Is the American Dream Over?

One survey says it just might be for the oldest Americans, but some still cling to its belief.

Many U.S. political and economic experts worry about China replacing America as a global superpower. But in a new survey released last week, Chinese Americans believe more in the American country than Caucasian Americans.

That’s just one of the intriguing results from a MassMutual Financial Group survey of more than 1,300 Americans who filled out a 20-minute questionnaire. While 42 percent of Caucasian Americans felt “the American Dream is disappearing,” only 17 percent of Chinese Americans did.

And among African-Americans, the number was in between at 28 percent.

So what’s the point of this survey? MassMutual conducts this survey every other year to determine how U.S. citizens feel about the future of their country. The latest results reveal two trends:

  • “Though the U.S. economy is showing signs of recovery, Americans’ belief in the American Dream remains deeply shaken.”
  • “The definition of the American Dream itself appears to be in flux.”

To that first point, it seems ethnic groups still retain a belief in America’s ability to give its citizens a path to a better life. But older Baby Boomers – ages 54-64 – aren’t so confident: 45 percent feel “the American Dream is disappearing completely.” That’s an increase of 15 percent over just the past two years.

And just what is the American Dream these days? Concludes the survey…

While older respondents hold close to its traditional definitions – 78 percent of older Boomers consider home ownership a key component and 80 percent consider financial independence an equally important element – younger respondents focus on developing a monthly budget, suggesting views around financial satisfaction are undergoing fundamental shifts.

But that may be a good sign that young consumers are starting to understand what it really means to be financially successful. After all, you can’t buy a house or achieve financial independence without first learning how to create – and stick to – a budget. So the fact that younger people consider it a priority – and a benefit of life in this country – to live within a budget may be a sign we’re moving in the right direction.

If you have a financial dream of your own but are living a nightmare of credit card debt, Consolidated Credit can help. Call one of our certified counselors, who can help you make your dreams come true.