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When will your ship come in? According to a new Fast Company-Harris Poll, Americans aged 45-54 are the least likely to see wealth as attainable.
By CHRISTOPHER ZARA | Fast Company | July 21, 2021
Slackers. Cynics. Latchkey kids. Generation X has faced its share of negative media perceptions over the decades, so perhaps it’s not surprising that members of this demographic cohort have a less-than-rosy outlook when it comes to their own earning potential.
In a new Harris Poll conducted exclusively for Fast Company, people aged 45 to 54 were the least likely to see wealth as an achievable goal in the United States, with only 47% saying they agree that it’s possible to become wealthy or a part of the elite class. That’s compared to 60% of 18- to 34-year-olds and 56% of 35- to 44-year-olds. Baby boomers were also more likely to agree that wealth is achievable: 52% of 55- to 64-year-olds and 57% of people over 65 said so.
Gen X is typically defined as being born between 1965 and 1980, meaning older members of the generation are now in their fifties and possibly coming to terms with what they see as limited earning prospects as they inch closer to retirement. Overall, younger people in the survey—and younger men, in particular—were far more likely to see wealth as achievable, with 69% of men under 35 and 51% of women under 35 believing it is.
The survey of 1,008 U.S. adults was conducted in July and asked the following question:
“In the United States, becoming a member of the wealthy/elite class is an achievable goal.”
- 18-34: 60% agree / 18% strongly agree
- 35-44: 56% agree / 17% strongly agree
- 45-54: 47% agree / 7% strongly agree
- 55-64: 52% agree / 10% strongly agree
- Over 65: 57% agree / 15% strongly agree
Although Gen Xers brought down the average, it’s worth noting that Americans are still generally optimistic about the possibility of getting rich, with 55% seeing it as an achievable goal.
At the same time, and rather contradictorily, more than half of respondents (54%) also said members of their generation would be worse off than their parents. In that regard, it was older millennials and younger Gen Xers who showed the most pessimism, with 65% of 35- to 44-year-olds expecting to be worse off than their parents, the highest of any age group.
Read the full story at Fast Company.
Sixty-three percent of low-income Americans and 58% of working-class Americans believe their generation will not be better off than their parents’. While 58% of lower-middle class Americans and 50% of upper-middle class Americans agreed.
Growing income gap is palpable, but the future looks rosier for upper middle class
Across social classes, people mostly agree that there is a growing income gap in the United States, with 84% agreeing overall. And it’s also an opinion shared across classes: 81% of lower-class (both low-income and working class), and 86% of middle class (both upper and lower) sense the gap.
However, the perceived impact diverges among economic classes. For the upper middle class, for example, becoming a member of the wealthy and elite is seen as an achievable goal, but it’s out of reach in the minds of the lower class. Sixty-four percent of upper-middle class Americans believe it’s an achievable goal, compared to only 44% of low-income and 48% of working class Americans who feel the same.
The middle class is changing for the better -- or worse -- depending on whom you ask
Even the definition of economic classes is at risk in the minds of some Americans. While upper-middle class Americans believe the definition of “middle class” is changing for the better, most lower-middle class Americans -- who are also most likely to say the middle-class population will decrease over the next 10 years -- disagree.
The survey found 63% of upper-middle class Americans feel the definition of “middle class” is changing for the better, while 58% of lower-class Americans disagree. What’s more, 40% of lower-middle class Americans believe the middle class population will decrease in the next decade, compared to only 27% of upper-middle class Americans who believe so.
Wealth cap isn’t the answer
Despite their mounting anxieties over a wealth gap, most Americans don’t agree with a wealth cap, i.e., a limit to the amount of personal wealth that private citizens can accumulate.
Less than a third of middle class Americans agree with implementing such policies -- 29% of the upper-middle class and 31% of the lower-middle class.
While the idea finds more traction further down the economic ladder, the majority of low-income and working class Americans also disagree with the policy -- with 44% of low-income Americans and 42% of working class Americans agreeing lawmakers should cap the accumulation of wealth in the U.S.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Fast Company between July 9-12, 2021, among 1,008 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
For more information on methodology, please contact Dami Rosanwo.
