(CNN) - The American dream is a national ideal, the goal of prosperity and success.
But in CNN Money's American dream poll, 59 percent of people say regardless of how you define it, it's not achievable.
Young adults are the most pessimistic. They've had a hard time finding good jobs as the country recovers from the recession.
And there are already concerns about the next generation.
The poll showed 63 percent of Americans say that most children in the U.S. will not be better off than their parents.
The problem is that while most people are managing to tread water, that's not translating into solid financial security.
But not everybody is on board with these findings. The Brookings Center says the American dream isn't dead.
And that these negative perceptions aren't necessarily supported by facts.
Two major studies earlier this year showed that the ability to climb the economic ladder has not changed significantly over time.
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