Inequality between the rich and poor is a concern for many Americans. The issue seems forefront in President Obama’s mind as well. Last month he referred to income inequality and economic mobility as “the defining challenge of our time.” Tonight in his fifth State of the Union, President Obama will specifically address how to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, and empower people who want to close the gap. Matthew O’Brien writes about it at TheAtlantic.com as he reports on the newly released study, The Equality of Opportunity Project, which finds that your chances of climbing the ladder of success depend largely on the region in which you live.
Given the economic disparity between the one percent and the other ninety-nine, is the American Dream still alive? PRRI’s 2012 Race, Class and Culture Survey found 47 percent of white working-class Americans believe the American Dream still holds true while 63 percent of white college-educated Americans believe the American Dream still holds true.
Along those lines, numbers from PRRI’s 2013 Economic Values Survey show 47 percent of Americans believe they are worse off financially than their parents’ generation. Sixteen percent say about the same, and 36 percent say they are better off financially than their parents’ generation.
When it comes to the minimum wage, 71 percent of Americans favor raising it from $7.25 to $10 per hour, according to data from PRRI’s 2013 American Values Survey. Only 24 percent oppose raising the minimum wage.
For more up-to-the-minute data about the issues and policies the President plans to discuss, join PRRI tonight at 9:00pm ET at #PRRI as we live-tweet the State of the Union address. In the meantime, do you believe the American Dream still holds true? Let us know in the comments.
Photo courtesy of Pete Souza, White House Photo, www.ed.gov.