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Monday, Jan 9, 2012
by PopMatters Staff
by Ronald Brownstein
The Atlantic (7 January 2012)

“The economic downturn exacerbated the deep political and cultural divides in our 50-50 nation. Here’s what three years of polling data says about where America stands today…. With more than 12,000 cumulative interviews, the surveys paint a portrait of a nation struggling to maintain faith in old beliefs about opportunity, self-sufficiency, and the rewards of hard work amid a nagging fear that the economy’s new dynamics expose average Americans to far more financial insecurity than earlier generations—and sentence the nation to more disruptive cycles of boom and bust. By overwhelming margins, those polled consistently have expressed faith that they can still achieve the American Dream, defined as the opportunity to advance as far as their talents will take them, and to live better than their parents. And yet, the surveys also find ominous cracks in that conviction, with many Americans, especially whites, growing pessimistic that their children will exceed, or even equal, their own standard of living.”


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