in their stomachs and find shelter from the elements. "The Dream" left with the current crop of greed mongers of Wall Street and Corporate America, they're just trying to scoop up the last crumbs before leaving. Hang onto your hats boys and girls, there's a real rough road ahead. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  56. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl let's see, our country has no energy policy other than to import more oil, our country refuses to stem the flow of immigration (legal & illegal) as they take more jobs than are being created, jobs continue to be escorted OUT of the USA by our politicians, those breaking our laws are not being prosecuted on all levels of our government, and now even the government is laying off. Come to Tampa and see people begging IN the streets all over town, almost at every intersection and tell me these people have the answer to getting that American Dream. I don't think so.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  57. Josh from New Orleans

    The rich and upper class have made the American Dream into a marketing campaign as they slowly take that dream away from the people who cannot afford it. How can I live my dream when I have to support the people who are already living theirs?

    May 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  58. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Not if this generation focuses more on X-box and Facebook instead of applying themselves to doing well in school.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  59. David in Tampa

    Hell Jack, I'm 62 and most of my generation didn't have a shot at the American dream. Things are even worse now that many of the better paying blue collar jobs and a growing number of white collar jobs are going elsewhere. I just saw another bit of fantasy. Some politician launching a "truth" campaign. That has about as much chance of happening as the next generation realizing the "American Dream."

    May 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  60. sheila

    I feel sad for the young adults of our country. What kind of work is available for them so that they can obtain the American dream? Most of them are trying to survive and others are forced to live with their parents when they should be enjoying living independently. I see little or no change for them when so many in congress feel that the money and perks stay with the already uber-rich when there's been no evidence that it'll trickle down and jobs with a living wage will be created.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  61. John from Phoenix

    Yes, if you work for a government union. Otherwise only a lucky few will. Previous generations have squandered the American dream for most, lived themselves the life of Riley at taxpayer expense and to add insult to injury, they have stiffed future generations on the check, and left it for others to pay.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  62. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Jack you should rephrase that question. Does the next generation of other than the rich class have a shot at the American dream?
    The poor are just going to be poorer. The middle class are loosing thier place in line as middle class. The rich are feeding off the middle class and getting fatter.
    I'm afraid that all that will be left for comming generations is just that, a dream.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  63. Robby Bowling

    At the present rate were going no. To many crooked politicians & bankers. Too many moochers who are getting a free ride on the backs on too few of us working. Too many problems & too few solutions. Too many freedoms have been lost for too few a reason . Were too busy complaining without understanding. Too many want a free ride.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  64. lou

    They do, but it won't be our dream. Our generation dreamed of a little house with a white picket fence. Not these kids; their marrying later and having kids later. Their american dream isn't confined to a 1/2 acre lot in a mid priced neighborhood. They want the world and they'll get it with a future rich in technology and access to people and places we only read about growing up. As for the economics, Americans always seem to find a way to generate a living from the current trends of the time.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  65. Ed from MD

    No chance, by then the top 1% will own 99% of the property for carbon credit income. They won't want people breathing on it so people will be kept in prisons where their exhaust can be treated before entering the same atmosphere that the chipmunks and top 1% will breathe.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  66. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    Of course. The money problem is only an issue because we refuse to solve it. The solution is quite doable. However, if we keep waiting to solve this, it will become more and more difficult.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  67. Dave in Arizona

    No. Corporations have stolen the American dream. All of our politicians are bought and paid for by lobbyists. No one represents we the people anymore. Our courts, which are supposed to be free of party lines are nothing more than political appointee hacks.

    The world is controlled by the rich, and we are so stupid that we keep electing them to high places. When is the last time you saw a poor politician.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  68. Sean

    If we can get debt and spending under control and let free markets do their thing, there is no doubt this generation will be better off. But the way things are going, we should look at the youth of Greece to get an understanding for what ours are in store for.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  69. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Of course they do. There is always more and better stuff and the next generation, because it is smaller than the prior generation, will get more of the old stuff when the baby boomers die out.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  70. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Jack
    The American Dream, as we once knew it, is history. There was a significantly different definition of the American Dream for baby boomers than their predecessors who lived through the Great Depression.
    We are now in a period of "Share the Dream". That means the next generation will share in the American Dream of their parents and experience the redefined post 2008 recession American Dream some 20 plus years down the road.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  71. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    The next generation is the American dream, more so than our generation.

