The State of the American Dream

CINCINNATI - Is the American Dream still alive? Or have the parameters changed? A survey done by the Xavier University Center for the Study of the American Dream says that perceptions are changing.

The Center surveyed over 1,000 people in early March to come up with their results and they said the results in 2011, differed in many areas from 2010.

According to the survey: 63 percent of Americans still are confident they will reach their version of the American Dream. Seventy-five percent say they've already reached it.

Other significant indicators include:

-Only 23 percent believe the country is heading in the right direction and 67 percent say things "Have gotten seriously off on the wrong track"- a 15 percent drop from 2010.

-Confidence in the U.S economy has dropped. In 2010, 51 percent felt the economy would improve over the next year. In 2011, only 41 percent feel that way.

-There is a growing distrust of many American institutions. Eighty-three percent distrust the political process, 79 percent say they distrust big business, 78 percent distrust the government and 72 percent say they distrust the media.

- Only 8 percent of those surveyed believed that government spending was important. Five percent said the national debt was more important. By contrast, 42 percent say the economy and jobs are a big issue and 19 percent said education was.

What do you think about the American Dream? Is it still attainable? Is it a myth? What are your criteria for it?

However, the majority of those surveyed now believe the American Dream will be much harder to reach for the next generation.

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