The Answer for Renewing the American Dream and America
Not Socialism. Not Capitalism. A More Inclusive and Equitable Democracy
In this 20th year of the 21st century, the United States of America has become a land of inequality and a sanctuary for the rich and powerful. The top 1% of earners have more wealth than the bottom 80% and the top 20% have more wealth than all those in the middle class.
America today is an economically divided nation. And, as we noted in our previous blog, those on the underside of that divide include many in the middle class, blue collar or low wage workers, gig workers and the working poor.
The Public’s Attitudes Regarding Our Economic Conditions
In spite of the hard times for these citizens, various polls have shown that there is still considerable faith in the economy, the American dream, and capitalism. (It should be noted that attitudes have become more pessimistic since the emergence of the coronavirus.)
In a Gallup poll conducted at the beginning of this year, 62% of the participants rated economic conditions as “Excellent” or “Good.” A Marist poll for NPR and the PBS Newshour in mid-July of 2019 had similar findings, with 65% of those surveyed stating the economy is “working well for you personally.”
In terms of the American dream, there are more muddled reactions. A Real Clear Opinion Research poll released in March of 2019 revealed that 27% of respondents felt the dream was “alive and well” for them compared to only 7% who said it was “dead.” Two thirds of the respondents to that poll, on the other hand, said the dream exists but is under “moderate to severe duress.”
For many Americans, there is also a positive attitude toward capitalism. According to the Real Clear Opinion Research poll, 58% of Americans “believe that capitalism as currently practiced is generally working for most Americans.” A 2019 Pew research poll disclosed that 65% of those surveyed had a positive impression of capitalism, as opposed to 42% who had a positive impression of socialism.
Although these polls overall indicate a belief in the current economic “system,” there is a caveat. In some of the polls, women, minorities, and younger adults were less positive in their responses. And, importantly, in…