    This problem is finally identified and brought to the surface, and in one way or the other will be remedied which will allow for future growth for all of today's youth.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  72. Scott in Bellingham

    First let me say every single child in a local school district qualifies for federally assisted school lunches. More than half of the graduating seniors in 3 local High Schools sleep somewhere else at night than in their own parents' home.

    I heard on the news that 40,000,000 Americans are on food stamps.

    Most less fortunate people are smiling loving people despite hardship.

    If you gave less fortunate people the question, "What is the American Dream?" how many do you think would know an answer?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  73. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    The "American Dream" – to be able to work hard and see benefits of that work – is as dead as the successes of the trickle-down economic theories of the 80s, 90s, 00s, and to date.

    An appropriate epitaph for "The American Dream":
    Here lies our dream, replaced by rich corporations, big business, and uncontrolled greed. Long live Reganism.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  74. James D. Van Zandt

    NO!!!! And i find it more disconcerting that Social Security doesnt rate a cost of living raise when our President Obama spends millions on his photo op trip to Ireland!!!!!!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  75. Katja in Bradenton, Florida

    Nope, they sure don't. The politicians in Washington and in the state capitals are helping to make life as difficult as possible for people who just want to live their own lives. They attack Medicaid and Planned Parenthood, rather than get off their collective butts and try to create jobs. Term limits is the key word.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  76. Ralph Spyer

    Unions gave us a 40hr work week, they fought and died for pension and welfair, a safe working environment . Well only 12% of Americans belong to a union and they are going after the teacher ,and state and city workers now. The best days of America are gone with the wind.What we have now are 12 million illegal who stand on a street corner and work for chump change

    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  77. Bobbi from L.A.

    Sure... as long as their parents are bankers, lawyers, and politicians who can afford to send them to private schools and colleges, and negotiate jobs for them once they graduate. That's what all this is coming down to, you know. The haves, and the have nots... It's the Republican way.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  78. Mr. D

    If a higher standard of living you mean more crap that we really don't need, they probably will be disappointed. That does not mean, however, that they will necessarily have a less enjoyable and produtive life. Sometimes less is more.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  79. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We won't see the next generation doing back breaking hard labor work but they will be living the American Dream created by technology, they just have to be prepared.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  80. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I think, the American dream no matter how it is defined and related to past descriptions of the "dream" has been severely reduced for the coming generations. At the same time I have told our youngsters they got their cars, their parties, their clothes, their sports, their electronics , they got everything but a functioning democracy. They are screwed (not the upper 5% of the wealthy) unless government is held accountable and prosecuted. Good luck!

    May 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  81. Randy

    No. With this form of (crony) capitalism the millionaires and billionaires get to have the American dream and steal a few more peoples' dreams while they're at it. The country went broke and the rich became filthy rich.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  82. dave in nashville

    Sure they do, just get a job with the federal government and rent a home, live the dream and put in 30 years or whatever to get full benefits until they die lie the rest of us.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  83. Rob in NC

    It is a dream after all. Everyone needs to be able to dream. Unfortunately, we currently live in an American Nightmare. Perhaps the "dream" of a government FOR the PEOPLE, by the people will become a reality again someday. Until that happens things aren't going to get much better. Rob in NC

    May 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  84. william waters

    When I think of the "American Dream", it meant owning a home and
    having a nice white picket fence in the front yard with 3 or 4 kids and
    a pet to play with. Walking to school, taking your lunch in a brown bag,
    and everyone sitting down to dinner as a family. Only the Father in
    the family worked and the mother was a full time homemaker.......

