Just 57% of Americans think the “American Dream” is achievable today, down 10 points from around a year ago and from 76% in July of 2001, pollster John Zogby writes. He splits “American Dreamers” into four categories: Traditional Materialists, Secular Spiritualists, Deferred Dreamers, and Dreamless Dead. Over the last year, he writes, the “Dreamless Dead” have jumped from 12% to 20% of the population.
“We found this pessimism increasing across all demographic groups,” Zogby writes in Forbes. And the mounting cynicism diminishes “any chance that the consumer spending will restart the economy,” as well as making “government even more dysfunctional.” Still, Zogby declares himself optimistic about the nation’s future. The new, wired generation will figure it out. They will “keep the American Dream, and continue the path that defines it not as material, but as personal and spiritual fulfillment. Carpe diem.”