Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 07/2013

Resilient American Values: Optimism in an Era of Growing Inequality and Economic Difficulty

Andrew Kohut, Michael Dimock

May 2013

Council on Foreign Relations


Despite an extended period of economic difficulty, Pew Research Center pollsters Andrew Kohut and Michael Dimock show that Americans' core values and beliefs about economic opportunity, and the nation's economic outlook, remain largely optimistic and unchanged. There is also little evidence that economic class is becoming a greater factor in shaping American values than in the past. Americans are certain that the nation can solve its problems, that hard work ultimately pays off, and that income divides are an acceptable part of a healthy economy. But they increasingly see a lack of fairness in public policies that are failing to promote economic opportunity.