    The only difference now is, you can't buy a home for $ 12,000 anymore with a 7 year loan for $ 61/month. Most neighborhood associations won't allow fences in their front yards, and your dog
    had better be on a leash or its a lawsuit waiting to happen. And
    2 kids are plenty, with a mom who works and gets home after dad
    does. Other than that, the American Dream is still alive, and pizza
    is still the number 1 choice for dinner.....

    Its not a dream anymore Jack, its called REALITY!!!
    bill/taylorsville, nc

    May 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  85. Gigi Oregon

    If the American dream is still there for the young people in the next twenty years their parents are going to have to wake up and change their life style. When corporate America can send their businesses over seas to be produced for more profit, and keep their money over there not to pay U.S. taxes...that is not hope for a brighter tomorrow for our children. When corrupt banking and mortgage lending is bailed out for paying to high of bonuses, the Tea party breaking/tearing down the teachers unions... that's not preparing the way for a brighter America for our youth. When our government officals/representatives fight among themselves and collect bribes from corporate American to keep business as usual...that is not encouraging our young people to develop a respectable life style. When our tax money is sent overseas to waring countries instead of building and keeping America strong...how does that make living in the United States a place to dream...for a better life.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  86. dave in nashville

    American Dream? Now we Americans want to usurp even dreams every person born has around the world?
    Enough of the fairy tale that we are the greatest nation, the greatest people, the answer to freedom for the world.
    Pretty obnoxious you ask me.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  87. Laura

    I do pray the kids are right on this one.
    Laura
    Hawthorne, Ca

    May 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  88. Tim Sit

    Are you kidding me? Did we put a single one of those greedy bankers in jail? No. In fact, NO ONE that was responsible for this current mess was ever so much as charged. Instead, they're getting bonuses, and put into positions of power over a dwindling middle class. So here's my question for you – how do we "recover" when there has been nothing done to curb the behavior responsible for this disaster? Katrina was a circumstance of nature. Wall street was a crime of choice. If we're unwilling to put a stop to this idiocy, then there is no possibility of recovery. The "future" is now, Jack, and it's not pretty.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  89. Tom, Montana

    A lot fewer of the next generation will have a shot at the American Dream. There will be fewer of them to feed the many aging babyboomers. They will be paying off huge national and foreign debts left by the babyboomers. They will be competing with ever more people willing to do the same job for much less in other countries. They will be in ever more fierce competition for dwindling resources. They will be faced with energy prices especially for oil, which will make today's prices look dirt cheap. For most of the next generation it's going to remain nothing but a dream.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  90. lynnej in nc

    Uh, no because there is really no such thing, especially now because they have student loans, they can't find a job, no health insurance and maybe no Medicaid in their old age. Oh wait, that is me now and I'm 45. If that is me now, what chance do those younger have? Not much.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  91. Matt from Munster, IN

    Sure my generation has a shot at the American Dream. All we have to do is overcome the continuing mediocrity of the nation's secondary education and the increase of tuition of our colleges and universities. Needless to say, the American Dream seems to be possible only for the select few who come from families that are financially well off.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  92. Tim in Monument Colorado

    My Mom and Dad never made more than $30k a year and we always owned a Home. I bought my 1st house at the age of 21 without going to college (not ideal). For me it was done by working 80-90 hours a week. I worked with people with multiple part time jobs and we made it work. The dream will not happen for the socially dependant. Look what happened when we tried. It requires a job to own a home!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  93. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, the only thing our kid's have to look forward to is being our "janitor's" because they will be cleaning up the mess we've made and failed to fix. The American dream has died. We're now the minions of large corporations, big banks, and corrupt politicians who are bent on stripping our rights and our pocketbooks.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  94. Karl in Flint

    Looking at my own grandchildren here in Michigan of all places, they are doing fine. They are in school and working part time. They are saving for the future and have an optimistic outlook. All we need now is for the wealthy to get a conscience and support the system that made them, or their ancestors, rich and then all will benefit. Our biggest problem isn’t spending, it’s our tax code.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  95. Ken in NC

