It turns out many Americans agree, according to results from a new poll on the American Dream, conducted by Penn Schoen Berland for The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute and released at the 11th Aspen Ideas Festival on Wednesday. A majority of respondents think the American Dream—which they generally define as financial stability and security—is suffering, and they see more severe obstacles to achieving the dream today than ever before. They’re also split on the precise problems that have caused the dream to falter and on the best ways to solve those problems.
Yet for all their pessimism and division, most people are surprisingly upbeat about their personal lives. Perhaps paradoxically, a majority of Americans also believe that hard work and elbow grease are still enough for ordinary citizens to realize the dream.
Elsewhere in The Atlantic, Don Baer and Mark Penn delve into some of the details of the poll, and the full results are here. Penn Schoen Berland surveyed 2,000 respondents. Many of the results below break out responses between the general population and “broad elites,” a category defined as individuals with a college degree and a minimum income of $75,000, who are engaged with politics and technology.