Download the full data tables here.
By E.J. Schultz | Ad Age | July 21, 2021
The National Football League remains the most dominant pro sport in the U.S.—but the National Basketball Association is beating it when it comes to younger generations, according to a new poll.
Fifty-three percent of Gen Zers and 68% of millennials are NBA fans, compared with 49% and 66%, respectively, for the NFL, according to the latest Ad Age-Harris Poll. Pro football remains a baby boomer obsession, with 60% of respondents from the generation describing themselves as NFL fans, compared with 40% for the NBA. The NFL also has a commanding lead with Gen Xers—by a score of 66% to 44%. Overall, 61% of Americans are NFL fans, compared with 50% for the NBA, according to the poll, which surveyed 1,012 U.S. adults from July 16-19.
The NBA has long been considered the most progressive pro sort, a standing that helps the league with younger generations that polls have shown back brands that take stances on social causes. Still, there is one area where the NBA might be falling short—its logo.
Among NBA fans, 56% say the league should update its logo to feature a silhouette of a Black player, according to findings the Harris Poll made based on separate surveys conducted in April and March.
The current logo features what has long been considered a silhouette of Jerry West, the Los Angeles Lakers legend whose career ended in the early 1970s. The trademark was created in 1969 by brand consultant Alan Siegel, who made it a year after designing Major League Baseball’s logo, according to this account in Sbnation. The NBA has never officially acknowledged that it is based on West.
The league earlier this year faced pressure to update its look in wake of comments made by Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who pushed the NBA to swap West with the late Kobe Bryant.
"As a native Black man, as a native Black king, I think it's part of my responsibility to continue to push our generation, our culture, forward," Irving said, according to this account from CBS News. "I know that it probably was met with some people that love the idea and some people that don't like it." He added: "My thing is paying homage to the example that has been set by that man ... He was the standard for our generation and he will continue on," he added. Irving’s Instagram post imagining Bryant in the logo has drawn more than one million likes since it was posted in February.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the call for change during a press event held in conjunction with the 2021 All-Star Game. “There are no ongoing discussions right now at the league office about changing the logo,” he said, according to a transcript provided by the NBA. “I certainly saw Kyrie Irving’s comments. Again, everything changes over time. Nothing’s permanently fixed. But the logo is iconic. As you know, we’re distributed globally. Even changing the logo, purely even from a legal standpoint, isn’t an easy exercise. Not that that should be the impediment.”
Harris Poll CEO Will Johnson says: “As we discovered in our research, NBA fans have a strong affinity for the brand and they’re invested in its future. While fans reported they wanted to see a logo change, it isn’t necessarily an indictment of the league. Rather, it underscores the currency of the NBA and demonstrates the passion its young and racially diverse fan base has for the sport, the NBA brand and the players.”
The NBA has stuck with the Jerry West look for a special logo that will be used for its 75th anniversary season, which will be celebrated throughout the 2021-22 season. The logo shows the West silhouette fronting a diamond shape. The Harris Poll found the special logo winning broader support, with 59% of fans approving it.
The findings come in the wake of the conclusion of the NBA Finals, which ended Tuesday when the Milwaukee Bucks clinched the title with a Game 6 victory over the Phoenix Suns that aired on ABC.
TV ratings are up from the 2020 Finals, held later than normal in the so-called “bubble” in Orlando. But the league is falling short of its pre-pandemic numbers. Total viewership through the first three games this year was 26.95 million, compared with 40.8 million in 2019, when the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors, according to the New York Post.
This year’s Finals was accompanied by drama at ESPN/ABC as the Disney networks dealt with backlash from a New York Times report earlier this month about private comments made last year by ESPN personality Rachel Nichols about her colleague, Maria Taylor. Nichols was caught on tape suggesting that Taylor won duties hosting NBA Finals programming because she is Black.
