Politicians take heed: more than half of US workers say the American Dream is unattainable and nearly half blame the political system for the deterioration in their economic circumstances, according to a new national survey.
The workplace poll, conducted in May 2008 by Zogby International for The Marlin Company, The Workplace Communications Experts, found that nearly three-quarters of US workers (74.7%) say the American dream is not as attainable today was it was eight years ago; 52.4% say it is simply unattainable for the average American (see charts). The survey defines the American dream as "the opportunity to have a nice home, financial security for you and your family, and hope for the future."
The workplace poll also found that nearly half (45.1%) of US workers admit to being "bitter" because "the political system has caused a deterioration of [their] economic circumstances." Nearly half (47.5%) of 30-49 year-olds surveyed report feeling bitter, while only 38.4% of 18-29 year-olds feel bitter
"While Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama took a lot of heat for his ‘bitter’ comment, this poll shows that workers clearly are in fact ‘bitter’ over the political system and the economy," said Frank Kenna III, president of the Marlin Company, a global workplace communications firm. "It sends a clear message to politicians that the average US worker is in pain. The question is, ‘Will our politicians go beyond talk to truly respond to the needs of US workers?’"
More than three-fourths (77.2%) of US workers say they feel unrepresented by the political system on workplace issues. These include health care, retirement, fuel prices and the economy. Women feel even less represented than men with 81.9% of female workers feeling unrepresented, in comparison to 72.5% of male workers.
"The Marlin workplace poll uncovered an attitude shift among US workers who are more disillusioned and fed up than ever," said Kenna. "And who do workers blame? The political system. They feel that politicians aren’t speaking to them about important issues. There is clearly massive frustration here and candidates need to address this disconnect.
Zogby International was commissioned by the Marlin Company to complete a nationwide telephone survey of employed adults from May 12, 2008 thru May 14, 2008. The target sample was 755 interviews with approximately 43 questions. Samples were randomly drawn from telephone CDs of a national listed sample. The selection probabilities were proportionate to population size within area codes and exchanges. The results of the survey were calculated by using American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) approved methodologies; comparable to other professional public opinion surveys conducted using similar sampling strategies. Weighting by education, age, race and gender is used to adjust for non-response. The margin of error is +/- 3.6 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.
About The Marlin Company
For more than 90 years, The Marlin Company has been the Workplace Communication Experts™, helping companies improve employee morale, productivity and performance through the innovative use of workplace posters and electronic message boards. Its corporate posters and electronic display systems, which contain content customized by industry, are helping companies of all sizes address workplace issues, such as safety, stress management, health/wellness, communication with employees and dozens of other topics involving workplace morale and customer service. Through its many years of experience, The Marlin Company has developed a strong database of, and experience in, issues affecting the workplace. It routinely surveys thousands of clients to determine their current issues, works with industry experts across North America, and conducts national polling. Since 1995, it has conducted its annual "Attitudes in the American Workplace" poll.