Californians Were Asked About the American Dream. Here’s Why They Said It’s Dying

Californians Were Asked About the American Dream. Here’s Why They Said It’s Dying
The Sacramento Bee provided coverage of a new PRRI survey titled A Renewed Struggle for the American Dream. The California newspaper quotes PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones, who says “You don’t get a sunny California picture out of the data. If you step way back looking at the picture what we see is a working population in California that is facing significant economic hardships in their personal lives. (They face) significant barriers to success at work and (are) kind of struggling to hold on to this idea of the American Dream; that if you work hard and play by the rules you will get ahead. That idea seems to be slipping a bit. Californians seemed divided on that basic question.” The article summarizes some of the findings from the report, but it also presents the information within the larger context of the California economy since the Great Recession, as workers in the middle and lower income brackets continue to struggle financially. “Based on all the measures as a whole, it seems like things are going well. But if you break down how incomes have recovered, the incomes for the workers at the top, those have gone up since the Great Recession. Wages for workers in the middle of the range or at the lower end have stayed flat,” says Sara Kimberlin at the California Budget & Policy Center.
Nearly Half of California Workers Are Struggling With Poverty
Sojourners featured an analysis of A Renewed Struggle for the American Dream. Pointing to the broader findings from the report, they emphasize that “nearly half of California workers — 47 percent — are struggling with poverty. A majority of Californians working and struggling with poverty — 60 percent — are Hispanic.” The piece also points to how insecure Californians feel about their future, as two-thirds of the Golden State says that employers generally see people like them as replaceable. The piece concludes by pointing out that the study found that workers struggling with poverty are more likely than those that are not to report highly valuing goals like being involved in a religious community and holding a steady job. For more coverage on the new survey click here.
9-year old Boy Commits Suicide After Being Bullied for Coming Out
A nine-year-old Denver boy is dead this week after committing suicide the same week he came out as gay to his classmates. According to the boy’s mother, Jamel Myles came out to his family over the summer and was excited to come out to his classmates. The boy’s mother told The Denver Post that her son killed himself after he was bullied. “My child died because of bullying. My baby killed himself,” Leia Pierce tells the paper. “He didn’t deserve this. He wanted to make everybody happy even when he wasn’t. I want him back so bad.” According to the boy’s sister, he had confided in her that he was being bullied after his announcement. A spokesman for Denver Public Schools released a statement with the next steps teachers will face. “Fourth and fifth grade teachers at Shoemaker are creating a space for students to share how they are feeling and to process their emotions after hearing this news,” Will Jones says. “Teachers are also letting students know about the DPS crisis team members on hand to meet their social-emotional needs.” A 2017 PRRI survey asked Americans if they believed bullying of gay, lesbian, and transgender students was a big problem in schools. Sixty-five percent of the country agreed, while 29 percent disagreed.
Steph Curry Speaks Out on the Status of Women’s Rights
Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry recently penned an insightful essay in The Players Tribune on the status of women’s rights in the working world. Fueled by the concern for his daughter Riley’s future, Curry joins the plethora of celebrity voices speaking out against gender inequality in the United States. “I want our girls to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period,” Curry writes. PRRI data shows that a majority (54 percent) of young women (age 15-24) report witnessing or personally experiencing incidents of gender bias, while young men (34 percent) are far less likely to report the same.