American Dream for many is better life for kids: poll

Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:18pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - For most Americans giving their children a better life or having a successful business or career is their version of the American Dream, according to a new poll released on Monday.

Their children's welfare was the top priority for 53 percent of Americans questioned about the American Dream in a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair survey.

It surpassed job prospects, getting rich overnight, owning a home, doing better than your parents, and becoming famous, which despite reality television was chosen by only three percent.

The telephone poll of nearly 11,000 people also showed that one in four Americans believe actor Charlie Sheen is the most likely person to fill Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner's slippers when he is gone.

Thirty percent of people, when asked what they thought teenage Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber will be doing at age 30, said he will likely be in celebrity rehab, while 18 percent said that he'd be married and living quietly somewhere.

Only 20 percent of people said they thought he'd still be playing in front of packed stadiums.

Americans were evenly split on whether it is a good idea to have a prenuptial agreement before getting married. Not surprisingly 60 percent of separated or divorced couples said they thought it was a smart move.

And despite a steady stream of diet books, 56 percent of Americans said they never try to lose weight and 27 percent said they try to slim down once or twice a year.

A whopping 70 percent of Americans said that they would not feel safer if concealed weapons were allowed in classrooms to prevent shootings such as the one that occurred at Virginia Tech in August 2007.

Although there has been a wave of pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East, only 26 percent of Americans think the countries where they are happening will have true democracies in the next decade.

(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr., editing by Patricia Reaney)