The engine that used to drive the American Dream is in danger of grinding to a halt. Nine out of 10 children born in 1940 went on to earn more than their parents, according to research published last week. But just half of children born in 1980, who are now in their mid-30s, can say the same today.
“The idea that you’re going to do better than your parents defines the American Dream,” says Howard Wolfson, a former political strategist who now oversees education initiatives for Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable organization founded by billionaire Mike Bloomberg. “For a lot of people, that’s not happening.”