POLL FINDS AMERICANS OPTIMISTIC DESPITE THE RECESSION
Nearly eight-in-10 Americans believe it still is possible to improve their economic standing and remain optimistic that their family's economic circumstances will improve within their lifetime and across generations, according to a new study by Pew's Economic Mobility Project This is true across racial lines and even among lower-income, less-educated and unemployed people, according to the poll.
"Although the current economic crisis seems to be deepening each day and many families are feeling the pinch -- either through company layoffs, decreasing home values or loss of retirement savings -- Americans are taking a longer-term view," said John E. Morton, managing director of Economic Policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts. "We may be struggling in our daily lives, but Americans are confident in themselves and their ability to get ahead in the future."
Many Americans said the government currently does more to hurt than help people trying to move up the economic ladder, according to the poll. However, a majority support a wide range of policies the government could adopt to encourage upward economic mobility, such as making college more affordable, investing in early childhood education, making retirement savings easier, or providing job training and financial education. In addition, 71 percent said it is more important for the country to provide people a fair chance of improving their economic standing than it is to reduce inequality in the United States.