Most Voters Say ‘American Dream’ Now Out of Reach Under Biden


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

A majority of voters no longer believe that the “American dream” is achievable as President Biden’s economic policies continue to wreak havoc on the electorate.

A new Wall Street Journal/NORC survey found that only 36 percent of Americans think working hard will get them ahead, “substantially fewer than the 53% who said so in 2012 and 48% in 2016 in similar surveys of adults by another pollster,” the outlet reported.

When the news outlet asked the same question just last year if they believed with hard work, they could get ahead, nearly twice as many as the current poll — 68 percent — said yes.

“The survey offers the latest evidence that Americans across the political spectrum are feeling economically fragile and uncertain that the ladder to higher living standards remains sturdy, even amid many signs of economic and social progress,” the WSJ reported.

“Half of voters in the new poll said that life in America is worse than it was 50 years ago, compared with 30% who said it had gotten better. Asked if they believed that the economic and political systems are ‘stacked against people like me,’ half agreed with the statement, while 39% disagreed,” the report added.


The prospect of achieving the American dream appeared more distant for young adults and women in the survey. Approximately 46% of men expressed belief in the enduring notion of progress through hard work, whereas only 28% of women shared the same sentiment. Similarly, 48% of voters aged 65 or older affirmed this ideal, contrasting with approximately 28% of those under the age of 50.

Individuals from both political parties conveyed feelings of uncertainty and discontent, the WSJ continued.

Oakley Graham, a stay-at-home father in Greenwood, Mo., which is a suburb of Kansas City, told the WSJ that, to some degree, he was living the American dream, but he still feels uncertain.

“We have a nice house in the suburbs, and we have a two-car garage,” said Graham, 30, whose wife is an electrical engineer. “But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that money was tight.”

He went on to say that, for him and his neighbors, “no matter how good it looks on the outside, I feel we are all a couple of paychecks away from being on the street.”

Graham, who leans Democratic and voted for Biden, said life is “objectively worse” than 50 years ago, which he blamed, in part, on the decline of union jobs, which hit a record low last year. He noted that his grandfather, a maintenance crew worker for railroads, was able to retire on a union pension, which is not something most Americans have now.


Meanwhile, John Lasher, a Trump supporter who lives in Springfield, Mo., told the WSJ he feels the American dream “is past tense.”

In previous decades, “if you showed up for work and you did your job well and you tried to help out, you were rewarded,” Lasher, 78, a retired electrical inspector for aircraft carriers and submarines, told the outlet.

Lasher attributes the shift to Democratic policies. According to him, escalating prices, which he attributes to the Biden administration, are depriving individuals of the American dream.

“With inflation, you’re working hard just to make ends meet, and then any extra work that you put in is just trying to get so you’re not in the hole,” he said.

Biden is definitely getting the blame. Late last month, a poll found that only 39 percent of voters in four key swing states—Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina—have confidence in the president’s ability to handle the economy, RealClearPolitics reported.

Steve Cortes, the chairman and founder of the League of American Workers, said in a column posted to the site that the reason 77 percent of the voters surveyed said that the nation is on the wrong track is because of the economy.

Of the 39 percent that had a favorable opinion of the president’s handling of the economy, a mere 9 percent said they gave him “strong approval.”

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