A Rasmussen polls shows that Americans don’t have an optimistic view of the future for their children. And who can blame them? Social Security and Medicare are coming apart at the seems. The nation is drowning in debt, $1 trillion budget deficits have become the new normal, and the biggest story in the political news cycle right now is whether or not one of our presidential candidates criticized the Olympics.
Hope for the future generation has reached an all-time low. Just 14% of Americans expect today’s children to be better off than their parents.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of American Adults do not expect today’s children to be better off than their parents. Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure what to expect.
Last month, 16% said today’s children would be better off. In January 2009, the month President took office, 27% said today’s children would be better off than their parents, but 47% disagreed.
Americans are also less optimistic about the possibility of working hard and getting ahead. Just 28% now say it is still possible for anyone in the United States to work hard and get rich, down from 35% last month and the lowest finding since June 2011. Fifty-seven percent (57%) disagree, but another 14% are not sure.
I think it’s still possible to work hard in this country and get rich, but that’s certainly not the message you get from national politics. It’s not unreasonable for an observer of current events to believe that you prosper not through hard work and individual endeavor but rather signing up for your government student loans, or your government stimulus package or your government food stamps and other entitlements.
And that’s not a message that’s just coming from the left. These days it seems the choice for American voters is between Democrats, who are champions of an all-encompassing welfare state, and Republicans, who are champions not of a free market but of crony capitalism and mercantilism.
What we need is a leader who recognizes that we should all be free to be as prosperous as we can make ourselves, and who sees his/her job as making us as free as possible to pursue that prosperity. Pursue that happiness, as our founders wrote.
That leader, unfortunately, isn’t on our radar.