65% of Workers Do Not Believe in the Leadership Capabilities of the U.S. Government, According to a New CareerBuilder Study

Staff Report

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Ahead of the State of the Union, workers are expressing concerns with the leadership of the United States and the future of the American Dream. According to CareerBuilder's latest survey, almost two-thirds of workers (65 percent) do not believe in the leadership capabilities of the U.S. government officials, and roughly half of workers (47 percent) are worried about the future of the United States.

Lack of faith exists across all levels of government. Seventy-six percent of workers do not believe in the leadership capabilities of the executive branch (President and cabinet), 79 percent do not believe in the judicial branch (Supreme Court) and 87 percent do not believe in the legislative branch (Senate and the House of Representatives).

This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll from November 28 and December 20, 2017 and included a representative sample of 809 full-time workers across industries and company sizes in the U.S. private sector.

Does the American Dream still exist?
The American Dream, the concept that the government should protect each person's opportunity to pursue their own idea of happiness, has long been touted as one of the greatest ideals of the United States. Today, less than half (47 percent) of workers feel they are living the American Dream. Women are less likely than men to say they are living the American Dream (41 percent vs. 54 percent, respectively).

What does the American Dream mean to workers? Answers included:

  • Making enough money for me and my family to live comfortably (85 percent)

  • Being able to help others (48 percent)

  • Getting a great education and providing that opportunity for my family (35 percent)

  • Making an impact on my community (30 percent)

  • Leaving a legacy (22 percent)

  • Seeing my ideas become a reality in business (17 percent)

  • Becoming a millionaire (10 percent)

Sixty percent of workers do not think everyone has an equal shot of living the American Dream. When asked what are the top factors that are keeping people from achieving the American Dream, workers responded with:

  • Cost of education (58 percent)

  • Cycles of poverty (53 percent)

  • Wage gaps (52 percent)

  • Inequality (among women, minorities, etc.) (51 percent)

  • Access to education (41 percent)

  • Lack of belief that things can be better (34 percent)