FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
We've got huge problems with money and debt in this country right now.
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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.
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.