    Not as long as Republicans, Big Business and the Koch brothers have their hands on the crotch of the American economy choking it until it hurts. They are working on making the "American Work Force" a source of Slave Labor to their businesses and right now they are winning until the people have had enough and rebel against them. Trust me, they will. Maybe not in my lifetime but they will tire of being a Slave Labor Force to the money.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  96. Alex - Victoria, British Columbia

    No, not unless their American Dream is paying off the debts of previous generations, cowboy presidents who shoot first and borrow for it later and wall street wizards who peddle deception. The best this coming-of-age generation can hope for is to work hard, keep their heads above water, and do what they can to give their kids a shot at the dream.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  97. ted wa

    only if the dream doesn't include freedom!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  98. April, Iowa

    No, I don't think the next generation has a shot at the American Dream because we contine to pile on debt and the future generation won't have the means to pay for it. If the next generation has a shot at the American Dream then we have to stop spending more than we take in and start paying off the debt that has crept to record highs. We also have to make moves to save Social Security and the Welfare program. If we don't do these things then the next generation has no shot.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  99. Phil Boynton

    Jack, without a doubt. It is time for this nation to stop this belief that we're doomed to decline. America will endure and so too will the American Dream. For we need only to start believing in ourselves and our country once again. America will ride again.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  100. Jordan in Birmingham

    Not as long as the older generation refuses to pay into the system. With taxes at an all-time low and Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare for everyone currently under 55 not making many waves among seniors, I sense older voters aren't interested in maintaining the systems that aided them for future generations. Won't anyone think of the children?

    May 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  101. Eve Lemon

    Not if Americans keep electing the same crooks in

    Congress. Eve of Texas

    May 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  102. Arlene Bonneau

    No, I don't think so. It's getting harder to keep employment, and still with people losing homes and moving back in with parents or grandparents, it still is not easy. I fear not just for the next generation, but also for my grandchildrens generation.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  103. mark koenig

    Social mobility is now, has been, and will continue to be a myth. A few exceptions do not make a rule, and so one can point at exceptions to attempt to prove the reality of this myth, but if one looks to the actual statistics you will quickly find that the American Dream of social mobility does not exist in the awake life. Exceptions by definition are exceptional and thus outside the norm, if they were not exceptional it would just be how it is. In any economic structure certain exceptions can change their station by being exceptional in one way or another, but for the average joe social mobility is an unattainable goal. Your heart may disagree, but the statistics don't lie.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  104. Greg / New York - Upper West Side

    Yes, the next generation has a shot if they get a job at companies like Goldman Sachs, Apple, Google and Facebook. That means rolling up their sleeves and studying mathematics, the sciences and computer programming, so education is essential. We need to spend more on education and less on wars if our children are to live the american dream. Let's put our money and effort in the right places.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  105. Ed Fertik

    Thanks to Obama and his socialist agenda, the American dream for our youth is becoming the ability to live off others and to become dependent on big federal government instead of education, hard work and determination.

    New York

    May 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  106. Christina

    Have a chance? Yes. If they work hard, learn Mandarin, and look toward selling to China! I'm a D.A.R, btw, and a hard-worker. Never give up, kids. There is always a way!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  107. Joel Taylor

    Will the next generation be better off?
    Yes if they work in CHINA!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  108. Dominique, Cincinnati

    Of course we do!! My generation has been looked on as slackers and kids who depend on their parents way too much. But we have the potential, and resources to moove past this stereotype and shock the world. With things looming for us such as paying for Social Security, student loans, etc., we have many things to overcome. However, just as in the past, our generation will succeed just as the youth did after WWII, the Great Depression, and just as our parents have. We WILL achieve the American Dream

    May 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  109. DK in tennessee

    Absolutely! The American dream is still available to those who understand they have to work for it. If you want it, go get it!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  110. Michael

    No. The American Dream is a sham used by the capitalist system to put working people further into debt and make us slaves to the banks and corporations. If there's any hope for prosperity in the future, we'll need a revolutionized economic system, one that many are too stupid to understand. I'm only 17, but I know that this system just isn't working.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  111. Jon erlandson

    Yes,the American Dream is alive. Our best days are ahead of us. It will requires faith, hard work and a solid belief in "Yes We Can."

