The American Dream isn’t dead, but far fewer are able to achieve one of its key accomplishments: a better life, or at least a better income, than their parents. For people born in the 40s, the chance of earning more than their parents was about 90%. For people born in the 80s, the chance was about 40% to 60% depending on their wealth class.
“One factor behind America’s deteriorating upward mobility is the sluggish pace at which wages have grown. For example, the average hourly wage in 1964, when converted to 2018 dollars, is $20.27. Compare this to $22.65, the average hourly wage in 2018. That represents a mere 11.7% increase over a span of 54 years.” – World Economic Forum
If it seems that things should be easier, it might be because the comparison is made to a recent time when things were easier. It also might seem easier as it is easier to witness the livestyles of the ultra-rich, which have accelerated with wealth inequality. The portion of income directed towards the wealthiest has increased from 28% to 48%. Without changes to the current economic system, there’s little reason to expect the trend to reverse.