Your Feedback: American Dream Edition02:26

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Tuesday we talked about a new WBUR poll on Massachusetts residents' feelings about the economy.

We spoke to MassINC pollster Steve Coczella:

"Younger people are more likely to say that they've been underemployed or worked at a job below their skill level. They're more likely to say they've taken on more debt than they can handle. When you look at people in the middle age groups, they're more likely to say they've worked for several years without a salary increase."

Basically, the poll found a significant decline in optimism in Massachusetts. Specifically, a majority of respondents felt that children won't do as well as their parents.

That resonated with listener Ben Jackson.

"I'm in my mid thirties, and all of my peers are worse off than our parents were when they were our age," Jackson wrote on Facebook. "I am actually fearful (for) my daughter's economic future."

Stephen Berniche of Leeds, agreed.


"Our children are coming into a world where the typical American dream will be so much more difficult to achieve... The next generation is going to need help," Berniche wrote. "We need to vote in politicians who will put their national constituency first, and careers somewhere toward the bottom of the list."

Listener Giusseppe had a different take.

"When I look at my grandparents and parents, I see that it didn't take much initiative to do well. You just showed up and did the job and you did ok. Today you really have to take initiative to do better," Giusseppe wrote on "Is this a bad thing? Should we reward people with a good life when all they'd previously done was show up?"

Our guest Barry Bluestone of Northeastern said that part of the financial anxiety here in Suffolk County was due to the fact that housing is becoming even more of a burden for some families.

"For families [that] have an income of 35 thousand dollars or less, we asked what percentage of those families were spending more than a third of their income on rent," Bluestone said. "In 2005, 36 percent. In 2010, 43 percent."

Costanza Carly wrote in to say that in fact, Boston rents just aren't worth it, so she's moving.

Lastly, Nicole McLernon from Attleboro wanted to know the music we ended our show with yesterday.

The track is "I Gave You All" by the British band Mumford and Sons.

This segment aired on December 7, 2011.