    May 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  112. Susan from Idaho

    If the American dream is to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness then of course. Some of the poorest among us are living just the way they want. Riches can sometimes spell nightmare. We can all do more with less.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  113. Scott - New York

    Yes, if they move to Canada.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  114. Sam, Palm Valley, FL

    As long as people can "dream" of a better life, they can effect a change for a better life.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  115. Blake

    Well Jack speaking as a member of the next generation i hope so but i would like to think of myself more as a realist as opposed to an optimist. With the trillions and trillions of dollars that MY generation will have to pay off it’s hard to believe that the American dream is the same as it once was. But part of what makes the United States great is its ability to adapt, and as an American I will do the same.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  116. Mike in Minneapolis

    I'm a Gen Xer. Since this recession began I was laid-off from a good job with great benefits and took a part time job at which I often work more then fifty hours a week. I buy my own medical insurance and contribute to my own IRA since I do not have access to a 401(k) plan. I also recently purchased a condo in – literally – the most desired part of town for a terrific price – and not from a bank. On that note, I have a job, medical insurance, a nice place to live and a plan for retirement. I think if Americans would model themselves more on the SIlent Generation (AKA the Greatest Generation), keep their mouths shut and ears and eyes open for their own personal brass ring, I think they will find the American dream intact.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  117. Rafael Minero

    Jack, the next generation does have a shot at the American Dream if the current generation finds pride in it's country again.

    Pomona, California

    May 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  118. Jenn

    Oh, please. My generation's chance at "The American Dream" died when corporate Baby Boomers began outsourcing jobs overseas to pad their own pockets during when we were still in diapers. Those same Boomers are now drawing off the Social Security MY generation is paying for. I firmly believe my generation will never even see our Social Security...sounds like a pretty bum deal to me.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  119. glenn

    Yes they do. But only if they stop working for other people.
    follow their dreams and become an entrepreneur.
    control their income take a chance

    May 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  120. Ed

    Possibly, but they may need to brush up an Portuguese and head to Brazil...

    May 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  121. Jeff in VA

    American Dream is a charade built on being in debt up to one's eyeballs. Hopefully the next generation won't make the same foolish mistakes of this generation. There are better ways of enjoying life than constant chase of material possessions.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  122. Mariah, SC

    I just graduated from law school with student loans and cannot find a job, nor can the majority of my classmates. Most of my generation is not getting married just out of undergraduate school like our parents did, so there is no one to split the bills with, either. Rack on escalating gas and food prices... How are we supposed to saddle on mortgages as well? It scares me to death. I fear the answer to your question is no.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  123. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Only if Americans begin to realize – with apologies to borrowing from a Sheryl Crow lyric – It's not having what you want , It's wanting what you've got

    May 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  124. Mike in Dearborn MI

    I can't tell you if my kids or my kids' kids will have the same opportunities to chart their own course in life, ie the so-called American Dream, but I can tell you that I'm very worried. The reoccurring legislative gridlock and hyper-partisanship of the last couple decades, save for about a month after 9/11, has left many major problems to fester.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  125. Robert Ernster

    If they vote against the republican money-grubbers they do.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  126. Dmari Von Lintel

    We can never lose our optimism & our hope to better ourselves! Maybe we just need to adapt our own version of the "Dream", but we MUST hold the spirit & belief that wherever we are... we can do better!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  127. Okey

    Definitely the next generation has a shot at the American dream. The truth is that one needs to look and work harder than usual, as the American dream is now a World dream.
    Success is definitely achievable as far as one is prepared, educationally, focused and determined to compete in a world where we no longer have national companies but Global ones. We will compete for for everything henceforth and no politician regardless of what they say, can change that.
    America needs to be prepared, China topping science and maths globally and the republicans stating that they want to cut education is not a recipe for ensuring the next generation achieves the American dream.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  128. Cody King

