All Articles Tagged "The American dream"
Although the average African American makes about $35,000 – nearly $16,000 below the national average — a new poll shows that most blacks are not only satisfied with their lives, but are also optimistic.
The new survey, conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, discovered that a whopping 86 percent of African Americans agreed that they were pleased with their lives, reports NPR.
Sixty percent of African Americans said they were not living “The American Dream,” but they all had high hopes for eventually having a nice house with a white picket fence. Twenty-one percent of blacks reported that they are already living the dream.
Despite statistics indicating that unemployment and income for African-Americans are distressing, half of the respondents labeled their financial condition as “good” or “excellent.”
Robert Blendon, a researcher of the survey, noted that the reason why blacks’ outlook on their economic position is higher than expected is that besides money, many other factors contribute to satisfaction.
“People view their lives in very complex ways; it’s not just one-dimensional,” Blendon said.
Optimism and satisfaction exemplify the African-American community, but there is still a sense of uneasiness about the future. Blacks are mainly concerned about losing their jobs and costly health bills. They listed high blood pressure and stroke as the most prevalent health concern in their families.
On the bright side, since 2002, satisfaction in health care doubled to 47 percent. A decade ago, nearly 20 percent of African-Americans were uninsured. Figures from a 2011 study show that only about 13 percent have no health coverage.
Here’s a surprising tidbit: only 25 percent of women — ages 18 to 29 — desire a long-term relationship compared to 43 percent of men. Black men are less likely than women to pursue advanced degrees, so women see no financial gain in searching for a love connection. Men, however, see the economic upside in dating a modern African-American woman.
This poll surveyed about 1,081 respondents and most resided in the South or urban areas which accurately represent the black population as a whole.
A new study by the Pew Charitable Trust’s Economic Mobility Project points out that trying to achieve more wealth than your parents is not much more than an unrealistic dream.
“The rags-to-riches story is more often found in Hollywood than in reality,” Erin Currier, the project manager for the Economic Mobility Project said to MSNBC.
While watching the success story may make a great movie, it’s far from the norm. According to the report, 70 percent of Americans born in the bottom fifth of the income ladder stay below the middle as adults. By contrast, 63 percent of those born in the top fifth of the income ladder stay above the middle as adults.
Overall, only 35 percent of Americans are considered “upwardly mobile,” which means that they have a higher household income than their parents at the same age. Those born in the middle three-fifths on the income ladder are the group that represents the possibility for a financial increase or decrease as adults.
The unsettling report also observes that African Americans have a smaller likelihood than their white counterparts of out-earning their parents.
Despite the lack of higher earning potential of future generations, once adjusted for inflation, most families are bringing in more money than their parents were at the same age. The problem is that the bigger paycheck isn’t resulting in a push up the income ladder.
“Clearly families do have more money in terms of what’s coming in every month, but they don’t have greater savings, they don’t have greater assets – for the most part – than their parents did,” Currier said.
So it seems, the problems lies in a lack of ability to save. Perhaps with more financial education and wisdom, families will begin to see a rags-to-riches dream, turn into reality.
(Inc) — We need more start-ups. A lot more of them. New companies mean new ideas, new approaches, new products and services, and new jobs. What’s more, in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown and the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a wave of start-ups could spark a new sense of optimism about what businesses can actually accomplish — something else this country sorely needs.