He’ll Be Back

Ruy Teixeira argues in the Wall Street Journal that the Obama administration will be able to regrasp American optimism and a positive outlook for the country.

Has the American Dream come to an end? Certainly, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression has convinced most Americans that attaining the dream will not be easy in the future.

In a National Journal poll last September, 62% thought the economy would experience more severe cycles of boom and bust than in the past, and 79% said average families in the future would suffer economic reversals more often than in the past.

But this pessimism about the economy as a whole is tempered by considerable personal optimism about the future. In a December AP poll, an amazing 82% said they were optimistic about what the year 2010 would bring for "you and your family." And in a Center for American Progress poll last February, when the economy was teetering on the brink of a complete meltdown, three-quarters of the public said they had either already achieved the American Dream (34%) or would in their lifetime (41%).

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Ruy Teixeira

Former Former Senior Fellow