    Jack,
    You so often remind me of the negative populism that once gripped the American South a century ago. As a senior in college, I acknowledge the difficulties that lay before those of us who are about to enter the job market, however, where there is difficulty and a challenge, there also lies great opportunity and future prosperity. My generation will redefine the "American Dream", it shouldn't be what it was for our parents and grandparents. We aren't the Me Generation, we're the We Generation, and I for one, hope that the excess and obsession with materialism is transformed into a new era of shared commitment to education, discovery, and humanity. The age of industrialism is over and the Information Age has arrived Jack; we're simply enduring the growing pains that outskirt a period of great enlightenment.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  129. Greg Schuter

    No.
    The politicians and ruling elite know the truth – its called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  130. theorycraft

    America is in no trouble right now, whether the next generation realizes their American dream is up to them. My generation was heavily influenced by the Vietnam War and anti-establishment but as America falls in the ranks, I see kids take up education and strive harder for their futures. This issue is cyclical and will fix itself. If you stray from the noise, you will find that America is still the land of innovation, creativity, and the international center for new ideas; those who want to succeed, still succeed in America. And as we hammer it into their heads that China is going to rule the world, the next generation will find more opportunities where they think they can make a difference and contribute to society – and they will naturally follow their passion.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  131. DK in tennessee

    Absolutely! The American dream is still available to those who understand they have to work for it.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  132. Peter Bonafonte, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    I think it depends on which side of the economic divide you sit.

    If you're in top top 5% I believe your American Dream is assured.
    If not you can live out the American Dream vicariously thru reality TV.

    Remember "Life Styles Of The Rich And famose"?

    May 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  133. gary cameron

    the "american dream"? really? the american dream has been destroyed, it was once a possibility that any american citizen could achieve. But the moment that corporations became persons, that possibility began to dissipate and now totally destroyed.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  134. Bill, RNBA

    No problem...As a group the US can adapt : We all went unleaded & that was a huge change after which we now all drive unleaded cars. We just need to change our focus to the new job market's needs...Computer Sciences etc., , Healthcare is always in need...The Trades will pick up soon w/ all the infrastructure repair coming down the pike.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  135. Justin

    There may be a chance. The economy is starting to recover also we need to improve the education in America this is one of the issue that America had a problem with the high school drop out we should stop that and the the percentage of the education in the U.S. is 68%, we should have up to 77% as before. Kids can have a shot in there American dream with good education.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  136. Peter Moriarty

    I started with nothing, but this country used to provide opportunities for those that were willing to work hard. With a good education and hard work I achieved what might be called the American Dream. We are now experiencing the Obama-lead nightmare that penalizes those who achieve and subsidizes those who do not contribute. It will be much more difficult for my children to achieve the American Dream.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  137. George

    If the country keeps on it's present path the only people who will have a shot at the American dream are people in other countries. America's now second to last when it comes to investing in itself in just about every way imaginable education,manufacturing,public works ect ect ect you name it. It's time to stop nation building..........OTHER NATIONS.
    George
    Chester,Ct.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  138. David Scott Doherty

    A shot at the American dream, are you kidding me! In my view they'll be luck to get a full tank of gas, that will be the new American dream. Things are going to get a whole lot uglier.
    dave from NH.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  139. Nickie P.

    I think so. But the thing you have to remember is that it's not strictly the "American" Dream anymore, because the world is so connected. It's more...the "Freedom" Dream. It's the dream of anyone who hopes to make a difference and change the world. It's the dream of anyone who hopes to change themselves.

    I'm eighteen, and just about to graduate highschool. I know things are tough, but I live on a farm in a small town in Ohio, and my mom lost her job two years ago. I was raised on tough. And honestly, I can still see the bright, hopeful future in front of me when I remember to look.

