In the Land of Opportunity, Not as Much Opportunity as You Might Think

  • Share
  • Read Later

Is a combination of hard work, intelligence, and talent a guarantee of success? Or has the American Dream become just a dream?

Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins, co-directors of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, list “5 myths about our land of opportunity” in the Washington Post:

1. Americans enjoy more economic opportunity than people in other countries.

2. In the United States, each generation does better than the past one.

3. Immigrant workers and the offshoring of jobs drive poverty and inequality in the United States.

4. If we want to increase opportunities for children, we should give their families more income.

5. We can fund new programs to boost opportunity by cutting waste and abuse in the federal budget.

Read the full story for their explanations. This past Sunday’s Parade, meanwhile, explores a similar theme, using a survey to get a grasp of “How the Economic Crisis Changed Us.” Among the findings:

68% of folks surveyed said the American Dream is still within their reach

27% pursued extra work to make more money

63% have become more do-it-yourself

76% say they’ll never trust investments the way they used to

19% have sought government assistance of some sort

52% believe that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can have a solid middle-class life