Work hard, stay out of trouble, follow the rules, get ahead and achieve the American Dream, right? Not so fast.  Survey sez-Americans are losing faith in the American according to a new Marist-McClatchy poll.

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In fact, the pessimism in the poll shows that an overwhelming 80 percent of us think it's harder now than before and takes more effort to get ahead than it did for previous generations. Looking forward, 78 percent also think it will be even harder for the next generation to get ahead. In other results:

  • Americans believe by 75 percent to 22 percent that U.S. corporations make stockholders their top priority over their employees.
  • 55 percent think the middle class is most likely to be hurt by government action, while another 40 percent said the poor would be hurt the most.
  • Two-thirds said people who work hard still have a hard time maintaining their standard of living.
  • 85 percent said there were different rules for the wealthy and the well-connected.


The Poll People -Marist Institute for Public Opinion, say these attitudes have been building for years, and the pessimism is fueled by a political system where people feel that those in Washington are not looking out for them.