Americans still believe they can reach for the stars, but they are increasingly fearful they are standing on a trapdoor as they try.
That’s the deeply ambivalent message from the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll exploring the public’s perception of what it means to be middle class in America today. Fully 56 percent of those surveyed said they believe they will eventually climb to a higher rung on the economic ladder than they occupy now. But even more said they worry about falling into a lower economic class sometime in the next few years. Reaffirming the results in earlier Heartland Monitor polls, most of those surveyed said the middle class today enjoys less opportunity, job security, and disposable income than earlier generations did. And strikingly small percentages of American adults said they consider it “very realistic” that they can meet such basic financial goals as paying for their children’s college, retiring comfortably, or saving “enough money to … deal with a health emergency or job loss.”
The poll also reflects President Obama’s plummeting approval ratings since the election last year. The tricky thing about appealing solely to the emotions of the electorate is that those emotions can shift in a hurry. The administration and its trained press chimps will, of course, continue to attempt to portray the nation’s economic woes as being the fault of anybody but The Lightbringer’s, even if they have to start throwing other Democrats under the bus.
Here is the screenshot of the pertinent question, showing the 59% number that was avoided in the beginning of the article (click to enlarge):