The Economic Future For Young Americans

On May 2 Gallup had a release titled “In U.S., Optimism About Future for Youth Reaches All-Time Low.”

Although the entire release is worth reading, I found the following excerpts to be particularly notable:

Forty-four percent of Americans believe it is likely that today’s youth will have a better life than their parents, even fewer than said so amid the 2008-2009 recession, and the lowest on record for a trend dating to 1983.


Gallup uses the same question other survey organizations have asked intermittently over a longer period of time. Selected trends from CBS News, New York Times, and Roper Organization polls reveal that Americans currently express greater pessimism about what the future holds for today’s youth than any of these organizations found in surveys from 1983 to 2003. The most positive result occurred in a December 2001 CBS News/New York Times poll in which 71% said American youth would have a better life than their parents.

also, from the concluding paragraphs:

Confidence in the traditional American dream — that each generation can work its way up in the world and have a better life than the previous generation — appears to be slipping away. Americans are less likely to believe this to be true today than at any time on record, including during the worst of the recent economic crisis.

Fewer than 4 in 10 high-income Americans — who presumably have the greatest access to opportunity and resources to gauge what the markets will do going forward — believe today’s youth will be better off than their parents. This level of pessimism may also reflect the massive destruction of wealth that high-income Americans experienced from the economic meltdown.


The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1325.69 as this post is written