ESPN today announced that Taylor is leaving the network. She is expected to land at NBC, the New York Times reported today. Nichols, who apologized for her comments, remains at ESPN. But she undoubtedly has lost support from a large portion of NBA fans. The Ad Age-Harris Poll found that “78% of NBA fans agree that sports commentators who make disrespectful or inappropriate remarks about other commentators should be removed from their position.”
Below, some additional findings Harris Poll has made related to NBA trends, based on recent polling:
**77% of NBA fans think the NBA should make a concerted effort to feature commentators who identify as women and 75% say the same effort should be made for people of color.
**75% think the NBA has too many superstar players concentrated on the most well-known teams.
**41% enjoy watching the games more this season due to the increase in three-point shots.
**61% are watching more NBA games with friends or family this season compared to last season.
**56% are watching NBA games using the official NBA app this season.
Read the full story at Ad Age.
By GLENDA TOMA | Morning Brew | July 21, 2021
Retailers know that sustainability, at this point, is not a choice. Shoppers? Well, it's less clear.
To find out more, we partnered with Harris Poll to run an exclusive, nationally representative survey of 2,000 adults earlier this month. One similarity: There’s a lot of talk...
You don’t know the half of it
Americans are split—who’s surprised?—on whether it’s crucial for retailers to be sustainable, meaning they consider the environmental and social impact of doing business. More than half (54%) of those surveyed said it’s important, while 46% said nope (and probably rolled their eyes).
- Two-thirds of Millennials and Gen Zers fell into the first camp, compared to 55% of Gen Xers and 42% of Boomers.
- Still, a majority across the board felt retailers need to make greener efforts. And 53% of those who don’t even think sustainability is essential would still buy a sustainable product if they saw one.
Among the roadblocks to buying green, the biggest is spending that green. Almost half (46%) said higher prices are the main reason why they’re opting out. Plus, only 30% of shoppers make the effort to seek out sustainable goods.
Word games: Seven in 10 of those surveyed said they’re more likely to buy a product if it’s marketed as sustainable. And some labels do make a difference.
- “All natural” and “eco-friendly” hold the most sway, while only about a quarter paid “carbon neutral” any notice.
Most Americans (52%) pack reusable totes to shop sustainably, likely a resultof plastic bag bans. And as for secondhand, you’re not alone, Olivia Rodrigo. Across demographics, about a third of shoppers buy via resale.
But, but, but: Don’t let anything get in the way of two-day, one-day, or same-day shipping. More than half of respondents—56%—said faster delivery supersedes shopping sustainably. So the road to net-zero is a long one.
- Last year, the US produced a record 407 billion square feet of corrugated materials as e-comm exploded.
- Last-mile delivery emissions are predicted to jump by 30+% across 100 cities worldwide by 2030, per a 2020 World Economic Forum study.—GT
Read the full story at Morning Brew.
A Zoom Apps Marketplace has been updated to support more than 50 Zoom apps that users can launch from within a chat.
Available apps including the productivity tool Asana, storage service Dropbox Spaces, and even games such as Heads Up. Zoom says more are in development or are coming soon.
Zoom Events offers the option to host hybrid events directly in Zoom. Hosts are able to manage everything from one-day events to multi-day conferences, issuing tickets and opening virtual lobbies for visitors to congregate before and after events.
"These innovations will enhance the ways in which we connect and collaborate with our colleagues, clients, friends, family members, and others, improving productivity and collaboration while maintaining elements of fun and well-being," said Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom in a statement.
Zoom, along with other video chat tools such as Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, played a key role in helping Americans adapt to life while working remotely. However, as governments lift COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, more employees will likely return to working at the office.
But the use of apps like Zoom likely won't go away. According to a Harris Poll survey conducted in May, 40% of Americans prefer to work from home full time, while another 35% want a hybrid schedule where they split up time between home and the office.
The apps could also help curb "Zoom fatigue." A study earlier this year from Stanford University attributed it to multiple causes including a lack of mobility and too much close-up eye contact.
Read the full story at USA Today.