This article was originally published in Fortune Magazine.

Americans have a long reputation for being hopeful. The United States is often characterized by its can-do attitude and the pursuit of the American Dream–the idea that motivated individuals have the freedom to pursue their dreams and improve life for themselves and their families. Indeed, the United States is consistently the most popular destination for people around the world looking to leave their home country. 

However, recent surveys suggest that many Americans are losing faith in the future of the nation. A 2023 survey by the Pew Research Center found at least two-thirds of Americans believe that by 2050, America will become economically weaker, less important in the world, and more politically divided. A 2023 Wall Street Journal-NORC survey found that nearly 80% of Americans do not expect life for their children’s generation to be better than it has been for their own generation.