    Life is tough. Freedom, and those who believe in it, is tougher.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  140. J. Emunson

    Jack: No, the next generation of the middle class and lower classes will not have a chance at the American Dream. It is unfortunate that our elected representatives and senators are not working for the people... only the very rich and large corporations. Until we can throw out the WA lobbiest and penalize corporations for shipping jobs overseas....the situation will not change.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  141. thom richer

    Not a chance. Worker's rights, benefits, and retirements are quickly being taken away and denied. The next generation of workers are being led down a dead end street by corporate America. Leading them to believe that they will be taken care of financially to cover medical, living, and retirement expenses without SS, retirement and medical/Medicare benefits. They are to trust their employers blindly knowing full well they will not receive a fair and living wage to ensure their and their family's financial security. Those rights so needed by workers that set America apart from other country's labor forces like, unions, the right to strike, longevity, arbitration, and respect for what a worker does, are all but dead. Capitalism is all about profits, not about worker's welfare and rights. Profits at any cost. To believe that a company will provide workers with security without these labor rights is as naive as naive can be.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    May 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  142. Julius of Alaska

    Endurance has always been a key trait when describing "America", "American" and "The American Dream". It is silly but yes, I do buy into the American propaganda that this nation pumps out. I do look around me with cynicism but with an optimistic view that America will endure the worse and come out stronger, maybe even wiser. As parents, educators and role models come together America CAN inform our children to do the unthinkable. I dare say that America has a chance at a bright future.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  143. Aaron

    Entitlements grew out of control and set the expectation that people will be 'taken care of' by the government which is so wrong. The next generation will have to clean up the mess that the Boomers created. We should be investing in the future more with infrastructure, jobs and innovation investment instead of giving out free medications to old people.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  144. Dennis

    Hey Jack – I'm sure that your parents during the great depression thought that things would not get better either – BUT IT DID GET BETTER!
    Americans need to realize that we have just been through a Great Recession – and we are coming out of it – And things ARE getting better! The Economy is gradually getting better – OVER 2 million jobs have been CREATED under President Obama . That is a good thing!

    It is sure better than the almost collapse of the economy, and lose of jobs that happened under President Bush!

    Evidence shows that jobs are being created again – here in America!.
    And President Obama is going to be one of the first Presidents who actually puts in place a plan to REDUCE the National debt by $4 Trillion dollars.

    So YES, things will Continue to get better for America!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  145. Bev

    American dream huh American NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  146. Jimmy

    sure... if they want to move to Canada....

    May 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  147. Lester M

    The American Dream is always alive. Each generation comes into adulthood with its own set of challenges, including external factors such as the country and global economy, growing and shrinking industries, and national security thrusts. In spite of that, some will create opportunities, some will find jobs, and some will give up hope. The naysayers who say that the American Dream is dead need to tune out the negativity from certain media sources, and encourage our next generation to be the innovators that have ALWAYS been the fuel behind the American Dream – since the inception of our country.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  148. Lovely

    No. And if I hear one more baby boomer tell me to work hard like they did, I'm going to scream. Baby boomers didn't work any harder than we are.

    The baby boomers sucked this country dry with poor financial management, especially on the public level. While the greatest generation saved and paid their bills, including World War II and the New Deal, the baby boomers just charged their bills - to us.

    Every baby boomer should be required to give up their retirement funds to help pay the deficit they racked up.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  149. AB

    Jack, the answer to your question depends on whether the next generation becomes frugal, work hard and smartly and get real about the realiies of the new world. The future is promised to no one and everyone and each generation must work to create their futures and lives.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  150. Megan

    I am 18 years old, and even I know that the American Dream is dwindling. You see college-educated baggers at grocery stores and police officers and firemen struggling to feed their families, while those in the sports and entertainment business get big bucks for doing nothing valuable to society except bloating America's already large ego. It's a shame, but it appears that the American Dream is now morphing into something the founding fathers would be ashamed of.

    May 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm |