Wednesday, August 29, 2018

No American Dream in the Golden State

 A majority of Californians say the American Dream is harder to achieve in their state than elsewhere in the United States. 

"It is striking that nearly one-third of Californians are finding that the promise of the American Dream — that if you work hard, you'll get ahead — is not coming true for them," Robert Jones, CEO of  Public Religion Research Institute, said in a release.

Only 47 percent of Californians believe the American Dream about economic opportunity for hard work still holds true today. Also, residents of the state are even more downbeat when it comes to the California Dream — 55 percent of those surveyed believe the American Dream is harder to achieve in the nation's most populous state.

Nearly one-third of all Californians are struggling with poverty, says the survey by PRRI, a nonpartisan, independent research organization. Nearly one in 10 adult residents of California currently work in the gig economy, according to the survey and about half are struggling with poverty.

The 2018 California Workers Survey defined the gig economy as including jobs with ride-hailing platforms such as Uber and Lyft, and providing services such as shopping, delivering household items or assisting in childcare. According to the report, about 48 percent of those participating in the gig economy are struggling with poverty.

At the same time, the PRRI survey found nearly one-third of all Californians and 47 percent of workers in the Golden State are struggling with poverty. The PRRI survey also found that 56 percent of California workers struggling with poverty would find it difficult to pay for a $400 emergency expense. It also revealed that 42 percent of workers in this category have put off medical treatment. The researchers found six in 10 workers who were struggling were Latino.

California ranks as the fifth-largest economy in the world, but its high cost of housing in many parts of the state mean more than one in five children live in poverty, according to the California Budget & Policy Center.

The state's San Joaquin Valley region, known for its agriculture economy, has 68 percent of workers who are struggling with poverty. 

Roughly two-thirds of Californians say they would advise young people in their area to relocate to find more opportunities in a different community. The survey also found young Californians (ages 18 to 29) are less likely to believe a college education is a good investment for the future when compared with seniors (those 65 and older).

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