Half Of Millennials Think The American Dream Is Dead

Photo: MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock.
This week proved a rough one for idealistic Americans — however many of them remain.

According to a Pew Research study released on Thursday, the middle class is on life support; Harvard Institute of Politics (IOP) polling results issued the same day indicate that less than half of millennials still believe in the American Dream. Those aren't the only distressing takeaways from the Ivy League university's Institute of Politics research, either.

Turns out, a substantial number of young people are behind the "big, beautiful wall" agenda.
Of the more than 2,000 millennials surveyed, 43% said that they were in favor of erecting an actual physical barrier between the United States and Mexico, à la Donald Trump's immigration policy suggestion. But what was especially interesting was the number of individuals who identified as Democrats expressing their support for the measure: roughly a third, or 31%. Republican support was predictably higher, coming in at 70%.

Millennial Americans support sending more troops to fight ISIS — but don't want to enlist themselves.
An IOP poll that predated the attacks on Paris showed that 48% of those surveyed favored sending U.S. ground troops to combat ISIS. Though this statistic marks a 9% drop in support for troops on the ground, that number shot back up after a second poll, conducted after November 13. After the terrorist attacks in France, a whopping 60% of the surveyed — which constitutes a strong majority — were in favor of sending ground troops.

The caveat? Millennial Americans might want to send troops, but they don't want to be part of the on-the-ground efforts personally. Only 16% of the surveyed said that they had served, would definitely serve, or would strongly consider joining the U.S. military if more troops were needed.

For all their stances, millennials are not particularly politically engaged.
According to IOP polling since 2011, this select demographic has been slipping in attention paid to politics over the past five years. Only 20% of the surveyed claim to be "politically engaged and active," while just over half (52%) said they weren't following the ongoing presidential debates closely — or at all.

And as for that American Dream…
Across the surveyed group, 48% said that this mythologized American idyll is dead. This response was fairly consistent across racial lines — though African-Americans tended to be slightly more pessimistic — but level of education proved to have an influence on how people replied. Turns out, the more education respondents had received, the more likely they were to believe the dream was still alive: 58% of college students said they felt the American Dream was alive for them personally, compared to only 42% of those who had never enrolled in college.
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