The “American Dream” upholds the ideal that with hard work, perseverance and a little luck, any American dreamer can pull themselves from the depths of poverty to achieve their socio-economic aspirations. Now, it seems, that dream may be fading.

recent study reveals that the success of upward mobility between social classes is less attainable today than it was in the 1980s. People who are born today are more likely to remain in the same socio-economic position or drop below it. The capacity for upward mobility has now decreased by as much as 20 percent.

This affects no small portion of the country. Last year, there were 43.1 million Americans living in poverty. The national poverty rate is 13.5 percent, which includes 19.7 percent of children under the age of 18.

Harvard Professor Robert Putnam has spent decades studying the social mobility of his hometown of Port Clinton, OH – a place he calls a Bellwether town in a Bellwether state. His most recent book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis” examines the forces behind this dying ideal. The notion of a “land of opportunity” which has left millions of Americans alone and without hope.

Tune in for a conversation about the disaffected working class and how ignoring the plight of poverty has played into politics. For the full in-depth discussion, click here.

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