Generation Z (ages 13-23) and Millennials (ages 24-39) sometimes get a bad rap for having less faith in America’s promise, but a report from The Walton Family Foundation and Echelon Insights finds these younger generations are optimistic and believe the American Dream is as possible for them as it was for their parents. Even more encouraging, they know hard work is how they’ll achieve it.
Eighty-one percent said that if they work hard, they’ll have the opportunity to succeed in life and 73% said they believe that most others their age who also work hard will have those same opportunities. Fewer, but still a majority, also believe that hard work will provide them economic mobility. Seventy-percent say that if they work hard, they’ll be able to move up the economic ladder, while 64% said the same about others in their generation.
Why do Generation Z and Millennials trust that hard work will pay off? Because most believe that opportunity, education and their parents have set them up to live a better life. This sentiment – in the midst of a global pandemic and political division – is encouraging, especially for Republicans ready to offer a better way forward. In his first week in office, President Joe Biden took steps to limit opportunity by starting a war on U.S. energy independence and by aiming for the biggest expansion of the Federal government’s power in over 50 years. Republicans discouraged by 2020’s election results must remember they can offer a message of opportunity that resonates with these optimistic young generations.