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Is money losing its luster?

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  May 16, 2012 02:20 PM

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NewNormalAmericanDreamInfographic_email.jpgThese last few weeks have been fairly rotten, PR-wise, for certain segments of the 1 percent, between the well-paid JPMorgan Chase traders who lost a cool $2 billion to the Liberty Mutual executives whose excesses have been documented so amusingly by the Globe’s Brian McGrory. The quest for more money, and then still more, has always been a part of the American psyche. But what if most people don’t care as much about all of that anymore?

That’s the suggestion from a new national poll commissioned by Boston public relations firm Solomon McCown, which is hosting a panel discussion today on the post-recession reality it’s calling “The New Normal.” The survey of 1009 adults, conducted by Anderson Robbins Research, found that most Americans rank “success in a high-paying career” near the bottom of their most-desired aspects of the American dream.

Those polled were asked to rate the importance of eight different aspects of the dream, from “a happy marriage” to “home ownership” to “living in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way.” Marriage ranked first, with 83 percent naming it very or extremely important. A long, healthy retirement ranked second, with 77 percent. Environmentally-sustainable living, interestingly, ranked third. A high-paying career ranked last, with only 46 percent.

Another interesting tidbit, on the money front: Respondents were asked to choose which would be “a better start in life for most young people today:” a high-quality education, or $250,000 in cash. College won, with 71 percent.

You can find more poll results here or check out this nifty infographic.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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