While the vast majority of people say the American dream is on the decline, the majority of people still believe they are living the dream — or soon think they will be. Half of all Americans say they are living it right now and more than one-fifth say they can achieve the American dream in their lifetime.
Most people growing up in advanced economies since World War II have been able to assume they will be better off than their parents. Yet this positive income trend has ended.”
A new study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis,authored by Raj Chetty, professor of economics at Stanford University, defined the concept as the ability for children born in the bottom fifth of income distribution to reach the top fifth.
In the U.S. the likelihood of that is 7.5%, whereas in Canada children born in that group are twice as likely to rise to the top — at 13.5%. In the U.K. the likelihood of achieving that move from the bottom fifth to the top fifth is 9% and in Denmark it is 11.7%.
Most U.S. middle-income households (81%) had flat or falling income between 2004 and 2014, according to a U.S. Congressional Budget Office data analyzed by the McKinsey Global Institute, a global management company.
Meanwhile, the last 35 years have consisted of extraordinary growth for billionaires, according to the UBS/PwC “2015 Billionaire Report.” By 2043, the Forbes 400 will see their average wealth skyrocket to eight times what it is today at $58 billion. And 61% of middle-income households say their incomes are either not advancing or they’re staying the same as they were last year: